A Lady Writing, ca. 1665, by Johannes Vermeer; National Gallery of Art, Gift of Harry Waldron Havemeyer & Horasce Havermeyer Jr. in memory of their father Hrace Havermeyer
Silly me, I left the University of Texas, Austin out of my sources for Researching Photographers Working in the South – Texas. As I was doing my three mile walk today (OK, actually just under three) I thought, “Oh, did I include UT Austin in yesterday’s post?” The answer is NO, so with the listing below I will try to make amends.
Perhaps it is because I always think of them as a source for researching United States and world photographers, which is true. It seems I never think of them in terms of only Texas photographers and I have actually been to that University in Austin to research Georgia photographers, so could that have clouded my thinking? Always excuses, right?
The University of Texas, Austin’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History has over 5 million photographs. Of that number about 750,000 images are in the Texas Photographs Collection. This collection even has the first daguerreotype made in Texas that can be dated (1849).
The Robert Runyon Photograph Collection of the South Texas Border Area has over 8,000 items dating from 1900 to 1920 made by this commercial photographer. It can be searched via the Library of Congress American Memory site (as The South Texas Border 1900-1920).
Runyon’s photographs document Brownsville, the Rio Grande Valley, the Mexican Revolution, and Texas-related events leading to the American entry into World War I. His studio photographs portrayed the people of Brownsville in the early 1920s. http://runyon.lib.utexas.edu/about.html
Documentary photographer Russell Lee moved to Austin in 1947. The Russell Lee Photograph Collection includes his series on the Spanish-speaking people of Texas (1949-1952), as well as other photographs made in Texas and the southwest. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utcah/00123/cah-00123.html
The Bob Bailey Studios Photographic Archive provides a rich history of life in Houston for over sixty years, 1932-1998. Bob and his brother Marvin and their photographers documented Houston and area in black and white and color with still and motion pictures. The collection is divided into these two format types. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utcah/00451/cah-00451.html
Many other collections highlighting the work of Texas photographers located in the Briscoe Center for American History can be researched here http://www.cah.utexas.edu/collections/photography.php
The other major collection located on the campus of UT Austin which contains materials by Texas photographers is the Harry Ransom Center.
This repository has the fantastic Gernsheim Collection, as well as several collections by major nineteenth and twentieth century still and motion picture photographers (Lewis Carroll, aka Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Elliott Erwitt, etc.), and again I think to myself “World Photographers.” Although I may discuss this collection in detail in another post, for now let’s think about the Ransom’s images by Texas Photographers.
Their Photography Collections Database is here, but not that many are yet digitized: http://norman.hrc.utexas.edu/photoPublic/index_exe.cfm?StartRow=1&KeyWord=Texas
Included is The Walter Scott Adkins Collection which has over 5000 photos and six albums, 1890-1955, although these are not all images are of Texas. Subjects related to the state include mining in West Texas, and Texas landscapes and aerial views. There are also photographs here collected by Adkins.
The E.O. Goldbeck Collection, 1890s to 1970s, is particularly interesting, although not entirely photographs of Texas, he is a Texas photographer. Eugene Omar Goldbeck lived and died in San Antonio, Texas (1891 – 1986), and he founded the National News & Photo Service in San Antonio. He was known for his panoramic and “Cirkut” photographs of the military, various organizations, and other groups of persons around the United States like ball teams, beauty contestants, and mass baptisms.The Collection holds over 1,000,000 photographs including his panoramas.
The Goldbeck Collection is even more unique because it contains more than 1,000 feet of Goldbeck’s inventories and business records – Goldbeck invented modifications to his Folmer Graftex Cirkut Camera, patented his camera mountings, and built special scaffold towers. http://norman.hrc.utexas.edu/photoPublic/fullDisplay.cfm?CollID=945
There is a wonderful book on his work by Clyde W. Burleson and E. Jessica Hickman called The Panoramic Photography of Eugene O. Goldbeck (Univ of Texas Press, 1986). The book is out of print but can be had via your library or its interlibrary loan division.
Finding aids to the Ransom Center collections can be searched here http://norman.hrc.utexas.edu/fasearch/
I hope I have covered all the important parts of researching photographers at UT Austin, if I have not, feel free to tell me so, I promise not to take offense.
© E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from this blog’s author is prohibited. The piece can be re-blogged, and excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.