Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Separated Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I. Fiction, 1927-1964 (bulk 1949-1964)

Series II. Non-Fiction, 1889-1974 (bulk 1937-1974)

Index

University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Tom Lea:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center



Creator Lea, Tom, 1907-2001
Title: Tom Lea Papers
Dates: 1889-1974 (bulk 1937-1974)
Abstract: These papers consist primarily of notes, manuscripts, page proofs, drawings, and layouts for several of Lea's fiction and non-fiction works. Also included is correspondence concerning editing and publication issues. The Ransom Center's Art Collection contains a large number of Lea's paintings and drawings>
RLIN Record ID: TXRC96-A15
Extent: 7 boxes, 4 oversize boxes, 6 oversize folders, and 5 galley folders (3.75 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Biographical Sketch

Tom Lea, artist and writer, was born in El Paso, Texas on July 11, 1907. After displaying a natural aptitude for painting and drawing as a child, Lea received formal training at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1924 to 1926 and as apprentice and assistant to the Chicago muralist John Norton from 1927 to 1932. In 1930, Lea traveled to Italy to study the techniques of Renaissance wall painting. One of his early murals "The Nesters," painted in the Post Office Department Building in Washington, D. C., won a national competition in 1935. There followed a commission to paint the mural, "Pass of the North," in the United States Court House in El Paso. J. Frank Dobie commissioned Lea to illustrate two of his books from this period, Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver (1939) and The Longhorns (1940). During World War II, Life magazine hired Lea as a combination war correspondent-artist to cover the war in the Pacific.

Lea's experiences during the war supplied him with ample material as a writer, leading to the publication of A Grizzly from the Coral Sea (1944) and Peleliu Landing (1945). Lea's lifelong friend Carl Hertzog, a book designer, printed both books as well as Lea's Bullfight Manual for Spectators (1949). After the war, Lea began to write fiction, including The Brave Bulls (1949), The Wonderful Country (1952), The Primal Yoke (1960), and The Hands of Cantú (1964). The Brave Bulls won the Carr P. Collins Award of the Texas Institute of Letters for best book by a Texan, and The Hands of Cantú won the Texas Institute's Jesse Jones Award for the best work of fiction by a Texan. Both The Brave Bulls and The Wonderful Country were produced as motion pictures. Lea continued to write non-fiction, including the two-volume The King Ranch (1957), A Picture Gallery (1968), and an account of King Ranch operations in Australia, In the Crucible of the Sun (1974).

As an artist, Lea was commissioned by Life magazine in 1946 to paint a series of canvases depicting Western cattle, which Life presented to the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. In 1953, the University of Texas Press published Tom Lea: a Portfolio of Six Paintings with an Introduction by J. Frank Dobie. Lea's first large exhibition was mounted in 1961 at the Fort Worth Art Center. Lea has also had exhibitions at the El Paso Museum of Art and the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio. Tom Lea died in 2001 in El Paso.

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Scope and Contents

The Tom Lea Collection consists of typescript and handwritten manuscripts, printed books and pamphlets, prospectuses, photographs, galleys, page proofs, pasteups, mockups, layouts, drawings, transparencies, dust jackets, postcards, correspondence, printed advertisements, invitations, clippings, newspapers, programs, tickets, and a menu. The collection is arranged in two series: I. Fiction (1927-1964, bulk 1949-1964; 4 boxes), and II. Non-Fiction (1889-1974, bulk 1937-1974; 3 boxes). The materials are arranged alphabetically by title within each series.

The Fiction series includes material relating to The Brave Bulls, The Hands of Cantú, The Primal Yoke, and The Wonderful Country. The Brave Bulls includes typed and handwritten notes and a typed and handwritten biography of the fictional bullfighter Luis Bello Garcia. The bulk consists of background material, including typescripts of Spanish-language bullfighting articles, a typescript titled "The Land of Gold," a guidebook, a typescript article and notes on the Spanish bullfighter Manolete, photographs and other images of bullfighters, a photograph and other images of the Virgin Mary, correspondence, a pamphlet titled "Cantares Flamencos," programs, tickets, advertisements, and invitations. The Hands of Cantú material consists of notes, a drawing, galleys, a typescript printer's copy, incomplete page proofs, a pasteup and proof of the dust jacket, and correspondence. The Primal Yoke material includes galleys, a page proof, proofs and pasteups of chapter headings, and a mockup of the dust jacket. The Wonderful Country is represented by notes, a point outline by Bob Parrish, a story outline, shot sequences, a typescript of the screenplay by Maurice Zimm, typescripts of the screenplay by Tom Lea, correspondence, and a map drawn by Tom Lea.

