Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Summer 2001 Newsletter

In Memorium

Oil on canvas: White Mustang Pacing by Tom Lea. 1949.
White Mustang Pacing
Tom Lea
1949
Oil on canvas
Ransom Center Art Collection

The Ransom Center was saddened by the recent loss of five outstanding artists and authors whose work lives on as part of our collections.

John Biggers, a pioneering African-American muralist from Houston who was known for his portrayal of the African and African-American experience, died in January. Biggers' collection at the Center is highlighted by his drawings for Aunt Dicy Tales, fourteen stories by Texas folklorist J. Mason Brewer (1956). Dr. Biggers spoke at the Ransom Center in 1999 to officially open an exhibition focusing on this important early series, which had never before been seen in its entirety by the public.

Tom Lea, a Texas-born artist and writer, died in January at the age of ninety-three. Long time friend of the Ransom Center and The University of Texas, Tom, with his wife Sarah, lived in El Paso and was strongly committed to that community as well. The Tom Lea Collection consists of over 200 works of art including paintings, drawings and lithographs, as well as a large archive of manuscripts relating to his books, including The Brave Bulls (1949) and The Wonderful Country (1952), both of which were produced as films. The Tom Lea Rooms at the Harry Ransom Center remain a tribute to this Texas legend, with permanent exhibitions of his art and manuscripts, as well as photographs reflecting his heritage.

Balthus, an internationally known European painter, who died in February at the age of ninety-two is best known for his portraits, French landscapes, and his lithographs for Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, which we have at the Center. His work is represented in the Ransom Center's collection of original prints produced by the Limited Editions Club.

Edward Mangum was a founder of Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., one of the nation's leading regional theaters. His collection at the Center focuses on the formation of the Arena Stage and government sponsored international performance tours in the 1950s.

The collection of R.K. Narayan, literary chronicler of small-town life in South India and one of the first Indians to achieve international acclaim, contains typescripts with corrections made by the author of several of his novels, galleys, proofs, notes, and business and personal correspondence.

— Sheree Scarborough


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