The exhibit, “Collective HER-story, A Mosaic Masterpiece: Exploring the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archives” comes to a close this week.
This ambitious exhibit, featuring a broad and eclectic range of history representative of the Shuart Archives, opened on October 14, 2013 and enjoys its final weekend at the M.D. Anderson Library, running through Sunday March 2nd. From Mayor Annise Parker to the Gorilla Girls, from former Mayor Kathy Whitmire to the WNBA’s first dynasty, the Houston Comets, the “Collective HER-story” exhibit has a little something for everyone.
UH Moment: HER-story Celebrates Accomplishments of Women in Houston
The M.D. Anderson Library and exhibit are open to the public over the weekend. The “Collective HER-story” exhibit can be viewed on the first and second floors of UH’s M.D. Anderson Library (Exit 1 off Calhoun Road). Come catch it (one last time) before it closes. The exhibit may close, but the legacy of these women and study of their history will endure.
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.
As we mentioned previously, the Women’s Resource Center was founded a decade ago in part based on recommendations from the University Commission on Women. Whether sponsoring the “Take Back the Night” march, hosting “Gender Talk,” or producing the annual “Vagina Monologues,” the staff of the Women’s Resource Center works tirelessly to provide education and resources as part of their mission “to advocate, educate, and provide support services for the advancement of gender equity on campus.”
We would like to issue a hearty congratulations to the WRC as they celebrate a decade of success and growth and look forward to the next ten years. We would also like to remind the community at large that we are very pleased to make available for study the Women’s Resource Center Records here at the University of Houston Special Collections. As part of the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection, the UH Women’s Resource Center Records are joined alongside an always expanding number of collections ready for study. We invite you to join us in celebration and study at your earliest convenience and be sure to visit the Women’s Resource Center website for more information regarding ongoing and upcoming events hosted by the WRC.
Two weeks ago Annise Parker was re-elected to a third two-year term as Mayor of Houston marking a final endorsement from her fellow Houstonians. While her initial mayoral victory in 2009 may have focused on the firsts it represented for a major city like Houston, the 2013 election saw issues unrelated to the greater public good pushed to the sidelines of our discourse and debate.
However, Parker’s re-election reminds us that there are other “firsts” as well that the City of Houston has embraced as part of its recent mayoral history.
A glance at the stewards of the city dating back to the Allen Brothers and racing through the twentieth century reveals a great deal of how far we have come in such a short period of time. Mayor Lee Brown served as the first African-American mayor of Houston from 1998-2004, owing part of his own political success and legacy to another first. In 1982 Lee Brown was appointed as the first African-American police chief for the City of Houston by a recently elected Mayor Kathryn “Kathy” Whitmire–the first female mayor of Houston.
Kathy Whitmire graduated with a BBA and Masters in Accounting from the University of Houston and married Jim Whitmire, himself a business and accounting student. Following Jim Whitmire’s death in 1976, she devoted much of her energies to public service, initially as City Controller and then Mayor of Houston from 1982 to 1992. As the first female mayor of Houston, her 1982 election serves as a landmark for a groundswell of change that dramatically altered the landscape of the mayoral office in Houston.
The University of Houston Libraries make available for study a number of materials of interest for those researching this recent mayoral history. In addition to the Annise Parker Papers, the Kathryn J. Whitmire Papers contain documents from her husband Jim Whitmire’s work on the City Council as well as materials from Kathy Whitmire’s time as City Controller and Mayor of Houston. The University of Houston Women’s Studies Living Archives Recordings contain a 1996 interview with Kathy Whitmire on an array of topics. Finally, a reminder that the exhibition of the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archives continues to showcase artifacts from both the Annise Parker and Kathy Whitmire Papers.
The nature of “firsts” is that they are notable and noted. The hope being that, in time, they become less notable, and less noted, due to these diminishing old differences we have insisted on celebrating for so long. We invite you to explore some of the above online resources or visit Special Collections and celebrate not only our differences, but our similarities found in this newly shared history.
The University of Houston Special Collections is excited regarding the continued growth and development of the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection as we have recently published new finding aids for both the Harriett Joan Ehrlich Papers and the North American Taiwanese Women’s Association Records.
Harriett Joan Ehrlich devoted 24 years of her life to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), eventually becoming director of the Houston office and, later, San Francisco. Prior to her pioneering work at the EEOC, work that was both proactive and aggressive in seeking out unfair and unequal labor practices, she earned her stripes as a civil rights activist in her younger years. A tireless fighter to the end, she succumbed to her battle with leukemia in 2008 at the age of 72. Harriett Joan Ehrlich’s Papers focus significantly on her time and work with the EEOC as well as correspondence and personal writings.
Under the guidance and counsel of Annette Lu, the North American Taiwanese Women’s Association (or NATWA) was established in 1988. The Association was founded by Taiwanese women in the U.S. and Canada in part to establish a network of support for Taiwanese women living in the West, provide an independent organization to represent their interests, and preserve their cultural heritage. In 2000 NATWA became an overseas collaborating organization of the World Taiwanese Congress and continues to work both globally and locally on a number of projects, including the administration of programs like the NATWA Scholarship Program and the Caring for Soldiers initiative. The majority of the materials from the NATWA Records are in Taiwanese and highlights include photo albums and scrapbooks as well as official NATWA publications.
We encourage you to visit Special Collections to view these materials in their entirety and remind you that the “Collective HER-story” exhibit continues to be on display, featuring artifacts from both of these collections. It makes for a perfect time to drop by the Special Collections Reading Room and also take in this wonderful exhibit of the far-reaching Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection.