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Houston Municipal Arts Commission Records

Identifier: RG A 0033

Scope and Contents

The Houston Municipal Art Commission Collection contains artwork and operational records from approximately forty years of the Commission's existence. The artwork records consist of background information on proposed artists and pieces of art, conservation histories, and other published and unpublished information about artwork owned by the City of Houston. The operational records consist of financial data, personnel records, correspondence, minutes, and other information about the Commission as a whole.


  • 1965-2005
  • Majority of material found within 1980-2000

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Houston Municipal Art Commission Records must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Historical Note

The Houston Municipal Art Commission (HMAC) existed to supervise the acquisition and maintenance of art on City of Houston property. When the city was given a proposal for donation of public art, the piece of art and its placement had to first be approved by HMAC before City Council could vote on its acceptance. HMAC was also responsible for coordinating and finding funding for conservation treatments for the city’s artwork. The Commission was dissolved in late 2006, when it merged with the Cultural Arts Council Houston/Harris County and the Civic Art Committee to form the Houston Arts Alliance.


35 Linear Feet (21 record storage boxes, 1 flat box, 8 standard document boxes, 2 thin document boxes, 2 small boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in six series: Permanent Art, Temporary Art, Other Projects, Oversized Materials, Photographs, and Business Records. Within the Permanent Art Collection and Temporary Art series, the municipal art projects are organized alphabetically by the project name. For each project, materials are categorized by: Research/Historical (which often contains artwork proposals, insurance forms, city motions, or general information about the artist); Correspondence; Conservation; Events/Publications; and Photos. There is some overlap – correspondence about conservation, or photographs illustrating conservation techniques, for example, could be placed in either relevant folder, depending on the processing archivist’s judgment. Researchers are advised to look in all the folders for the work of art in question. The minutes are incomplete. In general, minutes are organized by date in the final series, but one or two pages from the minutes where a certain piece of art was discussed will often be found in the Research/Historical folder for that piece of art.


  1. Series 1: Permanent Art
  2. Series 2: Temporary Art
  3. Series 3: Other Projects
  4. Series 4: Oversized Materials
  5. Series 5: Photographs
  6. Series 6: Business Records

Acquisition Information

The collection was acquired from Barbara Claiborn and Pamela Ingersoll acting on behalf of the Houston Municipal Art Commission, April 20, 2006.

Processing Information

Processed by Tamara Jordan; further processing by Marguerite Radhakrishnan. Processing complete September, 2008.
Houston Municipal Arts Commission Records
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository


(832) 393-1662

The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-6 | Th 12-8 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002
M Closed T 10-6 W 10-6 Th 12-8 F 10-5 Sa 10-5 Su Closed