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Imagined Realism

Imagined Realism
Scott and Stuart Gentling

The first comprehensive publication featuring the art and lives of brothers Scott and Stuart Gentling, two visionary Texas artists whose lifelong creative output captured an amazing array of subjects.

October 2021
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304 pages | 10 x 12.75 | 290 color photos |

Scott Gentling (1942–2011) and Stuart Gentling (1942–2006) were brothers and lifelong collaborators whose artistic interests spanned centuries and crossed continents. Born in Minnesota, they moved to Fort Worth, Texas, in 1947. With the exception of a period of academic and professional studies in the 1960s that included time spent at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, they lived and worked together in Fort Worth until their deaths. The brothers drew strong regional support and patronage for their work—especially their painted portraits—that provided them with the means to produce more experimental work rooted in historicism and hyperrealism. Drawing from their personal passions and interests, the Gentlings painted everything from still lifes of antique costumes to posed portraiture to depictions of Aztec culture and of the natural world.

Given their prodigious, decades-long creative output, why did the brothers not achieve the recognition their art warranted during their lifetimes? Nearly every author in this volume raises this question. In fact, the Gentlings dodged opportunities for greater national attention, and their gallery representatives walked a frustrating line, struggling with the artists to advance their reputation and exposure.

What is never in question is the authenticity of their work. Devoted to history as a platform for expression, the Gentlings sought knowledge of the subjects they explored in their art with the tenacity and thoroughness of experts, weaving together an activism born from research with their rich imaginations and the veracity of work in the field. The essays and plates within these covers illuminate the careers of Scott and Stuart Gentling and attest to their contributions to American creative achievement.


Scott Grant Barker is a Fort Worth historian and collector who celebrates the art history of the city in the exhibitions he curates, as well as in his lectures and writings. He has written for the Texas State Historical Association, the Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas, Texas Christian University Press, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Erika Doss is an award-winning art historian whose multiple books include Benton, Pollock, and the Politics of Modernism: From Regionalism to Abstract Expressionism (1991); Spirit Poles and Flying Pigs: Public Art and Cultural Democracy (1995); Looking at Life Magazine (2001); Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America (2010); and American Art of the 20th–21st Centuries (2017).

Jonathan Frembling is Gentling Curator and Head Museum Archivist at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. He received his MA in history from the University of Texas at Arlington. He promotes the study of the work of artists Scott and Stuart Gentling through the integration of primary material in both exhibitions and publications.

Janelle Montgomery is Gentling Curatorial Assistant at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. She received her MA in art history from Texas Christian University, has authored numerous essays on twentieth- and twenty-first-century art, and was awarded the Maclean Eltham Essay Prize in Romney Studies in 2016.

Barbara E. Mundy holds the Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art at Tulane University. She received her PhD in the history of art from Yale University. She studies the art and visual culture produced in Spain’s colonies, and her scholarship spans both digital and traditional formats.

Spencer Wigmore is Assistant Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. He received his PhD in art history from the University of Delaware. Before joining the Carter’s curatorial team, he was the Wyeth Foundation Predoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas, opened in January 1961 to house the collection of publisher and philanthropist Amon G. Carter Sr. (1879–1955). Since that time, the museum’s collection has expanded dramatically and today encompasses a broad range of American creativity, from the eighteenth century to the present day. The Carter also houses one of the country’s most important collections of photography. Located in the heart of the city’s Cultural District, the Carter is committed to building its collection and to serving an educational role through exhibitions, publications, and programs devoted to American art.