Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Houston Art League,
RG19:01 Historical Records Scrapbook 1900-1938
A Guide to the Houston Art League Records, Historical Records Scrapbookin the Archives of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
||Inventory prepared by Archives staff
||Archives, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
||P.O. Box 6826; Houston, TX 77265-6826
||Historical Records Scrapbook
||Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Houston Art League,
||1.5 linear feet, one scrapbook, one portfolio
||The Houston Art League (1900-1929) was the forerunner of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The first meeting of the Houston Public School Art League was organized by Miss Lydia Adkisson, Mrs. Dillon Brook (Emma Richardson Cherry), Miss Roberta Lavender, Mrs. Robert S. (Lavinia Abercrombie) Lovett and Miss Cara Redwood with the purpose of encouraging art and culture in the public school system, which was to be accomplished
through the installation of "good graphics" in the public schools. The Houston Art League registers, scrapbooks, newsclippings, publications, and other materials offer a broad and varied account of that organization from 1900-1929.
||Materials are in English
||Archives, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
P.O. Box 6826; Houston, TX 77265-6826
Access and Use
Records were transferred from Library storage in August 1984. Five pieces of correspondence (four with Florence Fall and one with William Ward Watkin) were given to the Archives by Mrs. Stayton Nunn in December 1984.
RG01: Trustee Records (By-laws); RG06: Finance Records (Legal Documents series); RG08: Public Information Records (Newsclippings series); MS01: Stella Hope Shurtleff Papers; MS08 Emma Richardson Cherry Papers
For preservation purposes, researchers are required to use digital surrogate of RG19 Houston Art League records.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Archives. RG19:01, Houston Art League Records, Historical Records Scrapbook, 1900-1938.
To cite the digital facsimiles on the Archives´ Houston Art League Page:
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Archives. RG19:01, Houston Art League Records, Historical Records Scrapbook, 1900-1938. http://www.mfah.org/site_media/uploads/attachments/2011-06-27/Scrapbook_Part_1_Section_A_ocr.pdf (accessed September 26, 2011).
Biographical or Historical Note
Chronology of Events
3/17/1900-Forty-seven people assemble to hear an art lecture by Mrs. Jean Sherwood of Chicago in the home of Mrs. R. S. Lovett. After the lecture, a committee is appointed to draw up a constitution and by-laws for an art association whose purpose will be to install and maintain in the city schools reproductions of works of art.
3/24/1900-Constituution and by-laws of Houston Public School Art League are read and adopted by the fifty-four people assembled in the library of Houston´s Central High School.
4/16/1913-League receives state charter under its new name, Houston Art League, which is meant to reflect the broadened scope of its activities. Small art collection is formed and displayed in mayor and city council offices, as well as the homes of various League members.
4/18/1913-City of Houston draws up ninety-nine year lease for land at the intersection of Holman & Austin Sts. at one dollar per year for the League. Preliminary plans are made for a museum building. The lease is recalled, however, as it is technically illegal.
1913-1914-League officers approach George H. Hermann who promises to lease land to the League near Rice Institute rent free. Hermann dies (10/21/1914) before executing the lease, but the League continues to negotiate wit the executors of the will for a tract of land.
9/10/1914-League leases Eckhardt residence at 1806 Main St. from Jesse H. Jones for one year as exhibition space.
1915-1916-Meeting and exhibition space are given to the League in Scanlan Building at 405 Main St. by Kate Scanlan.
6/22/1916- Joseph S. Cullinan anonymously donated $3,300.00, the sum necessary in order for the League to acquire the museum site from the Hermann estate.
8/10/1916-Executors of the Hermann estate deed land at Main and Montrose to the League for $3,300.00 under the condition that a museum costing no less than $20,000.00 be erected in ten years.
4/12/1917-Museum site is dedicated and a stone monument erected. Celebration is held each year at the site until museum opens in 1924.
March 1919-George M. Dickson bequests art collection to the League.
2/22/1923-Ground broken for construction of first unit.
4/12/1923-Cornerstone laid for first unit of the building.
4/12/1924-Museum opens to the public. Building architect is William Ward Watkin; Director is James Chillman, Jr.
1925-League revises its constitution and by-laws, reorganizing itself with the museum structure.
1926-East and West wings of the museum are completed. Will C. Hogg proves instrumental in raising the funds necessary for construction.
5/29/1929-League amends its state charter, changing its corporate name from the Houston Art League to the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston.
The Houston Art League Records are divided into series:
Series 1: Historical Records Scrapbook
Series 2: Meeting Minutes
Series 3: Visitor Register
Series 4: Membership Roll
Series 5: Miscellaneous Subjects, A-Z
Series 5: Artifacts
Collection Scope and Content Note
Houston Art League registers, scrapbooks, newsclippings, publications, and other materials offer a broad and varied account of that organization from 1900-1929. Although there are gaps in their records, they provide a significant corpus of information on the League and its activities form these years. The records also reflect the change in the nature and purpose of the League as it gradually focused its attention on the construction of an art museum in Houston.
The records feature important documents in the League´s history, such as its charter, constitution, and by-laws.
A substantial amount of meeting minutes and annual committee reports is included for scattered years beginning in 1901. In addition, information regarding various League-sponsored exhibitions, musical performances, lectures and special events such as the dedication of museum site (1917) and opening day festivities (1924) is included.
