Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Vera Prasilova Scott portraiture collection, 1926-1937



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Scott, Vera Prasilova
Title Vera Prasilova Scott portraiture collection
Dates: 1926-1937
Abstract: Photographic prints, glass plate negatives and other equipment and supplies related to professional portraiture by Vera Prasilova Scott, mainly dating from 1926-1937 during her time in Houston close to the Rice Institute. Houston and Rice University-related subjects include the Lovett, Baker, Blaffer, Cullinan, Wiess, Hutcheson, Autrey and Sharp families.
ID MS 497
Extent 50 lin. ft. (54 boxes)
Language English.
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX

Biographical Note

Vera Prasilova Scott was born March 25, 1899 in Kunta Hora, Bohemia, then a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. By her high school years, Prasilova showed an intense interest in and a gift for artistic expression. Her initial influence and mentor was the nationally renowned Czech painter Josef Sedivy. Despite this mentorship, hoever, her artistic impulse was first expressed through photography.

Prasilova began her schooling at Charles University in Prague, choosing photography as her profession. At the age of 18, she served as apprentice to Czech photographer Frantisek Drtikol (1883-1961), beginning her portraiture work and presumably learning the techniques of Bromoil and silver halide printing. Under Drtikol she earned a Journeyman’s Certificate in Photography and from there, in 1922, she continued her academic training at the Graphic Arts School in Munich, Germany. She graduated from there with a Master’s degree and a first prize award in photography.

It was in Munich that she met her future husband Dr. Arthur F. Scott, who was doing his postdoctoral research as a Harvard Fellow in Chemistry at the University of Munich. Not long after Mr. Scott returned to the United States, Vera Prasilova followed, in 1924. She first settled in New York where she worked as a stills photographer for Lasky Famous Players, while continuing her studies at Columbia University. Vera Prasilova and Arthur Scott later reunited in Portland, Oregon and were married in 1925. It was that same year that Scott received an appointment to the Rice Institute (now Rice University) and the couple relocated to Houston, Texas in 1926.

In Houston, Prasilova opened and operated a photography studio on San Jacinto St. which soon became well known for her portraits, whose “highlights and shadows, finished in oil or gum print have the effect of a rich charcoal. Her subjects (were) not posed in a “look pleasant” stereotype, but their moods are caught and held and veiled just enough to capture their allurement,” (Civics for Houston, Jan. 1982, pg. 22). Much of Prasilova’s clientele included faculty of the Rice Institute, locals of social and political stature and their families as well as visiting celebrities, including Bertrand Russell and Maurice Ravel. Several of Prasilova’s portraits were included in the Pacific International Salon of Photographic Art, which hung at the Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon and Art Galleries of Oregon at Eugene in the fall of 1930. Her work was also exhibited at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston in 1931 and 1932. She also showed her work in the “27th Convention” in Schenectady, NY, 1932, where her work received an Award of Merit.

In 1937, the Scotts moved back to Portland, Oregon, where Arthur Scott had accepted a professorship in Chemistry at Reed College. By this time, the Scotts had a family (three girls, Nadja S. Lilly of Portland, OR, Dascha S. Tursi of Pueblo, CO, and Kytja K.S. Voeller of Scottsdale, AZ) and Prasilova switched primarily to sculpture as her artistic outlet, which she pursued successfully into the late 1980s.

In 1989, Prasilova’s photographic portraits were included in the exhibition Frantisek Drtikol and His Pupils at the Museum of Czech Literature in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her work is also in the permanent collections of the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon and the Museum of Czech Literature in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Vera Prasilova Scott died on January 31, 1996.

Biographical sketch written by appraiser Jennifer Stoots.


Scope and Contents

Photographic prints, glass plate negatives and other equipment and supplies related to professional portraiture by Vera Prasilova Scott, mainly dating from 1926-1937 during her time in Houston close to the Rice Institute. Houston and Rice University-related subjects include the Lovett, Baker, Blaffer, Cullinan, Weiss, Hutcheson, Autrey and Sharp families.

Portraits include adults, children, babies, and a very few landscapes. Many remain unidentified at the time of processing this collection, but as they are identified over time, this guide will be updated.

Of particular note is an Address Book in Box 53 featuring names of Prasilova Scott's photographic subjects which may help in identfying some of the prints.


