Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Houston Reflections

Houston Reflections: Art in the City, 1950s, 60s and 70s by Sarah Reynolds takes on a pretty unpromising topic. Was there art in Houston then? Of course there was, and a lot of what we see today around Houston's art scene was established or massively developed during that period. Now if you go try to buy this book, it's going to run you ninety-something dollars. Astonishingly, the book is available for free online. You can read it here. I just started it today.

The book is a collection of interviews of people involved in the arts during those days. Each one is separate, which has advantages. For instance, I was able to pull read interviews with one of my old art history professors, Bill Camfield, and with the woman I took painting lessons from in high school, Stella Sullivan. That was nice. But I wish instead of this format, Reynolds had gone the Edie route and chopped up the interviews to make a historical narrative. As it is, you can piece together events based on the separate interviews. I wish the interviews had been longer and more detailed.

But these are minor cavils for an amazing resource that anyone can access for free. It's required reading if you are interested in Houston's art history.


  1. I had found this sometime ago, only to lose the link and any hope of finding it again! Glad you found it and posted it.

    You might also appreciate this article about "Our Little Gallery," a Houston-based art gallery (520 Branard Street) dedicated to abstract art that opened in 1938...


  2. Wow great link! Thanks! Houston has an interesting art history (and if Houston does, you can be certain that many other cities do as well) that is kind of exciting to discover. One thing I dug about Houston Reflections was that it really explained how important (but ghettoized) the African American art scene in Houston was, centered around TSU and John Biggers, who seems to have been a great impresario as well as a great artist.