contact prints and notes documenting all
of the work by each photographer, were
deposited in the Amon Carter Museum
and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research
Center. A partial set of exhibition
prints was placed in the Museum of Fine
Arts, Houston. Because Contemporary
Texas is essentially a gallery presentation
of the image of Texas, these photographs
are likely to gain wide circulation in coming
years throughout the state and nation.
More importantly, these photographs,
preserved together, may be seen as a time
capsule sustaining a vision of today's Texas
into the future.
It is clear that participants in the Historic
Photography Project have reason to
feel satisfied with the results of their survey.
Editor Roy Flukinger notes that these
books may be both the first and last of
their kind for Texas. By the time of the
Texas Bicentennial, the photographer's
and printer's art may be totally transformed
by advancing technology. Until
now it has been difficult to access and assess
the materials which could help answer
questions about the scope of Texas
photography. Except for a few works derived
from local photographic collections
or addressed to the work of individual
photographers, no previous books have
attempted so comprehensive a survey of
Texas' photo collection and the work of
contemporary artists in Texas.
Train derailment. Unidentified photographer.
Gelatin silver print. Possibly North Central
Texas, 1900's. Texas/Dallas History and Archives
Division, Dallas Public Library.
This is an image of everyday life among the
contemporary black population in Texas. This
photo is entitled "Cowboy's Prayer."
Historic Texas in particular is likely to
draw much more attention to Texas' rich
photographic resources, and the Historic
Photography Project is already moving
further to make these resources still more
accessible. Mr. Pearce-Moses is now
working on a descriptive guide to photographic
collections in Texas that is an extension
of his survey work for the Historic
Texas. In the United States, guides to regional
photographic collections are rare.
The Texas guide will be an important
contribution. When the guide is published
it will delimit the scope of Texas
photographic resources and will eliminate
guesswork and uncertainty associated
with current research into these materials.
The Historic Photography Project
demonstrates what can be accomplished
when institutions like the Texas Historical
Foundation join forces with individuals,
other organizations, and private
industry. In this case the Texas sesquicentennial
created a bond which led
to success, but there is no reason to believe
that such interest cannot be generated
and sustained again. This is why the
work of the Historic Photography Project
has been so important and why its accomplishments
hold such potential for the
continued appreciation of Texas' heritage
in the future.
Kenneth E. Foote works in the Department
of Geography, The University
of Texas at Austin.
Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 04, Number 02, Fall 1986. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45442/. Accessed April 16, 2014.