 

The papers are arranged in three series:
Series I: Photographic prints, 1926-1937
Series II: Glass plate negatives, 1926-1937
Series III: Photographic equipment & supplies, n.d.

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center and credited accordingly, particularly specifying if material in question is an original printed and finished by the artist herself or a modern print created directly from glass negatives.


Index Terms

Subjects
Portraiture
Subjects (Persons)
Lilly, Nadja S. -- photographs
Voeller, Kytja K.S. -- photographs
Tursi, Dascha S. -- photographs
Bonner, Jara -- photographs
Autrey, Robert -- photographs
Lovett, Eliza -- photographs
Ravel, Maurice -- photographs
Scott, Arthur F. -- photographs
Farrish, William S. -- photographs
Scott, Vera Prasilova -- photographs
Arnold, Agnes Cullen -- photographs
Ayars, Louise -- photographs
Baker, Adelaide Lovett -- photographs
Baker, Brown -- photographs
Baker, Bonner Means -- photographs
Baker, Graham -- photographs
Baker, James Addison -- photographs
Bath, Harriet -- photographs
Blaffer, Sarah -- photographs
Belt, Ruth -- photographs
Blaffer, Joyce -- photographs
Blaffer, Jane (Jane Blaffer Owens) -- photographs
Blaffer, Robert Lee -- photographs
Blaffer, Sarah -- photographs
Blaffer, Titi -- photographs
Blaffer, John -- photographs
Bruce, Laura -- photographs
Bryan, Randolph -- photographs
Bryan, Stephen -- photographs
Cravens, Mary -- photographs
Cullinan, Joseph S. Sr. -- photographs
Cullinan, Joseph S. Jr. -- photographs
Cravens, Patsy -- photographs
Farrish, Mary Blackshear -- photographs
Farrish, Stephen -- photographs
Fay, Carolyn Grant -- photographs
Fleming, Clare Knowles -- photographs
Hughes, Ella Rice -- photographs
Howard, Frank Bonner -- photographs
Hutcheson, Palmer -- photographs
Hutcheson, Gwen Storrow -- photographs
Israel, Sidney, Dr. -- photographs
Law, Caroline Wiess -- photographs
Lovett, Mary Ellen Hale -- photographs
Neuhaus, Catherine -- photographs
Neuhaus, Phil -- photographs
Sharp, Dudley C. -- photographs
Sharp, Tina Cleveland -- photographs
Sharp, Dudley, Jr. -- photographs
Tsanoff, Radoslav -- photographs
Wiess, Olga Keith -- photographs
Wiess, Harry -- photographs
Subjects (Organizations)
Rice Institute. Faculty. -- photographs
Formats
Photographs
Glass plate negatives

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Vera Prasilova Scott portraiture collection, MS 497, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX.

Acquisition Information

Gifts donated in 2002 and 2004 by Prasilova Scott’s daughters, Nadja S. Lilly of Portland, OR, Dascha S. Tursi of Pueblo, CO, and Kytja K.S. Voeller of Scottsdale, AZ.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series I: Photographic prints, 1926-1937

