University of Texas San Antonio

A Guide to the University of Texas at San Antonio: Institute of Texan Cultures: Curator of Exhibits Records, 1987-2000



Descriptive Summary

Creator: University of Texas at San Antonio. Institute of Texan Cultures. Curator of Exhibits
Title: University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures Curator of Exhibits Records
Dates: 1987-2000
Creator Abstract: The Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC), a museum located on the HemisFair Park Campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, was established in 1965 by the 59th Texas Legislature. The ITC's Curator of Exhibits was responsible for collecting materials to display in exhibits, researching exhibits, and maintaining exhibits.
Content Abstract: Comprises the files of museum exhibit curator Susan Harwell from 1987-1989 and records of the Tejano Task Force. Includes administrative correspondence and memoranda pertaining to the functions of exhibit preparation and maintenance, as well as files pertaining to the curation of specific exhibits.
Identification: UA 15.01.11
Extent: 14.2 linear feet (15 boxes)
Language: Materials are in English.Spanish.
Repository: University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections

Historical Note

The Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) Curator of Exhibits was responsible for collecting materials to display in exhibits, researching exhibits, and maintaining exhibits.

The ITC was established by the Fifty-ninth Texas Legislature on May 27, 1965. The agency was directed to develop and implement an appropriate plan for the state's participation in HemisFair '68 to plan exhibits related to the history of Texas, its development, resources, and contributions; and to design and erect a building suited to housing these exhibits, giving due consideration to its utility for state purposes after the fair. The ITC, a permanent state agency located on HemisFair grounds in San Antonio, was designed to study the ethnic groups that settled in Texas. While not a museum, the ITC displayed relics, artifacts, and personal memorabilia, but only those that had a direct connection with telling the story of the people in each ethnic group. The exhibits made use of sound, color, movement, and atmospheric design. R. Henderson Shuffler guided the research projects and formed the original staff.

The ITC's continued function is to bring together, on loan, fragments of Texas history collections from museums and archives throughout the state, to produce filmstrips and slide shows on segments of Texas history, and to publish historical pamphlets and books. The ITC was put under the University of Texas System effective June 5, 1969, and its official title became the University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures at San Antonio. In 1986 the ITC became, more specifically, a part of the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Upon the death of Shuffler in 1975, Jack R. Maguire was named director. Rex H. Ball was director of the ITC in 1995. He was advised by the ITC's development board and reported directly to the president of UTSA, Samuel A. Kirkpatrick. In 1995 there were 100 regular staff members and 450 volunteer workers. The ITC was funded by biennial legislative appropriations, grants, contributions, and funds generated by the sale of publications, audiovisuals, other products, and the rental of the ITC's facilities. In addition to maintaining 50,000 square feet of exhibits featuring twenty-seven cultures and ethnic groups, the ITC hosts the Texas Folklife Festival, the Asian Festival, and other events.

Also included in the collection are the records of an exhibit project on Tejano history and culture that began in 1990. The Tejano Task Force was chaired by Phyllis McKenzie, a research associate for the Institute of Texan Cultures, and the task force established an exhibit that was on display from 1996-2000. The mission of the Tejano Project was to “foster an understanding of the history and culture of the Tejanos while encouraging appreciation of their contributions. The Tejano exhibit encourages acceptance and appreciation of our differences as well as our common humanity.” The exhibit incorporated the ideas and concerns of the Tejano community through a series of community meetings held throughout Texas. The Tejano Task Force was composed of an interdepartmental team of the Institute of Texan Cultures staff members Patrick Chavez, Matt Solorio, Phyllis McKenzie, Tom Shelton, Sally Wiskermann, David LaRo, Willie Mendez, Patty Burrus, and Lorenzo Galvan Jr., The task force took the stories of first, second, and third generation Tejanos and created an exhibit that documented their struggles, history, and culture in Texas.

Phase one of the exhibit began in December 1994 and was completed and opened in March 1995. The exhibit included architecture, miniature dioramas showcasing life in San Antonio in the 1790’s, and an interactive video featuring three mannequins designed to give the visitor a sense of what life was like during the Spanish Colonial Era. Phase Two of the exhibit began in December 1995 and opened in March 1996 and was comprised of installations of Tejano life from the Spanish Colonial period through the 1970s. The themes of the exhibit were Tejano conceptions of community and identity. The first two sections were Colonial Roots and Family completed in 1996 and 1998, while the last two sections Work and Community and Family Life were installed in 1999 and 2000.

Source for Institute of Texan Cultures History:


Scope and Content Note

Comprises the files of museum exhibit curator Susan Harwell from 1987-1989. Includes administrative correspondence and memoranda regarding the functions of exhibit preparation and maintenance, as well as files regarding the curation of specific exhibits.

Exhibit files pertain to exhibits created and displayed by the Institute of Texan Cultures museum. Exhibit titles include "Here Before HemisFair: Four Generations of a Polish Family", "San Antonio Treasures", "Seize the Moment", "Remember Me: Photographs from a Black Family's Album", and others.

