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Gray's Studio Photographs

Identifier: MSS 0498

Scope and Contents

This collection contains individual and group portraits on glass plate negatives of men, women, and children of all ages. The portraits are attributed to Gray's Studio on Main Street in Houston. The photographs are undated and the people are unnamed. Based on the dates of operation for Gray's Studio, it can be inferred the photographs date from between 1897 and 1949. Given that they are on glass plates, they were most likely created on the earlier end of that range. Most of the glass plates are in good condition, though some may be chipped or are faded.


  • 1897 - 1949


Access Restrictions

To request to view images from this collection, please contact the HMRC Photo Archives, To preserve the original glass plates, digital copies will be made available when possible.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from MSS XXXX of Gray's Studio Photographs must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Historical Note

Gray's Studio was in operation between approximately 1897 and 1949, and operated at 502 1/2 Main Street for most of that time. The studio specialized in individual and group portraits. Howard E. Gray, a photographer from Omaha, Nebraska, moved to Houston around 1896. In 1899 Gray is identified as a photo retoucher for C. R. Blackburn at 1008 1/2 Prairie; in 1900-1901 as a photo operator for A. H. Hitchler at 502 1/2 Main; in 1903-1904 as photo operator for Robert's Portraiture at 502 1/2 Main; in 1905-1906 as secretary and operator for Hitchler Photo Company; and by 1908 as the proprietor of Gray's Studio. Around 1913 James S. Hutchcraft appears as the studio's proprietor. Sometime beginning around 1919 Charles Gustafson appears to have taken over the business. His name is associated with the studio until 1945, after which C. F. Witwer, Alma D. First, and Mary J. Chapman successively appear to have managed the studio until its closure around 1949. References: Donor file;


5 Linear Feet (12 boxes) : 357 glass plates negatives

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

Donated by Jaime Connor Pierce on April 16, 2019.

Gray's Studio Photographs
Eva Bernal
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houston History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002