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Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Houston Art League, Historical Records Scrapbook, 1900-1938

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.

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