Archivist Vince Lee of the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection will showcase artifacts from the recently acquired Toni Beauchamp Papers at Table Talk 2014, presented by the University of Houston Friends of Women’s Studies on Thursday, February 27th.
Defining Toni Beauchamp’s legacy in Houston is an exciting challenge. The term “patron” was often applied to her during her lifetime and certainly remains today. However, her involvement with art went beyond mere patronage, and we may find that word to be too narrow, now. The role of art was exemplified into two spheres in her life, civic duty and personal advocacy. Her involvement and leadership on such public projects involving the renovation of Buffalo Bayou and Market Square Park fulfilled a vision that art, thoughtfully integrated with urban design, results in beautification, preservation, and forging an identity for the community. Art was also very personal for Toni. Art provided her a means to shape and influence the community, forge friendships, and most importantly it was an opportunity for her to educate and share information with others.
Her connection to the University of Houston dates back to 1973, when she earned her BA in Art and where she would later serve as assistant director of the Blaffer Gallery. The acquisition of her papers, thanks to the generosity of her husband Jeff Beauchamp, has us very excited to begin the work of processing, arranging, and making these materials available for study to scholars both local and abroad. These papers complement other offerings in Special Collections like her collection of essays, Good, and “Remembrances of Toni” (a collection of reflections on Toni’s life) compiled by her husband Jeff. The spirit and legacy of Beauchamp make her papers a natural fit amongst the other bold women at the vanguard, whose collections grace the stacks of the Shuart Women’s Archive.
At Table Talk 2014 Vince Lee will have artifacts from Toni Beauchamp’s work on Good, as well as her involvement with the “Buffalo Bayou Master Plan” and “Market Square Park Project.” Friends of Women Studies hosts the annual Table Talk series, “a fascinating combination of conversations over lunch, led by dynamic women of various cultures, professions and experience at each table,” benefiting Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of Houston. A list of Conversationalists attending this 17th annual Table Talk can be found here.
Time permitting, be sure to attend Table Talk 2014 and visit with Vince Lee for more information regarding the legacy of Toni Beauchamp, the research potential her papers will offer, and their new home in the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection.