Austin History Center

Mark Goodman "Capital Improvements" Photographs

An Inventory of the Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: Goodman, Mark, 1946-
Title: Mark Goodman "Capital Improvements" Photographs
Dates: 1982-1990, 2013
Dates (Bulk): 1982-1984
Abstract: Mark Goodman was a photography professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin from 1980 until 2013. 81 photographs from his project "Capital Improvements" and the finished artist's book document the original square mile of Austin as it existed in the early 1980s.
Identification: AR.2016.064
Quantity: 2.84 linear feet (2 boxes, 81 photographs and 1 artist's book)
Location: Photo Room
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Sketch

Mark Goodman is an art photographer based in Austin, Texas, active from the 1970s to the present (2017), who served as a professor of photography at the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) from 1980 to 2013.

Born May 19, 1946, in Boston, Massachusetts, he spent a lot of time as a child at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Rejected from art school, Goodman received a degree in anthropology from Boston University in 1970, and studied photography with Minor White, editor of Aperture magazine. He was the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1973) and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1977). He taught workshops at various locations in New York before beginning his 33-year tenure as a photography professor in the Department of Art and Art History at UT-Austin in 1980.

Goodman's most well-known project is his twenty-year documentary project, A Kind of History: Millerton, New York 1971-1991, which took an anthropological look at the people of Millerton, New York. Photographs from this project were published as a book in 1999. Shortly after moving to Austin Goodman began his Capital Improvements project photographing the original square mile of the city. The suite of photographs was exhibited locally at Photowork Gallery and later at the Austin History Center. Working with AgavePrint and Cloverleaf Studios (both in Austin), Goodman published the photographs in 2013 in a limited edition book with a run of 5 books. Goodman also photographed the Austin punk scene in the 1980s, culminating in a book, Big Boys Dicks published in 2008. Since the mid-1970s, Goodman's photographs have been featured in individual and group shows all over the United States, including several in Texas. His photographs are in collections at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City among other museums.

Scope and Contents

81 photographs by Mark Goodman comprising his project Capital Improvements document the original square mile of Austin, Texas as it existed in the early 1980s. The documented area covers fourteen square blocks of downtown Austin. The images take a pedestrian's point of view and look at the space, architecture and light of the area. Pictured are buildings, sidewalks, trees, and construction projects. The majority of photographs are devoid of people, focusing rather on the place. The prints are all signed and dated on the back. Many but not all have details about the location where the image was shot. A book dummy and the final artist's book Capital Improvements are also included in the collection.


The collection is arranged in two series: photographs and book materials. Photographs were arranged in two sub-series: photographs published in the book Capital Improvements organized in plate order and additional photographs organized in chronological order with unidentified photos at the end.


Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Use Restrictions

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections.

Restriction 03: These photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of the photographer.

The artist’s book should not be photographed or photocopied.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Goodman, Mark, 1946- .
Architecture--Pictorial works
Cities and towns--Texas--Austin--Growth.
Construction projects--Texas--Austin
Capital Improvements
Austin (Tex.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Austin (Tex.)--Pictorial works
Document Types
Artists' books
Black-and-white photographs
Dummies (printed matter)

Related Material

AR.2010.011 Mark Goodman Collection of Student Photography Projects

AF - Biography - Goodman, Mark, 1946-

AF - Subject - Austin - Pictures, Illustrations, Etc.-1980-1989 A8708

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Mark Goodman "Capital Improvements" Photographs (AR.2016.064). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1985/097

Donation Date: 4 December 2016

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Nicole Davis/2017.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Photographs, 1982-1984

