Dewey G. Mears Photograph Archive

Dewey Gerald Mears (1922-2013) was a noted architectural photographer based in Austin, Texas and active from the 1940s through 1990s. Early in his career he took on a wide variety of commercial jobs but by the mid-1950s Mears’ focus on architectural photography had emerged. Numerous architectural firms based in Central Texas hired Mears to document their works. These firms, including Fehr and Granger and Page, Southerland, Page among others, designed residences, offices, churches, schools, and many other types of buildings in what has come to be known as mid-century modern style. Mears documented these structures with both interior and exterior shots, typically without people and featuring the strong angles of the designs. Sometimes he shot views of buildings under construction. He also reproduced architectural drawings and renderings.

Mears’ other work includes portraits, weddings and events such as square dances and horse shows, funeral displays, product photography (especially of modern furniture), and store window displays for advertisements. Artists sometimes hired Mears to document their artworks. A very small number of personal photos are present in the collection.

The bulk of materials in Mears’ archive are medium-format black-and-white negatives.

A portion of this collection is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (Texas State Library and Archives Commission). (2017)

Additional support for digitizing this collection is from the Austin Foundation for Architecture.

At a Glance