Back in 2017 I wrote about finding at an estate sale a scrapbook that had belonged to Cal Dean Hill ’52. It chronicled much of his life, from boyhood through his years at Rice. An enormously important part of that life was his girlfriend, later wife, Ginny Smith ’52, photographed here on campus sometime in the early 1950s:
Then a couple years ago Ginny and Cal’s family came to the Woodson and generously donated another family album, this one belonging to Ginny, one packed full of evidence of their happy and busy social life. There are images of a wide range of Rice activities and also of events at Houston’s cultural institutions. One of the most important of these was the 1951 Van Gogh exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum, which had only opened in 1948. The exhibit was held in the museum’s original building, a small A-frame designed by McKie & Kamrath. I can’t help but wonder how they pulled this off. In any event, Ginny Smith took pictures during her visit:
Anyone who’s been reading here for a while knows that one of the things I love best is when different collections overlap. In this case, the second important collection holds the records of CAMH. My esteemed colleague Rebecca helped me find what I had hoped would be there–the catalog of the exhibition. Here’s the foreword:
Also interesting are these lists, first the lenders (Jock Whitney!) :
And the local participants, a Who’s Who of Houston society:
All of which is to say that seventy years later things have changed pretty dramatically:
Bonus: The February freeze hit the Italian cypresses hard. One’s gone and more are going. I’d feel bad about this but apparently we’ve decided we’re just going to keep planting them and watching them slowly die so I’m not spending any more emotional energy on it.