The records also document the membership in the League for various years with a members roll and several membership lists. General attendance for events and exhibitions held between 1914-1919 and 1924-1926 is recorded in a visitor register. Finally, the organization´s history, as written by various League members and officers, is contained in booklets, essays and outlines dating from 1919-1926.
Art — Exhibitions
Art — Societies, etc
Art — Study and teaching
Art museum architecture — Texas — Houston
Art museums — Texas — Houston
Women—Societies and clubs
Cherry, Emma Richardson, 1859-1954
Chillman, James H., Jr., 1891-1972
Cram, Ralph Adams, 1863-1942
Cullinan, J. S. (Joseph Stephen), 1860-1937
Dickson, George M.
Fall, Florence (Mrs. Henry B.)
Jones, Jesse H. (Jesse Holman), 1874-1956
Lovett, Lavinia Abercrombie
Saint-Gaudens, Homer, 1880-
Volck, Fannie W. (Mrs. G.A.)
Watkin, William Ward, 1886-1952
American Federation of Arts
Houston Art League
Houston Public School Art League
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Tuesday Musical Club
|Houston Art League, 1900-1938|
|Historical Records Scrapbook, 1900-1938|
|Meeting Minutes, 4/1904-5/1911|
|box 1||folder 1||Meeting Minutes, 1904-1911|
|Visitor Register, 12/1914-1919; 4/1924-1/1926|
|box 1||folder 2||Visitor Register, 12/1914-1919; 4/1924-1/1926|
|Membership Roll, 1907-1914|
|box 1||folder 3||Membership Roll, 1907-1914|
|Miscellaneous Subjects, A-Z, 1900-1938|
|box 2||folder 1||American Art Annual data, 1919|
|2||Annual Report (Director´s) , 1925|
|3||Art Lecture Class, April-May 1915|
|4||Building Fund, 1925|
|6||Charter — amended, 1929|
|7||Constitution & By-laws, 1904, 1919|
|8-10||Constitution & By-laws — amended, 1925|
|11||Constitution & By-laws: analysis of from 1900-25 |
|12||Correspondence: Florence (Mrs. Henry B.) Fall, 1919-25|
|13||Correspondence: Mary E. (Mrs. Edgar O.) Lovett, 1916-30|
|14||Correspondence: Stella Hope Shurtleff, 1917-18|
|15||Correspondence: Fannie W. (Mrs. G. A.) Volck, 1912-24 |
|16||Correspondence: miscellaneous, 1919-25|
|17||Dickson Bequest, 1919|
|18||Event: 1914/15 — Cadman & Pricness Tsianina Concert |
|19||Event: 1915 — Kitty Cheatham Concert |
|20-26||Event: 1917-23 — Dedication of Museum Site |
|27-28||Event: 1924 — Museum Opening Day |
|29||Event: 1925 — Houston Art League Silver Jubilee |
|30||Event: 1928 — Founder´s Day Exercise |
|31||Exhibition File — Art Loan Exhibition 12/1913 |
|32||Exhibition File — Art Loan Exhibition 12/1914 |
|33||Herman (George) Estate — Deed of Gift to Museum dated August 1916 |
|34-39||History of the Houston Art League — essays/outline, n.d.|
|40||Houston Friends of Art , 1926|
|41||Houston Public Schools — curriculum (pre 1913) |
|42||Lease to Eckhardt Residence, 1914-1915|
|43-48||Lists: Boards of Directors, Officers, Members: 1900-1937|
|49||Lists: Works of Art purchased/donated in schools |
|box 3||folder 1||Lovett, Mary E. (Mrs. Edgar Odell): Miscellaneous Notes |
|2-8||Meeting Minutes: 1901-03; 1914, 1919; 1924|
|9||Membership Information: 1919-1925|
|10-11||Membership List as of Museum Opening: 4/12/1924|
|12||Memberships: essays and remarks on c. 1919-1922 |
|13||Mullen, Joseph: Miscellaneous Papers: 1920-1924|
|14||Publications: Announcement of Year´s Work: 1913-1914|
|15||Publications: Houston Art Museum booklet: 1922|
|16||Publications: Dedication Speech of Homer St. Gaudens at the Museum´s Opening: 1924|
|17-27||Publications: Exhibition Catalogs: 1908; 1911-15; 1918; 1922|
|28||Publications: Illustrations of Proposed Building |
|29||Publications: Miscellaneous Invitations |
|30||Publications: Musical Programs: 1913-1916|
|31||Publications: Programs for the Dedication of the Future Site of the Houston Art 1917-1922|
|32||Receipts and Disbursements: 1919|
|33||Recreation Survey (City of Houston): c. 1925|
|34||Reports: Committee on the Constitution: 1919|
|35||Reports: Committee on the Dedication of the Museum Site: 1917|
|36||Reports: Financial: 1924-25|
|37||Reports: Committee on the Museum Opening: 1924|
|38||Reports: Committee on the Ways and Means: 6/5/1917|
|39||Shurtleff, Stella: Class Outline for Teaching Art History: 1917|
|40||Shurtleff, Stella: Essay Art Progress in Houston….: 1916|
|41||Shurtleff, Stella: Prose, Miscellaneous |
|42||Tax Records: 1913-1916|
|43||Works of Art: Photographs |
|44||Works of Art — purchased and donated |
|box 1||folder 1||HAL site dedication marker April 12, 1917|
marble, 3 separate stones.
For location and dimension information, see the collection management system, CM #160.
Dedication marker placed by the Houston Art League on the museum site on April 12, 1917