Dawson's most desirable subject.
Dawson Dawson-Watson (1864–1939) as a British born Impressionist painter who became famous in 1927 for winning the largest cash prize in American Art, the Texas Competitive Wildflower Competition. He was one of the first members of the famous Impressionist colony in Giverny, France and was a prominent teacher inHartford, Connecticut, St. Louis, Missouri and San Antonio, Texas.Dawson-Watson was a versatile artist, and made significant contributions to the American Arts & Crafts Movement, first in Boston, Massachusetts and then in Woodstock, New York. His works are on display in the Witte Museum in San Antonio and at the San Antonio Art League.
Dawson-Watson began spending time in San Antonio while he was still living in St. Louis. From 1914 to 1926 he spent part of each year in San Antonio, until finally becoming a full-time resident. From 1918-1919 he served as director for the San Antonio Art Guild. It is generally stated that it was the Edgar B. Davis Wildflower Competition that drew him to San Antonio permanently. In 1926 it was announced that the oilman Edgar B. Davis would sponsor an art competition that was intended to draw attention to the beauty of the Texas Hill Country. A jury selected paintings for an exhibition and there were categories for artists who were residents of Texas and those who came from outside of the state. The formal name of the contest, organized by the San Antonio Art League, was the Texas Wildflower Competitive Exhibition. In 1927 Dawson-Watson won the prize for artists who cane from outside Texas and was awarded the $5,000 first prize for Glory of the Morning while his friend, Jose Apra, the Spanish painter won the prize for Texas residents. He went on to ion first and fifth prizes in the 1929 competition. These awards not only gave Dawson-Watson great prestige in San Antonio, but national recognition and the financial awards made him comfortable for the first time in his life. Glory of the Morning was presented to the Lotos Club in New York by Edgar B. Davis. In San Antonio he became famous for his paintings of the many variety of Cacti that grow in the Texas Hill Country. Dawson-Watson raised his children in San Antonio and remained a resident until his death in 1939