August 3rd, 2011

Postcards From Houston: Art Deco and the Founding Families

“Prior to 1927, most architect-designed buildings in Houston were either local versions of classical revival architecture or Victorian designs adapted for the city’s hot, humid climate. Modernistic architecture’s growing popularity coincided with a conscious effort by Houston’s business and civic leaders to tie the city’s image to the American West and de-emphasize its Southern heritage.” — Houston Deco

My second Postcards from Houston lecture took place not on Montrose at the Texas Art Supply, but tucked back by the rail road tracks that flank Winter Street and Sawyer. What the hell is back there? Spacetaker in the Winter Street Studios.


Just when I thought I’d got the jump on Art Deco in Houston and other aspects of our city’s history, I’m reminded that I just don’t have much of a handle on anything. Last Wednesday’s session was to bring two sides of Houston’s past. First, a slide show about the Art Deco and Art Moderne styles prevalent throughout Houston—presented by Jim Parsons and David Bush of Houston Deco and the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. Second, a walking tour through Glennwood Cemetery—where we went beyond the history Houston would rather us remember and into the founding families who’s names linger on in our streets and public works.


All of the stories we covered, were again examined and discussed, so that at the end of this series we might create our own postcards from Houston. Each piece to be different in style. Each piece to feature what we find in Houston. Each piece to be displayed in a gallery at The Orange Show with reproductions for sale and available to the public, after which all of the proceeds will benefit The Orange Show.

The next meeting takes us back to the class room where we’ll begin our postcards. I still have yet to come up with a concept for mine.

— Richard


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