Photographs used in book 1982-1984
Box Folder
1 2 Plate 3, "NW Corner, Congress Ave. and W. 6th St., looking north toward the foundation site of One American Center," (#001), 1982
2 Plate 4, "Courtyard next to O. Henry Hall at Colorado St. between W. 6th adn W. 7th streets, looking east toward the foundation site for One American Center" (#002), 1982
2 Plate 5, "Alley behind the 200 block of W. 4th St., looking north, toward the American Bank Tower" (#003), 1982
2 Plate 6,"Alley behind 310 Colorado St., looking NE toward Interfirst Bank Tower" (#004), undated
2 Plate 7, "Alley behind E. 6th and E. 7th streets, at San Jacinto St., looking west toward Brazos St., the Driskill Hotel and One American Center" (#005), 1984
2 Plate 11, "First Methodist Church, 1201 Lavaca St., looking east toward the State Capitol" (#006) 1983
2 Plate 12, "SE corner, San Jacinto and W. 8th St., looking East toward the Federal Building" (#007), 1983
2 Plate 13, "The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Buildings, 416 W. 12th St., looking north toward the Executive Office Building, 411 W. 13th St." (#008), 1982
2 Plate 14, "San Antonio St between W. 5th and W. 6th streets, looking north" (#009) 1982
2 Plate 15, "Mauthe-Myrick Mansion, 408 W. 14th St., looking north, United Bank Tower, 400 W. 15th St., is in the distance" (#010) 1983
3 Plate 17, "Visitor parking garage -- Starr Building, Comptroller of Public Accounts -- 515 Colorado St., near 6th St. Previously the American National Bank, looking north" (#011), undated
3 Plate 19, "American Bank Parking Garage, 500 Lavaca St., with sunlight reflecting from the mirror glass panels of the American Bank Tower" (#012), 1982
3 Plate 20, "State and Paramount Theaters, Congress Avenue between E. 7th and E. 8th streets" (#013), 1982
3 Plate 21, "E. 6th St., the 200 block, looking north" (#014), 1984
3 Plate 22, "Parking Garage at Red River and E. 9th St., looking west" (#015) 1984
3 Plate 23, "Brazos and 15th streets, the stairway to the north side of the Capitol complex, looking southwest" (#016) 1984
3 Plate 24, "Waterloo Park near Red River and E. 12th St. looking west" (#017) 1982
3 Plate 26, "NE Corner E. 6th and Brazos streets, looking east" (#018) 1983
3 Plate 27, "Congress Avenue between E. 4th and E. 5th streets, looking East. (Future site of Frost Bank Tower and Mexicarte Museum)" (#019), 1983
3 Plate 28, "Future site of the 6-story First National Bank Building, 327 Congress Ave., looking west" (#020), 1983
4 Plate 31, "Between Lavaca and Guadalupe streets, W. 6th and W. 7th streets, looking west. The Alamo Hotel, 400 W. 6th St., is in the distance." (two copies, #021-022), 1982
4 Plate 32, "Between San Jacinto and Brazos streets, near E. 9th St., looking west, St. Mary's Cathedral School playground partially dismantled, at the future site of Capitol Tower, 209 E. 9th St., an 8-story office building" (#023) 1984
4 Plate 35, "South wall of Slaughter Wholesale Meats and Packing Co., 207 Brazos St. In May 1976, Webb Middle School students painted the mural" (#024), 1983
4 Plate 36, "Spray painted graffito hand on alley wall in the warehouse district" (#025), 1984
Additional prints 1982-1990
Box Folder
1 5 "State Capitol grounds near Congress Avenue and E. 11th Street, looking west. Base and shadow of the 'Southern Confederacy' statue (1901) is on the left, the 'Volunteer Firemen' statue (1896) is beyond, the Westgate Building is in the distance." (#026), 1982
5 "Norwood Tower" (#027), 1982
5 "Whitley Printing loading dock, looking north" (#028), 1982
5 "W. 6th and Congress Avenue, looking NE" (#029), 1982
5 "E. 6th St., looking east" (#030), 1982
5 "Congress Ave. (near W. 6th St.), looking west. Foundation site for One American Center" (#031), 1982
5 "West Avenue" (#032), 1982
5 "Eastside Congress Avenue, looking north" (#033), circa 1982
5 "Future Site -- Marriott Hotel" (#034), 1983
5 "Town Lake, looking south" (#035), 1983
6 "E. 7th St., looking south, One American Center under construction" (#036), 1983
6 "Shoal Creek, looking south" (#037), 1983
6 "E. 6th St. (near I-35), looking north" (#038), 1983
6 "Railyard Apartments, under construction" (#039), 1983
6 "Between San Jacinto and Trinity streets, looking north toward E. 8th St. and the Federal Building" (#040), 1983
6 "Warehouse District alley" (#041), circa 1984
6 "Alley, looking south toward W. 7th St. and One American Center" (#042), 1984
6 "Congress Ave." (#043), 1984
6 "West 3rd and San Antonio Streets, Republic Square Plaza under construction" (#044), 1984
6 "Congress Avenue, looking south' (#045), 1984
7 "Capitol Grounds, looking south" (#046), 1984
7 "W. 9th St., looking west' (#047), 1984
7 "E. 7th and Congress, looking west" (#048), 1984
7 "Railyard Apartments, under construction" (#049), 1984
7 "Congress Avenue, looking north" (#050), 1984
7 "Colorado St., near W. 5th St., looking south" (#051), 1985
7 "Future site of Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol near E. 11th St., and I-35" (#052), circa 1985
7 "West side of Congress Avenue, looking north" (#053), 1985
8 "Looking west toward Republic Square Plaza' (#054), 1985
8 "Looking NW toward Railyard Apartments" (#055), circa 1987
8 "W. 1st St., looking northeast" (#056), 1987
8 "Looking SE from Republic Square Plaza (Hobby Building)" (#057), 1990
8 "Razing of the Austin American-Statesman building, looking west toward Republic Square Plaza" (#058), circa 1990
9-11 Unidentified prints (#059-081) 1982-1983, undated

Artist's book, 2013

Note: Wear cotton gloves when handling artist's book. No photographs or photocopies of book.
Box Folder
1 1 Book dummy, 2013
2 Artist's book, 2013