Once I got over my surprise that the scrapbook of architecture lecturers was full of original photographs I began to notice just how good those photos are. Every one of them is interesting and somehow conveys something real. They just aren’t run of the mill. Here are a few:
By pressing down on the back of one of the pages I could just make out the name of the photographer: Maurice Miller. I managed to find his 2005 Houston Chronicle obituary and I post it here in its entirety rather than just link to it because his life was remarkable and I really want you to read this.
MAURICE MILLER, photojournalist and commercial photographer, died Thursday, December 13, 2004 at the age of 84. Born in San Francisco on July 1, 1920, he lived and worked in Houston, Texas, most of his life. He died in Austin, where had lived for many years with his daughter. His work reflects a lifelong photographic exploration of humanity and includes images of many historic events of our time. Mr. Miller served with the U.S. Army 84th Infantry in WWII as a photographer, documenting the Allied advance, including the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of Jewish concentration camps. He flew on reconnaissance photography missions over enemy lines to provide intelligence and to document the progress of the Allies. After the war, he was a photojournalist on the Houston Post for eight years, five of which were as chief photographer. He won numerous awards for spot news and feature photos from the Associated Press, as well as awards from People Magazine, the Grolier Society and the National Press Photographer’s Association, and others. He was a stringer for Time and Life magazines and Black Star photo agency and a contributor to the Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s, Business Week, Architectural Forum, Arts and Architecture and Parade Magazine and many other publications. He studied at the University of Houston while working full-time and raising two children. In the 1960s, he was a staff photographer in the architecture department of Rice University and for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Houston Contemporary Arts Museum and the University of St. Thomas. He later opened a freelance commercial business. He is survived by his son, Mark Miller and grandson Matt Miller of Gardiner, Montana, and his daughter, Marsha Miller, of Austin, Texas. Burial in Golden Gate National Cemetery in California.
If anyone knows anything more about him or his time at Rice please let me know. I’m still not finished with this material, by the way.
There is no end to it.
I’d love to know if there were staff photographers in the architecture department before or after…
And, is there a photographer in the Public Relations department or are photographers hired for individual events?
I was the research editor/writer and administrative assistant for William W Caudill, Chair, Department of Architecture from 1961 to 1966 and worked with Maurice (Hack) Miller on a daily basis, and knew the visiting lecturers. He had been recommended by Professor Andy Todd because of his outstanding work as a photojournalist and architectural photographer. When I volunteered to give his son and daughter some of my framed photograpahs. Marsha laughed, “You have hundreds, Mark and I have thousands.” Mark subsequently published a book of some of Hack’s WWII work in Europe. He acquired the knickname “Hacker” because he worked in the smoke and fumes of the gunfire so much it was hard for him to breathe. It took years to recover. We at Rice also published the Architecture@Rice monographs and the books resulting from the Rice Design Fete research conferences to which architectural student from around the U.S were invited to come and work with the invited stars in architectural practice.
I may be coming back to the Class of 58 Homecoming this fall and would be glad to talk with anyone interested.