The records of the Tejano Task Force are comprised of memoranda, correspondence, research files, committee reports, videotapes and minutes of community meetings, drafts, and photographic materials pertaining to the planning, function and preparation of the Tejano Exhibit Area between 1990-2000. The collection consists of 12 linear ft. organized into six series: Community interviews (6 ft.), Correspondence (2 ft.), Report and surveys (2 ft.), Subject files (1 ft.) Research files (1 ft.). The majority of the records are videotapes and audiocassettes of interviews conducted between 1991-1998 with Tejanos in Texas.

This collection is housed at UTSA's HemisFair Park Campus and must be accessed via the Institute of Texan Cultures Special Collections Reading Room. To request access, please use our Collections Request Form.


 

Organization of Collection

Series 1. University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures Curator of Exhibits Records
Series 2. Tejano Task Force Project

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes, and the collection is open to the public.

Usage Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.


Index Terms

Personal Names
Harwell, Susan.
Organizations
University of Texas at San Antonio. Institute of Texan Cultures. Curator of Exhibits.
University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures at San Antonio.
Subjects
Museums--Curatorship.
Museums--Texas--San Antonio.
Locations
San Antonio (Tex.)--History--20th century.
Genres/Formats
Memorandums.
Correspondence.
Local Subjects
Education/Educators
UTSA History
UTSA Records
Texas History

Related Material

There are no known other archival collections created by the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures Curator of Exhibits at the date of accessioning.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures Curator of Exhibits Records, UA 15.01.11, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the University Archives from Rebecca Luther, Senior Editor, Office of University Publications, University of Texas at San Antonio in 2008 (Acc. 2009-051). The material had been found by Luther in a file cabinet acquired from the UTSA Surplus Property department.

Processing Information

Processed and encoded by Angela McClendon Ossar, University Archivist, August 2009. More detailed processing is not anticipated at this time.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Inventory of the University of Texas at San Antonio: Institute of Texan Cultures: Curator of Exhibits Records

Comprises the files of museum exhibit curator Susan Harwell from 1987-1989. Includes administrative correspondence and memoranda pertaining to the functions of exhibit preparation and maintenance. Also included are files regarding specific exhibits created and displayed by the Institute of Texan Cultures museum.
Box Folder
1 1-2 Correspondence and memoranda, 1987-1988
Exhibit Files
Box Folder
1 3 Here Before HemisFair
4 San Antonio Treasures
5 Seize the Moment
6 Remember Me
7 Eighteenth Century Origins of the Tejano Community in San Antonio
8 Country Doctor Exhibit
9 Cartooning Texas



 

