While there will be more news about this later, we wanted to make a quick announcement. We will now be home to the Houston Blues Museum Archive. It will consist of the museum’s administrativerecords, along with artist collections like Big Walter “The Thunderbird” Price and other collections that tell the history of Houston Blues.
Preserving this history is a wonderful way to celebrate Juneteenth.
The collection consists of records, news coverage, and materials from the career of Regents Professor Emeritus Dr. George C. Y. Chiou. It includes a plaque on which is mounted a cover of the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology, Dr. Chiou having been the founding editor. There are also three bound volumes: the second edition of Ophthalmic Toxicology, edited by Dr. Chiou (1999); volume 20 of the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (2004); and The Vision of Innovation, The Challenge [sic] Story of New Drug Inventor and Entrepreneur George C. Y. Chiou (written in Chinese) (2015).
Dr. George C. Y. Chiou was born in Taoyuan, Taiwan in 1934, and after earning B.S. and M.S. degrees at National Taiwan University, in 1964 he emigrated to the U. S. to pursue a doctoral degree in pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. His wife and two daughters remained in Taiwan for a year and a half but then joined him in Nashville. On completion of his doctoral degree, in 1969 he was hired by the medical school of the University of Florida as assistant professor of pharmacology. Then in 1978 Dr. Chiou was hired away from the University of Florida Medical School to be head of the Department of Medical Pharmacology at the Texas A & M University School of Medicine Health Science Center. To his teaching and research he added administrative duties, serving as assistant dean in 1985-86 and associate dean 1987 to 1990.
The focus of Dr. Chiou’s research has been the development of new drugs for eye diseases. It has resulted in approximately thirty patents and has been recognized with awards such as the 2006 Excellence in Research Award by the College of Medicine, Texas A & M Health Science Center and the 2007 Patent and Innovation Award by the Office of Technology Communication, Texas A & M System. The first of the treatments developed by Dr. Chiou was the use of D-timolol to treat glaucoma. Developing eyedrops for the delivery of insulin was another achievement, and it was followed by discovery of a drug compound, MC-1101, that can potentially treat and halt the progression of dry age-related macular degeneration. Dr. Chiou has had the support of the Texas A & M Office of Technology Commercialization to bring this product to market. The name of the resulting company is MacuCLEAR.
The bibliography of Dr. Chiou’s authored and co-authored papers includes 265 items. He was the founding editor of the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, of which the 2004 volume is the twentieth. He was also the editor of two editions of Ophthalmic Toxicology, a book intended for a wide variety of readers in academia, industry, clinics, research laboratories, and government agencies.
In addition to his position in the College of Medicine at Texas A & M, between 1986 and 1995 Dr. Chiou also held adjunct professorships in the Center for Biotechnology and the Department of Ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. In recognition of his accomplishments, in 2011 he was promoted to Regents Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics of the College of Medicine at Texas A & M, and in 2015 he became Regents Professor Emeritus.
A few years ago we received the Joseph Franklin Lomax materials from his brother John Lomax III. The collection is not completely ready for patrons, but in honor of Pride Month, we wanted to highlight it.
Joseph Lomax like his family never turned away from music. He documented Zydeco in the article “Zydeco-Must Live On!” from the book collection What’s Going On? (In Modern Texas Folklore). He assisted the Houston Folklore Society. He co-owned Wings Press, which published the very collectible For the Sake of the Song song book by Townes Van Zandt. He began performing folk songs in the early 1980s, one of his last projects came at the Texas Tall Tellin’ and Music Festival in May 1986 with frequent accompanist, Hally Wood.
Lomax also took photographs, lots of photographs. They detail his life in Montrose and his friends, parties at his home, photo shoots of Hally Wood and Frank Davis, nature, architecture, and his love of neon art. His collection contains many photographs of him though it’s unclear if he took them.
In the 1970s as detailed in his journal in the collection, he began to struggle with his identity. He would later come out to his friends and family. One letter in the collection from his uncle Alan Lomax is an apology for his initial reticence to accept his nephew’s sexuality.