The Non-Fiction series includes material relating to the Bullfight Manual for Spectators, the Calendar of Twelve Travelers through the Pass of the North, the Exhibition of Preliminary Drawings for a Mural in the Lobby of the United States Court House, El Paso, Texas by Tom Lea, In the Crucible of the Sun, The King Ranch, Peleliu Landing, A Picture Gallery, and Westward Bound: a Hundred Years Ago. The material for the Bullfight Manual includes a pasteup, page proofs, a proof copy, and both small and large format printed copies. The Calendar includes a printed sheet, a handwritten draft of "El Paso del Norte," a typescript, a page proof, a proof of the illustration "Don Diego de Vargas, the Warrior," and a menu. The Exhibition of Preliminary Drawings includes the exhibition catalog and correspondence. For In the Crucible of the Sun, there are a corrected typescript, typescript photocopies, typescript captions for the illustrations, two layouts, page proofs, an unbound proof copy, a sketchbook, photographic transparencies, an illustration layout, proofs of illustrations, and correspondence. The King Ranch includes a typescript with chapters 1 and 2 in page proof, instructions to the printer, typed footnotes, incomplete page proofs, a prospectus, and correspondence. The Peleliu Landing material consists of two notebooks, U. S. Navy and U. S. S. Ormsby documents, typescripts of a poem and songs written by marines and sailors, photocopies of drawings, photographic negatives, Japanese postcards, military identification cards, an aerial photograph of Peleliu, and correspondence. A Picture Gallery consists of lists of illustrations for Life and the Saturday Evening Post, laid in a binding. Westward Bound is represented by page proofs and correspondence. In addition, there is a proof copy of a program titled "Fort Bliss One-hundredth Anniversary 1848-1948"with pageant and parade instructions and correspondence; a typescript essay, "Homer Lea," as well as clippings; a typescript titled "A Report from the Advisory Commission on Church Art and Ornamentation [by the] Diocese of New Mexico and Southwest Texas" and correspondence; a leaflet titled "Art and Religion: a Symposium on the New Encounter"; and a pamphlet titled "Stained Glass Designs of McKee Chapel in the Church of Saint Clement," including a program from the church, drawings of the window designs, and a pasteup for the pamphlet.

The correspondence is primarily professional in nature, concerning textual suggestions from colleagues and details of publication. The correspondence from Carl Hertzog touches on the design and production of the books on which he and Lea collaborated. The correspondence from Robert Parrish suggests improvements to the screenplay The Wonderful Country.

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Restrictions

Access:

Open for research

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Index Terms

People
Hertzog, Carl.
Parrish, Robert.
Subjects
Artists, American.
Bullfights.
Bullfighters.
King Ranch (Tex.).
World War, 1939-1945.
Places
Southwest, Old.
Southwest, New.
Organizations
King Ranch, Inc.
Document Types
Drawings.
Galley proofs.
Maps.
Newspapers.
Photographs.
Screenplays.

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Related Material

Further Tom Lea materials may be found in the card catalog under the following collections: J. Frank Dobie, Harper's, Alfred A. Knopf, Tom Lea, and Carl Sandburg.

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Separated Material

Some of the material in the collection was separated by format upon receipt by the HRHRC. Please consult the following HRHRC collections for further Tom Lea materials: Art, Books, Personal Effects, and Vertical File.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Gift, 1976

Processed by:

Ken Craven, 1995; Robert Kendrick, 1996; Jennifer Hecker, 2009

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Container List

Series I. Fiction, 1927-1964 (bulk 1949-1964)

The Brave Bulls
Container
1.1 Typed carbon copies of Brave Bulls [short story?] with calligraphic title (2), undated; correspondence, 1946, 1949 and undated
Container
1.2 Miscellaneous typed and handwritten notes, typed and handwritten biography of fictional bullfighter, Luis Bello Garcia, and typescripts of Spanish bullfighting articles, undated; "The Land of Gold", typescript and correspondence, 1950; guidebook, programs, tickets, advertisements, and invitations, 1927-1949, undated; red ribbon with printed text, 1948; pamphlet, "Cantares Flamencos," and clippings, undated
Container
1.3 Typescript and notes for article on Manolete, undated; correspondence and clippings, 1946-1947; and bullfighting advertisements and tickets, 1946
Container
1.4 Photographs of bullfighters, 1944-1945, undated; correspondence, 1954, undated; clippings, 1947, undated; photograph and images of the Virgin Mary, bullfight program, and images of bullfighters, undated
Container
11 Bullfighting programs and advertisements
The Hands of Cantú
Container
1.5 Notes and drawing, undated; correspondence, 1963
Container
1.6 Typescript printer's copy, 1964
Container
1.7 Incomplete page proofs and photographs, undated; pasteup and proof of dust jacket, 1964
Container
gf Galleys
The Primal Yoke
Container
2.1 Page proof, proofs and pasteups of chapter heads, and mockup and sample of dust jacket, undated
Container
2.2 Working notebook, 1956
Container
2.3 Bound typescript, original carbon copy, 1960
Container
3.1 Bound typescript, printers' copy, undated
Container
gf Galleys
Container
8 Black and white and color proofs of dust jacket, undated
The Wonderful Country
Container
3.2 Working notebook, undated
Container
3.3 Typescript of chapters XXII-XXVI, undated
Container
3.4 Typescript book reviews, undated
Container
3.5 Notebook cover and note, undated
Container
gf Galleys
The Wonderful Country [screenplay by Maurice Zimm from the novel by Tom Lea]
Container
4.1 Early incomplete typescripts, 1955
Container
4.2 Typescript and correspondence, undated
Container
4.3 Point outline by Bob Parrish, miscellaneous notes, and shot sequences, 1955
Container
4.4 Story outline, undated; correspondence, 1956
Container
4.5 Typescripts of screenplay by Lea, 1955
Container
4.6 Correspondence, 1955
Container
osf Map, titled "Brazito, Christmas Day, 1846", drawn by Tom Lea (*removed to Oversize Folder)