Original prints created and finished by Vera Prasilova Scott, arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the subject(s). Unidentified portraits are located at the end of the listing, in groupings by women, men, and families & children.
box folder
1 - Arnold, Agnes Cullen, 1932 (1)
- Ayars, Louise, 1935 (1)
- Baker, Adelaide Lovett and Brownie Baker, 1927 (2 poses)
- Baker, Adelaide Lovett and son, 1931 (1)
- Baker, Adelaide Lovett, 1931 (1)
- Baker, Adelaide Lovett, 1936 (1)
- Baker, Bonner Means, 1935 (1)
- Baker, Bonner Means ?, undated, possibly circa 1937, (2 poses)
- Baker, Brownie, 1927 (3)
- Baker, Brownie, 1929 (2)
- Baker, Brownie, with dog, 1932 (1)
- Baker, Brownie, ca. 1936 (1)
- Baker, Graham, 1937 (1)
- Baker, Graham, undated, but ca. 1937 (1)
- Baker, James Addison, 1936 (3 prints of 1 pose in white suit)
- Baker, James Addison, 1936 ( 1 pose in academic regalia)
- Bath, Harriet, undated (5 prints of 2 poses)
- Belt, Ruth, 1936 (5 prints, various poses)
- Blaffer, Jane, (Jane Blaffer Owens) undated (9 prints of 5 poses)
- Blaffer, Joyce, undated (circa age 10)(1 pose)
- Blaffer, Titi, undated (2 poses)
- Blaffer, John, undated (1)
- Blaffer, Robert Lee, 1928 (1)
- Blaffer, Sarah (Mrs. Robert Lee Blaffer), undated (2 poses)
- Bonner, Jara, 1930 (2 poses)
- Bonner, Jara, 1930 (2 poses)
- Bruce, Laura, 1933 and 1934 (2 poses)
- Bryan, Randolph & Stephen, 1935 (father was President of First National Bank, descendants of Moses Austin) (1)
- Cage, Catharine, 1935, 1937, nd (5)
- Cravens, Mary and James Rorick, 1930 (1)
- Cullinan, Craig, 1933 and 1935 (5 prints of 4 poses)
- Cullinan, Craig and Joe, undated (1)
- Cromaris, Joanne Hill, 1934 and 1935 (13 prints of 5 poses)
- Cullinan, Nina, 1934 (1)
- Calhoun, Katherine Seymour, 1935 (1)
- Calhoun, Katherine Seymour, 1935 (1)
- Caldwell children, 1926 (2 prints of 2 poses)
- Cullinan, Joseph S. Sr. and Joseph Jr., undated (1)
- Carroll, Lena Carter, 1931 (1)
- Cravens, Patsy, undated (1)
box folder
2 - Dargan, Margaret, 1934 (1)
- Dix, Richard, 1924 (1)
- Eastman, Max, undated (1)
- Franzheim, Kenneth, undated (1)
- Farish, William, 1930 (3 prints of 2 poses)
- Farish, Mary Blackshear, 1936 (2)
- Fener, Dr. (Prof. at Rice or Reed?), 1932 (1)
- Forbes, Nancy (bride), Virginia Vinson bridesmaid to the left of the bride) 1931 (1)
- Fleming, Mary, undated (3)
- Fay, Carolyn Grant, 1933 (1)
- Farish, Stephen, undated (1)
- Fleming, Billy, 1935 (1)
- Fleming, Doug, 1935 (1)
- Fleming, Clare and Mary, undated (father was Chairman of Anderson Clayton, Clare became Mrs. Spurnt and Mary Mrs. Bolduc) (1)
- Fleming, Lamar, 1934 (1)
- Fleming, Clare Knowles (Mrs. Lamar Fleming), 1934 (1)
- Fabler, Henry Edward, 1935 (1)
- Gregory, Mrs. Lloyd, 1934 (1)