Tejano Task Force

Correspondence
Box
2 Artifact correspondence [1-3], 1990-2003
Artifact negotiations [1-2], 1995-2003
Audio visual equipment, 1995-2000
Bonet, Elida, 1998
Charge, 1993-1996
Christ the King Church, 1997
Colonial roots, 1996
Community meeting, 1996
Commentaries staff, 1994-1996
Consultant letters, 1991
Consultant potentials, 1990-1996
Content reviewers, 1996
De La Teja, Frank, 1996-2001
El Paso trip, 1991
Family,1996
Fundseeking, 1999
Guerra, Enrique, 1991-1997
Histowall panels, 1996
House reconfiguration, 2003
Los Caminos Del Rio, 1991
Lubbock correspondence, 1994
Lubbock RSVP, 1994
Lubbock trip, 1999
Manikins [1-2], 1993-2007
Mother's Day San Antonio, 2000
Opening phase 1, 1996
Box
3 King Ranch, 1997
Memos, 1990-1998
Music interactive, 1997-2003
New Mexico trip [1-2], 1992-1997
Pastorella, 1995-1996
Phase 2 graphics, 1997
Phase 2 planning, 1998
Posada, 1992
Quotes colonial roots, 2002-2003
Quotes, 1996
Quotes wall, 1995-1998
Religious case, 2000
Resource, 1996
San Antonio consultants, 1992
San Antonio, 1999-2003
Schedules, 1991-1996
Socorro project, 1995-1996
Tamalada, 1998-1999
Tejano Committee, 1992
Tejano muralist, 1993-1996
Time Warner funding, 2000
Transcribing project, 1999-2000
United States-Mexico fund for culture, 2000
Valley trip, 1999
Website, 2002
Wedding, 1997-2002
Videos, 1992-1996
Transcripts
Box
4 Booklet, 2000-2003
Booklet review, 2002
Booklet content review, 1999-2002
Booklet Mexican Texans, 2002
Community meetings
Abernathy, Texas
Box
5 Gudzikowski, Laurie and Tom Shelton, 1994
View Contents
LaRo, David part 1, 1994
View Contents
LaRo, David part 2, 1994
View Contents
McKenzie, Phyllis interviewing Juan Flores et. al., 1994
View Contents
Solorio, Matt, 1994
View Contents
Box
4 Edinburg, Texas, 1994
View Contents
Elmendorf, Texas, 1994-09-08
View Contents
El Paso, Texas
Box
4 Fitts, Bob and Leslie Burns part 1, 1994
View Contents
Fitts, Bob and Leslie Burns part 2, 1994
View Contents
Galvan, Lawrence 1994
View Contents
Gudzikowski, Laurie, 1994
View Contents
McKenzie, Phyllis, 1994
View Contents
Shelton, Tom and Matt Solario, 1994
View Contents
Institute of Texan Cultures
Box
4 Fitts, Bob and Matt Solario, 1993
View Contents
Box
5 Gonzalez, Cindi part 1, 1994
View Contents
Gonzalez, Cindi part 2, 1994
View Contents
Gudzikowski, Laurie part 1, 1994
View Contents
Gudzikowski, Laurie part 2, 1994
View Contents
Gudzikowski, Laurie part 3, 1994
View Contents
McNutt, Jim and Cynthia Orozco, 1994
View Contents
McKenzie, Phyllis, 1994
View Contents
McKenzie, Phyllis, Tom Shelton, and David LaRo, 1994
View Contents
Tijerina, Andres et. al., 1994
View Contents
Lubbock, Texas
Box
5 Galvan, Lorenzo and Leo Benavidez part 1, 1994
View Contents
Galvan, Lorenzo and Leo Benavidez part 2, 1994
View Contents
Gudzikowski, Laurie part 1, 1994
View Contents
Gudzikowski, Laurie part 2, 1994
View Contents
Lala's restaurant interview with Mr. Cavazos, 1994
View Contents
LaRo, David part 1, 1994
View Contents
LaRo, David part 2, 1994
View Contents
McKenzie, Phyllis part 1, 1994
View Contents
McKenzie, Phyllis part 2, 1994
View Contents
Solorio, Matt, 1994
View Contents
Gonzalez, Cindi, 1994
View Contents
Shelton, Tom, 1994
View Contents
Colonial roots, 1998
Family, 1998
Gallery Theater, 1992
Gallery Theater Dia de los Muertos, 1992
Guerra, Dora, 1995
House exhibit, 1993
Lala's resturant, 1992
Quotes on colonial roots, 2000
Ritual video, 2000
Tenayuca, Emma, 1995
Video Production [1-2], 1998-1999
Histobook 1999-2000
Ford Foundation, 2000
Institute of Texan Culture staff Tejano community meetings, 1993
Ranching lifestyles, 1999
San Antonio [1-4], 1993
Tejano community meetings Bowie high school, 1994
Box
6 Tejano/Tejana Historical Association, March 5, 1993
View Contents
Texas State Historical Association, 1993
El Paso exhibits and research , 2000
Tejano Task Force [1-2], 1992-1999
Subject files
Box
7 Booklet Mexican Texans [1-2], 2001-2004
Cinco de Mayo, 1996-2000
Conferences [1-2], 1992-2000
Diez y Seiz Crystal City, Texas, 2000
Elizondo, Patti, 1997-1999
Entadas, 1996
Feast day, 1992
Friar mannikin, 1990-1996
Graham, Joe, 1997
Harris, Frank, 1998
Idar family, 1999
Jacal, 1993-1996
Lubbock names, 1997
Native Americans, 1995
Nelson, George, 1991
Phase 3-4, 1998-2000
Rituals, 1995-1999
Socorro [1-2], 1990-1996
Research Files
Box
8 Alamo aftermath, 1996-1997
Albuquerque Museum, 1991
Avance Research, 2001
Blue collar, 1998
Book research on economy, 1990
Border region, 1990
Research centers, 1997
Costumes, 1993
Islanders, 1996
Education, 2000-2001
18th century, 1995-1997
Entrepeneurs, 1996
Farmworkers, 1996-1997
Folk art, 1997
Laredo trip, 1999-2000
Military, 1990-2002
Music, 1990-1995
Newspapers [1-2], 1990-1998
Poverty and discrimination, 1998
Resources, 1994-2000
Resumes, 1994-2000
Sanez history, 1996-1997
Texas highways photos, 1990
Women, 1990-1997
Reports
Box
9 Artifacts, 1998-2000
Avance Inc, 1992
Lubbock Texas, 1994
New Mexico trip, 1991
Blue collar workers, 1990
Cisneros report, 2000
Copyrights, 1996-1997
Opening phase 2, 1998
Phase 1A, 1993-1995
Phase 1B planning [1-2], 1993-1996
Phase 1 A, 1993
Poyo, Jerry, 1990-1992
Phase 2 family [1-2], 1997-1998
Publicity [1-2], 1999-2000
Tejano costumes Schmit, Marilee [1-2], 1991
Tejano video project, 1992
Tijerina, Andes, 1997
Box
10 Concept statement, 1999
Docents, 1995
Design reports [1-2], 1995-1998
Field notes, 1998-1999
Gallery theater, 1993
House, 1997
Jacal, 1996-2000
Lubbock, 1996
Progress reports, 1996
McDonald, David, 1996
Murals, 1993
Redesign, 1994
Reconfiguration, 2000
Religion, 1995
Textiles, 1990
Video filming, 1992
Visitor reports [1-3], 1995-1997
Finished house reports, 1999