A Guide to the Herrera (Jesse) Photograph Collection
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Jesse Herrera earned his B.A. in 1975 in art design from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a M.A. Degree in photojournalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990. Herrera began his photography career in Chicago working as a corporate photographer for the People’s Gas Company. Relocating to Austin in 1978, he worked for several state agencies, including the Texas Department of Agriculture, the State Preservation Board, and the Texas House of Representatives. He retired in 2004.
A primary focus of Herrera's personal work is documentation of religious ceremonies in Mexico, Spain and Guatemala. His work has been exhibited throughout Texas and the Midwest in one-man shows and national juried shows, most notably: The Seventh Annual New American Talent Exhibit, The Magic Silver Show, and Arte Sagrado. In addition, his work has been featured in various publications, including Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review,Chicago Magazine, Texas Highways, The Texas Observer and Art and Ritual in Golden-Age Spain. Herrera taught photography at Laguna Gloria Art School from 1990 to 2009.
In addition to the Briscoe Center, a selection of Herrera's work is in the permanent collection of the following institutions: the Wittliff Photography Collection of Southwestern and Mexican Photography at Texas State University, the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, the Harry Ransom Humanities Center of The University of Texas at Austin, Mexic-Arte Museum, the Austin History Center, and The Mexican Fine Arts Center and Museum at Chicago.
Thirty-one of the prints in this collection document Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Austin, Texas, in 1989. They were exhibited at the Center for American History in 1990 as part of Herrera’s master’s thesis. The photographs portray the church, its members, activities, and role in this predominantly Mexican American East Austin community. A second series of 20 prints was shown as part of the Center’s “Faces of Texas, Images of Diversity: Photographs by Jesse Herrera and Mary Lee Edwards” in 1993. Persons depicted the in images include George Herbert Walker Bush, Americo Paredes, Ross Perot, Rick Perry, Governor Ann Richards, and lesser known citizens of Austin, Texas. Subjects address the ethnic diversity of Austin: a Korean Presbyterian congregation, a rabbi, a Hispanic couple dancing, Las Manitas restaurant in Austin, and three teenagers at Barton Springs Pool. Also included are a photograph of Jesse Herrera and Mary Lee Edwards, a self-portrait of Herrera in Mexico, and portraits of former Texas governor Dolph Bricoe, Jr. and his wife Janie.
A later donation by Herrera to the Briscoe Center includes images of quinceañera celebrations in Austin, Texas, U.S. Representative Jake Pickle, Governor Dolph Briscoe, Governor Ann Richard's inaugural walk down Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, musician Tish Hinjosa, and a Bracero supply warehouse.
Unrestricted access. Photographer retains copyright. Photographs may be photocopied for research purposes only. Photographic reproductions must be obtained directly from the photographer. Contact repository for further information.
Jesse Herrera Photograph Collection, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by archives staff in 2008. Additions and revisions added by Amy Bowman in December 2011.
Basic processing and cataloging of portions of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s " History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light " project, 2009-2011.
Detailed description of the collection