Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Thibodeaux/McNary Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: McNary, Oscar
Title: Thibodeaux/McNary Collection
Dates: 1950s - 2004
Accession No.: MA 05-5
Quantity: .25 cubic feet
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Texas/Dallas History & Archives, Dallas Public Library 1515 Young St Dallas, TX 75201

Biographical Note

James Thibodeaux was born in St. Martinville, Louisiana on 7 July 1911. He moved to Dallas at a young age and operated a soft drink stand on Commerce Street, acted in local plays including on the Stage of the Dallas Negro Players, and graduated from St. Peter's Catholic school at age 17. Soon after, Thibodeaux was sent to New York by his father to get a better education than he could have gotten in Dallas as a gifted black student. Thibodeaux studied art at Cooper Union School and lived in Harlem while working at radio station WOR for 47 years. In the 1936 Texas Centennial, a few of his paintings were displayed in the Hall of Negro Life at Fair Park. During World War II, he served as the army's first African American Artistic Instructor in the Army's special services. Thibodeaux then came back to Dallas around 1980 to live in a house his father had previously purchased. He continued his artwork, both painting and photography, until his death in August 2004.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials - photos, correspondence, and articles - compiled by Oscar McNary, a fellow Dallas visual artist and friend of James Thibodeaux. It documents some of Thibodeaux's artistic forays and the friendship between McNary and Thibodeaux.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
James Thibodeaux
Oscar McNary
Family Names:
New York City
St. Martinville, Louisiana

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

MA 05-5, Thibodeaux/McNary Collection, Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box Folder
1 1 Photographs
Joe Louis

Box Folder
2 Photographs
Thibodeaux, family and friends, and artwork

Box Folder
3 Articles about Thibodeaux

Box Folder
4 Exhibit: Celebrating James Thibodeaux - A Lifetime of Artistry

Box Folder
5 Funeral Program for James Thibodeaux

Box Folder
6 Correspondence 1997-2002