- Golding, Peggy, 1933 (3 prints of 2 poses)
- Garwood, H.M., Judge, 1928 (2)
- Gifford, Chester, 1929 (1)
- Goldston, Vallie, 1934 (1)
- Hughes, Ella Rice (married J.O. Winston), 1931 (2 poses)
- Hill, Mrs. George, 1932 and undated (10)
- Hutcheson, Palmer, 1930 (2)
- Hutcheson, Gwen Storrow (Mrs. Palmer Hutcheson), 1935 (1)
- Howard, Frank Bonner (son of George Howard and Garland Bonner), 1930 (1)
- Horne, Olive, 1933 (2 poses)
- Hill, George, 1936 (6 prints of 2 poses)
- Hail, Billy, 1927 (1)
- Hamil, Peggy Golding, 1933 (1)
- Hartman, Mary, 1933 (2 poses)
- Hughes, Mrs. H.R., 1927 (1)
- Hill, Raymond and George, 1933 (9 prints of 3 poses)
- Hasselman, Marjory, 1933, 1935, 1937 (3)
- Hasselman, Marjory, 1933, 1935, 1937 (3)
- Israel, Sidney, Dr., 1928 (1)
box folder
3 - Law, Caroline Wiess, 1933 (1)
- Letzevick, Nella Neville (Mrs. Louis Letzevick) undtaed (1)
- Lovett, Mary Ellen Hale (Mrs. Edgar Odell Lovett) 17 contact and final 4 prints, undated (21)
- Lovett, Adelaide, Malcolm, and Alexander, 1927 (1)
- Lovett, Mary Hale, 1937 (1)
- Lucas, Burdine Anderson, 1935 (1)
- McLean, Nancy, 1927 (1)
- McLean, Bunty, 1930 (1)
- Moore, Preston & Preston Jr., 1935 (3)
- Neuhaus, Catherine, undated (1)
- Neuhaus, Phil, 1932 (1)
- Oltorf, Madeleine Bartlett, 1937 (2 poses)
- Phelps, Marie Lee and child (Mrs. Sam McAshan), 1936 (1)
- Phelps, Marie Lee (?), undated (1)
- Pound, John, 1937 (2)
- Pris, Mary, 1928 (1)
- Radcliff, Robert, 1927 (1)
- Robertson, Charlotte, 1927 (1)
- Rotan, George V., undated (1)
- Randolph, Audrey, 1932 (6 prints of 4 poses)
- Rudolph, Jeanne, 1932 (1)
- Slaughter, Mrs. J. Willis, 1932 (wife of Rice faculty member) (2 poses)
- Scott, Vera Prasilova and Arthur (contact prints) (5)
- Sharp, Dudley C., Tina Cleveland Sharp, and Dudley Sharp Jr., 1931 (1)
- Sharp, Dudley Jr., 1931 (5)
- Sharp, Mrs. Bedford, 1929 (1)
- Singer, Gail, 1935 and undated (3 prints / 3 poses)
- Singer children (group of 3), 1933 (3 prints of 2 poses)
- Singer, Mrs. D.C., 1932 (7)
- Spencer, Nancy, 1937 (2)
- Stewart, John, 1934 (2)
- Sullivan, Maurine (Mrs. Charles Sullivan), 1937 (1)
- Tennant, Joseph Allen (?), 1930, (3 prints of 2 poses)
- Tennant, Lucille, 1930 (1)
- Tennant, Borden, 1927 (1)
- Tsanoff, Radoslav, 1926 (3)
- Tsanoff, Corrinne, 1926 (8)
- Wallace, Winifred Safford (Mrs. McClellan), 1931 (1)
- Weimar, Opal Rae, 1926 (1)
- Wiess, Olga Keith, 1933 (2)
- Wiess, Harry, 1935 (1)
- White, Winifred, 1931 (4 prints of 4 poses)
- Wilson, Joan, undated (1)
- Winterman, Eula Ross (Mrs. David Winterman), 1934 (1)
box folder
4 - Unidentified women (95 prints, some are of the same women)
box folder
5 - Unidentified men (31 prints, some are of the same men)
box folder
6 - Unidentified children (101 prints, some are of the same children)



