From the Director's Corner

As we experience the challenges of a post Harvey Houston, I want to bring you up to date on the physical state of all the art on Texas Southern’s campus. We have been blessed to have no damage to either the University Museum facility or our art collections. Several times during the hurricane between the bands of rains, I came over to check on the museum and the collections. I was thrilled and relieved each time to see that we remained high and dry. Those collections in off site storage were also not damaged.


On a more pressing front, however, I am sure that many of you have read and heard about the damage caused to Dr.Biggers’s mural “The Contributions of Negro Women to American Life and Education”. Unfortunately, due to heavy rain and roof leaks; the mural sustained major damage in the form of mold.

The good news is that a group of conservators from the National Conservation and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston have worked tirelessly to stabilize the mural until the roof can be repaired and replaced. The preservation of the mural will be a long-term process and though there is federal aid in the form of emergency grants. Most importantly, with your support we  can get this done.


There is always a silver lining in even the worst of times and indeed, this is what happening now in our community. Conservation friends from Yale University have been in touch with us and they have been instrumental in connecting me to resources to save the photography of Dr.Thomas Freeman whose home was flooded. The four students who attended the Yale Conservation workshop for HBCU’s were asked by Steve Pine, conservator at the MFAH, to attend on Saturday September 23rd the all day workshop “ Saving what you can; Recovery and Stabilization of Flood Damage Art and Collections at Bayou Bend on conservation practices to preserve works after a major hurricane. They shadowed the conservators during their demonstrations and documented on video the procedures for preserving photographs, books and works on paper. The students left that conference knowledgeable now in best practices in art conservation during such an emergency. Bravo!


As resilient as Houston is, all of our arts institutions are moving forward with a full and rich schedule of art events. We invite you to visit us at UMuse and view the amazing talent currently on view in our alumni biannual “Homecoming 2017”. You will be renewed by the beauty and power of these works of art created by 27 TSU art alumni. Hope to see you at UMuse soon.


Keeping the Faith in HTown!


Alvia J. Wardlaw

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