In 1986, Joseph Lomax was diagnosed with Kaposi sarcoma and later HIV. From a set of pages dated September 16, 1986, he writes about waiting for his official diagnosis, and what comes next in his life. He struggles with giving up and assigning everything to karma and his life force being ready to leave this realm or the inverse of his karma wanting to fight. Drawing upon his work as a massage therapist, he wonders if there are alternative remedies outside the traditional medical establishment. While it’s unclear what all he explored, there are photographs of him in the collection receiving acupuncture.
Sadly, Joseph Lomax passed on January 9, 1988, one of the many victims of the AIDS crisis. His memory is preserved in his collection, but also the AIDS Quilt. His panel sparkles like his collection does.
If you’d like to hear more about Joseph from his brother John Lomax III, you can check out this link.
We stumbled across this find today in the Julian Sorell Huxley collection. In addition to his scientific work, duties as secretary of the Zoological Society of London, and travels documenting cultures around the world, Huxley found time to attend the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
Tucked away in one our most used collections — an invitation to the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on May 12, 1937.
So as not to get lost within Westminster, the map on the back directs the invitation holder to his spot in the north aisle of the nave.
Just in case you want to watch the coronation. Here is some BBC footage of the event.
Did anyone know that Johnny Cash performed at the Rice Memorial Center in 1962? He also caused the Student Center Board to run in the red. Since we have no photographs memorializing the event, we can only rely on Rice Thresher articles to tell the story.
The first article starts a bit before. Johnny Cash was pursued for a Homecoming concert in 1958.
A few years later in 1962 the Student Center Board announced that in 20 days Johnny Cash would perform.
After a couple of mentions in the Thresher, there’s a longer story about the fallout of the Cash concert. Although the event was open to the general public, there were no ads in the Houston Chronicle and only one mention in the Houston Post.
The collection consists of one box containing a scrapbook of, primarily, Morton Levy’s architectural drawings of the proposed renovation to Congregation Brith Shalom’s interior, correspondence, news clippings, and photographs of the congregation’s interior from 1986-1996. In addition to the drawings in the scrapbook there are ten prints from Levy’s portfolio (1997) of a number of synagogues that he worked on. The rest of the material — two Congregation Beth Israel bulletins, news clippings, and two group photographs of Barnston B.B.G. members — is from 1948 to 1954.
Morton Levy, a native Houstonian, graduated from high school in 1951. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice Institute in 1955 and his Bachelor of Science in Architecture, with distinction, from Rice in 1956. He founded his own architectural practice in 1963 and was licensed to practice architecture in Texas from 1960 through 2014. The resume for his award-winning practice includes service as architectural consultant to the U.S. Postal Service for thirteen years, eighteen projects for the City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services, four projects for the Houston Independent School District, seven Houston area synagogues, and eight renovation/expansion projects for the Houston Jewish Community Center. He retired in 2015.
Jean Merle Kanowitz Levy is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but moved with her family to Houston at the age of nine. A graduate of San Jacinto High School in Houston, Jean went on to receive a degree in Liberal Arts Studies from the University of Houston. Morton and Jean married in 1960 and have three children: Nanette (1961), Jay (1965), and Lisa (1966).
The collection contains six boxes of correspondence, event materials (including programs, correspondence, and memorabilia), newsletters, bulletins, news clippings, books, photographs, financial documents, sermons, and video and audio material of events that document the history of Shearith Israel Congregation in Wharton, Texas, from 1921 to 2002.
Shearith Israel Congregation had its inception in 1899 when the Jewish citizens of Wharton, Texas, first met to conduct religious services, using members’ homes as meeting places. As the community grew and the number of Jewish families increased plans were formulated for the building of a Synagogue. At first the membership consisted mainly of Wharton citizens, but as the Jewish population increased in surrounding towns the congregation expanded to include those who lived nearby from El Campo, Bay City, Ganado, Edna, Palacios, and Richmond. A tract of 2.14 acres was purchased and the building was completed in the fall of 1940. In 1956, the community dedicated a new, state-of-the-art synagogue building in the shape of a six-pointed Star of David at 1821 Old Lane City Rd., designed by Houston Jewish architect,Lenard Gabert. Perhaps, the most notable and enduring feature of the property, however, was the barbecue pit. Shearith Israel’s annual barbecue fundraiser, the social event of the year for the community, attracted hundreds of Jews and non-Jews from the area, as well as relatives and former members, who descended upon Wharton to eat chicken and cole slaw. The synagogue closed its doors in 2002, when membership dwindled from a peak of 400 members down to just 39, and sold its facilities. In 2010, the main building burned to the ground, and, besides the community hall that still stands, visitors to the site today will see nothing but a concrete slab where the sanctuary and school once stood.
