We’ve got a beautiful scrapbook in the Woodson that came in Anderson Todd’s papers. Todd came to Rice in 1949 and taught architecture here until his retirement.(Here’s a great article about him by Mike Williams, complete with a video and a link to a really nifty on-line book that was produced to commemorate Todd’s 90th birthday in 2011. If nothing else, go look at this book–it’s wonderful.)
I just saw him at lunch in Cohen House a week or two ago. Anyway, he must have inherited the scrapbook because it’s full of pictures and programs from Archi-Arts Balls, some of which predate his arrival. The costumes are astonishing. Here’s just one, from 1947:
However, what I was most interested in was something else altogether. Somebody had to make the sets and it doesn’t look like it was all that easy:
There are only a couple of places this could conceivably be–somewhere in the Mech Lab or Physics are possible but the Architecture Department was in the Chemistry Building in 1947 and it could well be there. I didn’t think ahead and scan the program for the ball itself so again, I’m not sure where it was held but Autry House would be a decent guess.