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Arla Bintliff Collection of Gray's Studio Photographs

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 0215

Scope and Contents

This collection contains roughly 6000 5" x 7" dry gelatin glass plate negatives. The negatives are portraits of local people and were taken between 1913 and 1919 at Gray's Studio at 502 ½ Main. The time period of these images correponds mostly to James S. Hutchcraft's management of Gray's Studio. Many of the photographs have identification, while others do not.

Dates

  • 1913-1919

Creator

Access Restrictions

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

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from MSS 0215 Arla Bintliff Collection 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; https://cabinetcardgallery.com/category/photographer-gray-ne/

Extent

52 Linear Feet (157 boxes) : approximately 6000 5" x 7" dry gelatin, glass plate negatives

Language of Materials

English

Photo Database

HMRC's Photographic Archives Database (https://hmrc.houstonlibrary.org/photos/) contains the full inventory of photographs in this collection.

Custodial History

The glass plate negatives were created by Gray's Photo Studio in Houston. Gray's Studio was in operation between approximately 1900 and the late 1940s. The studio was owned and operated successively by several professional photographers.

An antiques dealer based in the Montrose area acquired these particular negatives from the attic of the building at 502 1/2 Main Street that had been Gray's Photo Studio. In 1968 John Bintliff purchased the glass plates from the antiques dealer. Bintliff later donated them to HMRC in honor of his mother Arla Bintliff.

Acquisition Information

The glass plate negatives were donated to HMRC in 1982 by Mr. John Bintliff, a Houston commercial photographer, in honor of his mother Arla Bintliff.

Digitized Materials

Select images from this collection have been digitized and are available on the Houston Public Library Digital Archives at https://cdm17006.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/search/collection/images/searchterm/mss0215

Creator

Title
Arla Bintliff Collection of Gray's Studio Photographs
Status
Completed
Author
Matt Richardson
Date
June 1, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository

Contact:

The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
832-393-1440
HPL.Gregoryschool@houstontx.gov
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002
TXR.Reference@houstontx.gov
832-393-1662