The collection consists of a range of keepsakes memorializing the lives of Herman and Margaret Root Brown and their family. The oldest in time are the high school senior class yearbook of Herman Brown and a framed loan document bearing his signature. There are many photographs, both formal portraits and small snapshots as well as intermediate size pictures. Among the people featured in addition to Herman, Margaret, and their children are the mother and sisters of Herman and George Brown, the wife and daughters of George, and some business associates.
Herman Brown, born in Belton, Texas in 1892, and Margaret Root, born in 1895, were married in 1917. Having begun doing construction work in Belton in 1914 and being paid in used equipment and mules, Herman formed a business which his brother-in-law Dan Root joined in 1919. They were in turn joined by Herman’s younger brother George in 1922. For the first twenty years their work was primarily road paving and bridge building throughout Texas. In 1942, with federal government involvement through freshman congressman Lyndon Baines Johnson, they completed a 1.3-mile-long dam near Austin.
World War II prompted the company’s expansion into ship-building, and it produced 359 destroyer escorts and other ship types. After the war Brown and Root expanded by acquiring (for $143 million) the U.S. government’s Big Inch and Little Big Inch pipelines (originally built to replace tanker ships vulnerable to German submarines).
In 1951 Herman and George Brown and their wives set up the Brown Foundation, which has made large gifts beginning with Rice University, Southwestern University (Margaret Root Brown’s alma mater), and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Two children joined the family of Herman and Margaret Brown, who had no children of their own. Louisa and Michael Stude were adopted and raised by the Browns but kept their birth names because their natural parents were still living.
Herman Brown died on November 15, 1962, and Margaret followed in 1963. To honor the memory of Margaret, George Brown and his wife Alice donated funds used to establish a residential college at Rice University. Margaret Root Brown College was dedicated October 3, 1965.
Last year, the Woodson submitted a proposal for the library’s Fondren Fellows program. We wanted someone to use our archives to tell the story of protesting at Rice University between April 1969 – April 1970 using an online exhibit. The students would specifically highlight the Masterson Crisis and the Abbie Hoffman incident / Allen Center occupation. These protests are uniquely Rice in nature, but also influenced by protest movements across college campuses.
For the past semester, our Fondren Fellow Emma Satterfield, has been hard at work tackling the Masterson Crisis. She spent many weeks reading through all of the William H. Masterson Controversy records, taking detailed notes, creating a thorough timeline, and understanding all of the important players. She met with Dr. Allen Matusow to discuss specifics with a historian who specialized in the time period, but also was there. Finally, she spent weeks creating the online exhibit. She selected photographs (digitizing new ones), fliers, Thresher articles, and KOWL audio, marrying all of this with a gripping narrative.
Whether you want to relive the action or learn about what happened for the first time, you should give it all a look and listen. Here’s the link.
In the fall, the project will be carried on by another Fellow who will focus on the events of April 1970. We will post that when it is available in December.
The collection consists of programs from annual Youth Excellence Recognition luncheons, VCS Association newsletters, the 25th anniversary celebration program of VCSA, and the program from a 2004 national conference of the National Alliance of Vietnamese American Service Agencies.
The collection consists of materials related to the service of Rush Moody, Jr. on the Federal Power Commission, to which he was appointed for a five-year term in 1971. Included is biographical and financial information prepared to support the nomination. Correspondence during the term is included, as are news clippings about it. There are also a report and speeches related to the work of the Commission from years following Moody’s term.
These papers consist of the academic and professional papers of Lars Lerup the former Dean of the Rice School of Architecture, 1993-2009. The main part of his papers has been divided into four phases of his career: student work, University of California, Berkeley, SCI/ARC in Switzerland, and Rice University.