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Series II. Non-Fiction, 1889-1974 (bulk 1937-1974)

Bullfight Manual for Spectators
Container
4.7 Typescripts with handwritten corrections, undated
Container
4.8 Pasteup, [1949?]; page proofs, two proof copies, small format copy (first edition), 1949; and two large format copies (sixth printing), 1954
Calendar of Twelve Travelers through the Pass of the North
Container
4.9 Printed sheet of the Settler and the Visionary, with handwritten note by Carl Hertzog; handwritten draft of "El Paso del Norte", typescript, and page proof, undated
Container
4.10 Proof of "Don Diego de Vargas, the Warrior", and menu from Hotel Paso del Norte, undated
Container
8 China story, Life magazine, final layout and photographs of TL's paintings, 1943
Container
5.1 Exhibition of Preliminary Drawings for a Mural in the Lobby of the United States Court House, El Paso, Texas by Tom Lea [exhibition catalog]. Catalog, 1937; correspondence, 1937-1939
Container
5.2 "Fort Bliss One-hundredth Anniversary 1848-1948" [program]. Proof copy, 1948; pageant and parade instructions, with correspondence, 1948
Container
5.3 "Homer Lea" [essay]. Typescript, 1942; clippings, 1919-1942
In the Crucible of the Sun
Container
5.4 Corrected typescript, undated
Container
5.5 Typescript photocopies, undated
Container
5.6 Typescript illustration captions, 1974
Container
5.7 Page proofs, [1973]
Container
5.8 Sketchbook of original drawings for the book, photographic transparencies of illustrations, transparencies of text, undated; and correspondence, 1974
Container
8 Illustration proofs
Container
9 Two layouts, and unbound proof copy, [1974]
Container
10 Layout of illustrations, and page proofs, undated
The King Ranch
Container
5.9-6.1 Clean bound carbon typescript, undated
Container
6.2 Printer's copy of first half, with chapters 1-2 in page proof, undated
Container
6.3 Instructions to printer, typed footnotes, undated
Container
6.4 Incomplete page proofs, undated; and prospectus, signed and dated by Carl Hertzog, with handwritten note to Frank Connally on verso, 1958
Peleliu Landing
Container
6.5 Two notebooks, undated
Container
6.6 Corrected typescript, undated
Container
6.7 Prospectus, 1945; order form, undated
Container
6.8 U. S. Navy documents, U.S.S. Ormsby documents, and typescripts of poem and songs, 1944
Container
6.9 Photocopies of drawings with U. S. Navy security clearance stamp, 1945; photographic negatives of drawings, and Japanese postcards, undated
Container
6.10 Military identification cards, and clippings, 1944
Container
* Box of sand from Peleliu, undated (*removed to Personal Effects)
Container
osf Life article “Peleliu: Tom Lea Paints Island Invasion,” undated
Container
11 Aerial photograph of Peleliu, undated
A Picture Gallery
Container
7.1 Lists of illustrations for Life and the Saturday Evening Post, undated
Container
7.2 Empty slipcase for original manuscript, with calligraphic explanatory note, undated
Container
7.3, gf Empty slipcase for author's set of galleys, undated
Container
7.4 "A Report from the Advisory Commission on Church Art and Ornamentation [by the] Diocese of New Mexico and Southwest Texas," typescript and correspondence, 1954; leaflet titled "Art and Religion: a Symposium on the New Encounter," 1953
Container
7.5 "Stained Glass Designs of McKee Chapel in the Church of Saint Clement" [pamphlet], program, Church of Saint Clement, 1953; drawings for stained glass windows, undated; pasteup for the pamphlet, 1953
Container
osf One drawing for stained glass windows
Container
7.6 Westward Bound: a Hundred Years Ago [book by George Catlin illustrated by Tom Lea]. Page proofs and correspondence, 1939, undated

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Index of Correspondents

  • Cisneros--1.2, 1.3
  • Conrad, Barnaby, 1922- --1.3
  • Everitt, Charles P., 1873-1951--5.10
  • Fisher, Reginald G. (Museum of New Mexico)--5.8
  • Fox, Chris P.--3.5
  • González, Roberto E.--1.2
  • Hertzog, Carl--4.7, 5.10
  • Jenkins, George--2.7
  • Maguire, John Walter--1.4
  • Parrish, Robert--2.7
  • Pollard, J. M.--1.2
  • Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960--3.4
  • Zimm, Maurice--2.3

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