Terry Allbright and Michael Rush Political Posters
An Inventory of the Collection
Terry Allbright attended the University of Texas (UT) as an undergraduate in the late 1960s and continued on at UT in a doctoral program in cultural anthropology with a focus on material culture. During this time there was a shift from liberal arts education to occupation focused programs which made finding jobs in the academic job market difficult so Allbright turned her PhD dissertation into a master’s thesis and left the Anthropology department to attend nursing school. After starting her career at Brackenridge Hospital she moved on to nursing education and eventually went back to graduate school to get a masters in counseling and guidance and became a psychotherapist.
Michael Rush graduated from the University of Texas (UT) with an undergraduate degree in 1967 and became a VISTA volunteer in Seattle, Washington. While in Seattle he pursued a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Washington, returning to UT in 1971 to attend a doctorate program in the English department. Rush left the doctoral program to put his skills as an organizer for nonprofits to work with such organizations as Austin Community Schools at Maplewood Elementary, Austin Families, Earthshare Texas and as the director of the United Way in Odessa, Texas.
Partners that eventually married, Rush and Allbright became involved in social justice, civil rights and the student protest movement during their college careers and embraced the collective living movement of the time. Rush was active at the University of Washington in the antiwar movement while a student in Seattle. Allbright’s entrance into the student protest movement began during her undergraduate years at the University of Texas with the free speech movement of the 1960s that saw students insisting that university administration lift the ban on on-campus political activities. The opening of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library on the University of Texas campus in 1971 with both Johnson and Richard Nixon in attendance had galvanized the antiwar movement at UT and that energy continued throughout the 1970s with political activism expanding to encompass several social justice causes such as Latin American government policy, farm workers’ rights, the Chicano civil rights movement, feminism, and women’s rights throughout the world. During their graduate school careers Allbright and Rush were active in the democratic socialist group New American Movement (NAM).
The 27 posters and 2 programs in this collection document Allbright and Rush’s political involvement and interests during the 1970s. The majority of the posters were created by local artists, with other being printed locally using designs and/or images shared throughout the county. A few of the posters were mailed to local sympathetic organizations to post locally. Included are four antiwar posters protesting the war in Vietnam; three posters publicizing the atrocities that led to the 1971 Attica prison uprising; two programs and six posters designed to bring attention to the political situation in Mexico, Chile, Cuba and the rest of Latin America through the use of documentary films, books and visual art; six posters highlighting issues affecting women both nationally and internationally including the promotion of International Women’s Day; and four posters promoting a demonstration against the Rockefeller Commission on Critical Choices for America. Also included are single posters related to the trial of Joann (Joanne) Little that was created by the New American Movement, as well as the promotion of the Indians Discover Columbus Day benefit sponsored by American Indians Now Texans; the Peasant Paintings from Huhsien County of the People’s Republic of China exhibit sponsored by the US-China Peoples Friendship Association; the film A Luta Continua about the struggle for Mozambique Independence; and the Plástica Chicana Conference held in Austin in 1979 to focus on the historical and cultural significance of Chicano art.
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Terry Allbright and Michael Rush Political Posters (AR.2016.03). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2016/068
Donation Date: 2016
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2017.
Detailed Description of the Collection