 

Series II: Glass Plate Negatives, 1926-1937

Suseries A: 3.25"x4.25" Glass plates
People
box folder
7 - Scott, Kytja (15)
box folder
8 - Scott, Kytja (3)
- Baby (2)
- Child (9)
- Adult and child at piano (1)
box folder
9 - Mother and baby (7)
- Mother and child (6)
- Father and child (2)
box folder
10 - Soldiers and band (2)
Places
box folder
10 - Building (unid.) (2)
- Chemistry lab, interior (4)
- Indistrial equipment views (6)
- Junior League building (1)
box folder
11 - Landscapes (8)
- Power station (1)
- Ship (1)
- Studio, apartment, garden (of VPS?) (5)
box folder
12 - Studio, apartment, garden (of VPS?) (6)
Subseries B: 5"x7" Glass negatives
box folder
13 - Autrey, Robert (1)
- Bonner, Jara (3)
- Knigley, Martha (?) (8)
- Lovett, Eliza (?) (2)
- Ravel, Maurice (1)
box folder
14 - Scott, Arthur F. (3)
- Scott (great-grandmother) (1)
- Scott, Kytja (10)
box folder
15 - Scott, Nadja (Nadja Scott Lilly) (8)
- Scott, Vera Prasilova (2)
- Baby (4)
- Boy (1)
box folder
16 - Boys (15)
box folder
17 - Boy (1)
- Child (1)
- Children (4)
- Child in costume (3)
- Girls (6)
box folder
18 - Girls (7)
- Men (8)
box folder
19 - Men (1)
- Man (double images) (2)
- Man (in glasses) (1)
- Man (outside) (1)
- Man (in oval) (3)
- Nudes (6)
box folder
20 - Nudes (8)
- Women (3)
- Woman in costume (1)
- Woman in flowered dress (1)
- Woman in hat (1)
- Woman in gown (1)
box folder
21 - Woman in gown (1)
Subseries C: 8"x10" Glass negatives
box folder
22 - Bonner, Jana (4)
- Cerf, Barry (1)
- Cullinan, J.S. (2)
- Ebba (10)
box folder
23 - Ebba (3)
- Farrish, Billy (1)
- Farrish, W.S. (10)
- Hoskins, Mrs. (1)
box folder
24 - Israel, Dr. (15)
box folder
25 - Israel, Dr. (2)
box folder
26 - Ravel, Maurice (3)
- Rosaline (2)
- Scott, Arthur F. (7)
- Scott, Arthur F. and child (1)
- Scott, Arthur F. and Kytja Scott (2)
- Scott, Arthur F. (broken negative) (1)
box folder
27 - Scott, Arthur F. and Kytja Scott (3)
- Scott, Arthur F. and Vera Prasilova Scott (12)
box folder
28 - Scott, Arthur F. and Vera Prasilova Scott (3)
- Scott, Kytja (6)
- Scott, Kytja and Vera Prasilova Scott (2)
box folder
29 - Scott, Kytja and Vera Prasilova Scott (9)
- Scott, Nadja and Vera Prasilova Scott (2)
- Scott, Vera Prasilova and child (2)
- Scott, Vera Prasilova (2)
box folder
30 - Scott, Vera Prasilova (14)
- Scott, Vera Prasilova and Nadja Munk (sister) (1)
box folder
31 - Munk, Nadja (sister of VPS) (2)
- Munk, Frank (1)
- Tito (1)
- Baby (3)
- Boys (5)
- Children (3)
box folder
32 - Children (6)
- Girls (2)
- Men (7)
box folder
33 - Men (15)
box folder
34 - Men (7)
- Man & girl (4)
- Man in profile (1)
- Man (painting) (1)
- Men playing chess (1)
- Man (priest?) (1)
box folder
35 - Man with bowtie (1)
- Man with cigarette (1)
- Man with glasses (1)
- Nudes (12)
box folder
36 - Nudes (5)
- Women (10)
box folder
37 - Women (15)
box folder
38 - Women (15)
box folder
39 - Couple (1)
- Women and children (8)
- Sisters (1)
- Woman in collar (1)
- Woman in costume (1)
- Woman in fur collar (3)
box folder
40 - Woman in hat (1)
- Woman in jacket (3)
- Woman in long dress with pleats (4)
- Woman in pleated blouse (3)
- Woman in polka dots (2)
- Woman in shawl (1)
- Woman with earrings (1)
box folder
41 - Woman with earrings (3)
- Woman with embroidered sleeves (12)
box folder
42 - Woman with flower accent (2)
- Woman with hair pulled back (2)
- Woman with necklace back (3, 1 is broken)
- Woman with ruffled neckline (3)
- Woman with v- neckline (3)
- Woman with violin (2)
box folder
43 - Quilt featuring woman (4)
- Contact prints
- Film negatives



 

Series III: Photographic equipment and supplies, n.d.

box folder
44 - Enlarger with bellows and attached stand
box folder
45-46 - Three 1,000 watt lightbulbs
box folder
47 - Eight 5.5"x8" film carriers
- Four 8"x10" film carriers
- Five metal film carriers
- Small case of 4"x5" film carriers
box folder
48 - Two Wratten safelight filters
- One package carbon paper
- Three packages Verotype Natura paper
- Four packages photograph paper
- Five packages Bromoil paper, 11"X14"
box folder
49 - Original boxes of photographic dry (glass) plates, emtpy
box folder
50 - Original boxes of photographic dry (glass) plates, most emtpy, one full.
- Three boxes photogravure paper
box folder
51 - Karl Zeiss Jena 1.45-15cm lens
box folder
52 - Small contact printer
- Leather case containing legs for tripod (?)
- Wooden drying rack
- Two 35mm contact printers
box folder
53 - 9"x11" contact printer
- Large contact printing frame
- Address book containing names of photographic subjects and other notes