The Cultural Legacy of the Rio Grande

feature WEGrgv
Manuel Guerra residence and store in Roma, TX, built by Heinrich Portscheller, 1884. Florentine Renaissance style.
© Walter Eugene George

The Cultural Legacy of the Rio Grande

Exhibit and symposium to showcase the cultural legacy of the borderlands

 
SAN ANTONIO – Culture is the sum of all those factors that define a way of life: the foods people eat, the songs they sing, the images they paint, and the places they live. During his life, Walter Eugene George captured the culture of the Rio Grande in photos and drawings of its architecture.
 
The UTSA Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research, a component of the College of Architecture, will sponsor an exhibit and symposium at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, "Walter Eugene George and the Cultural Legacy of the Rio Grande," co-sponsored by the College of Architecture’s Center for Cultural Sustainability and the Institute for Economic Development at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
 
Walter Eugene George held the first San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professorship in Memory of Mary Ann Blocker Castleberry at The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Architecture. During his career, he generated a body of work comprising some 500 drawings and 16,000 photos, focusing on the "Rio Grande Corridor" between Eagle Pass and Brownsville.
The exhibit, opening Feb. 1, showcases 12 photos, a large hand-drawn map, and a selection of Historic American Buildings Survey sketches from George’s collection. The Feb. 6 symposium will discuss the importance of a wide range of historic resources in the Borderlands to the state of Texas, including the impact of George’s work.
 
"An important part of the symposium, and key to the exhibit, is the appreciation of Eugene George," said Maggie Valentine, exhibit curator and UTSA professor of Urban and Regional Planning and Architecture. "His work as a preservation architect, scholar and teacher, taught by example how to recognize, measure, photograph, and restore South Texas’s cultural legacy, consisting largely of vernacular buildings of the early ranching communities."
 
Valentine selected the specific areas of emphasis for the exhibit, including San Antonio, Roma, Rio Grande City, Cuevitas, and the Viejo Guerrero ghost town in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Viejo Guerrero was lost when the Falcón Dam was built in the 1950s. George reconstructed a map of the city before its inundation, and returned to the site in 1983 and in 1995 when drought conditions exposed the ruins. A selection of the Viejo Guerrero drawings is featured.
 
At the Feb. 6 symposium, scholars and students will lend their perspectives on Eugene George’s work, including Mario Sanchez, Texas Department of Transportation; Jesus de la Teja, Jerome H. and Catherine E. Supple Professor of Southwestern Studies, Texas State University; Steve Tillotson, AIA, Munoz & Company; and UTSA professors Richard Tangum, Maggie Valentine and Bill Dupont, FAIA. The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion, moderated by Gil Gonzalez, Director of the Rural Business Program in the UTSA Institute for Economic Development.
 
The Walter Eugene George exhibit will remain at the Institute of Texan Cultures through Feb. 28. For more information on the Feb. 6 symposium, and to register, call the UTSA College of Architecture at 210-458-3137. Check-in on Feb. 6 begins at 8:30 a.m.
 
The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.
 

Back

 
 
UTSA
©2014 Institute of Texan Cultures. University of Texas at San Antonio. All Rights Reserved.
 

WB2

Receive Texan Cultures E-Blast Updates

Official Institute of Texan Cultures Periodic Bulletin:

Enter your e-mail address to receive periodic information on announcements, news, events and event schedule changes.

 
 

WB2