I’d like to put up just a few more pictures from Joseph Davies’s slides before I move on tomorrow to the second part of this story. Over the decades, the Rice campus expanded in a series of sort of pulses, the first right after World War II and then a second in the late 1950s (with much more to come later). Davies did a really fine job of recording this second expansion. We do have a few photos of this burst of construction in the archives, but they feel very mechanical, like pictures of nothing but a process. Davies’s photographs, on the other hand, taken with what had to have been a sharp awareness of change and context, show us what real transformation looked like. These images of Hamman Hall rising, I think, capture something hard to explain about how a world changes. This is the real reason these slides were such a great discovery.
You can see another thing I love about Davies in this next set of photos. He just didn’t behave the way other people do. Every time it has snowed at Rice, from the first to the last, people ran out to take pictures of Lovett Hall and the snowy quad. When a big storm hit sometime in the late 1940s Davies did this too–but then he traipsed all over campus to find other strange sights. Here’s the old football stadium:
And here’s the back terrace of Cohen House:
Then he goes back and takes a picture of the same spot on a sunny summer day:
Bonus: Check this one out!