Skip to main content

Paul Hester Photographs

Identifier: MSS 0155

Content Description

The Paul Hester Photographs contains three major groups:

Series A: Using a retrofitted R. B. Cycle Graphic from the Folmer and Schwing Division of the Eastman Kodak Co., Hester teamed with Curtis Beane and a writer on a project to photograph locations that had been shown in early 1900s panoramic photos in various HMRC collections. Hester and Beane each used the camera. Hester shot about 90 images. These images are negatives 8 inches tall and about 60 inches long.

Series B: Gelatin prints produced from 1978 through 1996 showing notable everyday architectural subjects. Some are related to his work with Cite: The Architecture and Design Review of Houston and Rice Design Alliance exhibition, "The Elusive City: Photographs of Houston." Others belong his NEH-funded "City!" project, "Icons and Eye-Cons: Signs in the Houston Landscape."

Series C: In a project for Cite magazine, Hester produced 518 black and white prints of HPL’s branches including the Julia Ideson Building.


  • Other: 1978-1998


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. Access to panoramas requires an apppointment.

Use Restrictions

Paul Hester’s written permission is required to reproduce images for commercial purposes. Reproductions need to state “© Hester + Hardaway Photographs”

Biographical Note

Paul Hester is a prolific commercial photographer who has photographed Houston and its surroundings from 1960s through the 2010s both as a freelance photographer and a student/instructor at Rice University. After receiving his bachelor of fine arts degree from Rice, Hester completed a master of fine arts degree at the Rhode Island School of Design. In addition to receiving national grants and commissions, Hester has also worked on multiple occassions with the Houston Public Library.


8.5 Linear Feet (11 boxes) : 749 photographs

Language of Materials


Photo Database

HMRC's Photographic Archives Database ( contains an inventory of photographs in this collection.

Acquisition Information

Paul Hester donated 90 black and white panoramic negatives on October 5, 1988.

Hester donated the photographs from "The Elusive City" Rice Design Alliance project in October, 1998.

He donated photographs of Houston Public Library branches in 2006.

Digitized Materials

Select images from this collection have been digitized and are available on the Houston Public Library Digital Archives at

Paul Hester Photographs
Matt Richardson
December 23, 2020
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