Skip to main content

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston records, 1924-1981

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


Collection Information

Size: 17.2 Linear feet, (microfilmed on 18 reels)

Summary: Correspondence; scrapbooks; a report; financial statements; and blueprints and architectural plans.
REELS 1579-1594: Correspondence, 1961-1967, of the director, James Johnson Sweeney, concerning the operation and exhibitions of the Museum. Sweeney's correspondence as President of the McDowell Association, and correspondence, financial statements, artist information sheets, photos, and printed miscellany relating to Sweeney's position as a member of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop, Inc. are also included.
REELS 3315-A & 3367: A scrapbook, ca. 1950-1970, containing exhibition announcements, catalogs and invitations, clippings, photographs of works of art and biographical data on Texas artists John Squire Adams, David Adickes, John T. Biggers, Bill Bomar, James W. Boynton, Joe Coulter, Otis Dozier, Kelly Fearing, Seymour Fogel, Michael Frary, Henry Gadbois, Herbert Mears, Robert Preusser, Frances Taylor Royston, Everett Spruce, Charles Umlauf and others. Also includes 3 public information scrapbooks, 1924-1958, containing newspaper clippings, magazine articles, exhibition catalogs, correspondence, printed material and photographs of works of art.
REEL 3475: An undated report "Is Houston Lagging in the Fine Arts?" outlining the need for a new wing for the Museum of Fine Arts, a permanent fund for operation and donations for acquisitions; correspondence, 1967-1968, between MFA Director James Johnson Sweeney and Bruno P. Conterato, David Fix, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Andrew W. Morgan, S. I. Morris, Hugo Neuhaus, Jr., Arthur Salzman, Francois Stahly, George Tsutakawa, and others regarding a proposed fountain sculpture for Houston and the new addition to the MFA designed by Mies Van Der Rohe; and architectural plans and blueprints, 1954 and 1973, for the new addition.


Microfilmed as part of the Archives of American Art's Texas project. Material on reels 1579-1594 lent for microfilming (except business correspondence) 1979 by Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; business correspondence on reels 1579-1594 donated 1979 by Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; material on reels 3315-A & 3367 lent for microfilming 1983 and 1985 by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; material on reel 3475 donated 1981 by Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Location of Originals

  • Reels 1579-1594(except business correspondence), 3315-A & 3367: Originals returned to Museum of Fine Arts, Houston after microfilming.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 1579-1594 available for use at Archives of American Art offices; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and through interlibrary loan.

35mm microfilm reels 3315-A, 3367, and 3475 available only at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston records, 1924-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.