TABLE OF CONTENTS
Mary Ella Wallis Scrapbooks
An Inventory of the Collection
Mary Ella Wallis was born in Rockdale, Texas, in 1897 to George and Mattie Wallis. Her father died in the early 1900s and Wallis and her mother moved to Austin, Texas to live with her sister Norris and her husband B. C. Tharp. Wallis was a public school teacher for Austin Public Schools for more than forty years. She started at John B. Winn Elementary in the late 1910s and retired from John T. Allan Junior High in the early 1960s. She had an avid interest in the performing arts. Wallis died in 1986 and her last residence was listed at Houston, Texas.
The collection consists of five scrapbooks compiled by Mary Ella Wallis that document her avid interest in the performing arts, and to a lesser degree, her career as a public school teacher, and date from 1915 to 1972. The scrapbooks consist of programs from theater, dance, music and comedy performances in Austin, Texas, and other American cities as well as commencement programs from Austin Public Schools and The University of Texas.
Two of the scrapbook span the dates 1915 through 1941 and contain programs for performances of local Austin, Texas, performing arts organizations and venues such as the Amateur Choral Club, Longhorn Band, University of Texas Department of Music, University Choral Club, University of Texas Glee Club, The Little Theatre, Hancock Opera House (Hancock Theatre), Majestic Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Texas Round-Up (first program from 1930), Curtain Club, Austin Symphony, Austin Music Week, Community Concert Association as well as several Baylor College club performances. Also included are performing arts programs from J. T. Allan Junior High, Austin High School and Austin Classroom Teachers performances and commencement programs from Austin High School and The University of Texas. In addition, Wallis traveled to New York City occasionally and saved the programs for performances at Radio City Music Hall, Roxy Theater, Cohan Theatre, Casino Theatre, New Amsterdam Theatre, Lyric Theatre, Cental Park, Maxine Elliott's Theatre, Empire Theatre, The Playhouse, Henry Miller Theatre, The Forest Theatre and Lewisohn Stadium. There are also performing arts programs from trips to New England, Colorado and Utah.
The three remaining scrapbooks span the years 1942-1952, 1952-1956, and 1956-1959 respectively, with the majority of the programs documenting performances sponsored by the University of Texas (UT) Cultural Entertainment Committee, Department of Drama, Summer Entertainment Committee and the Curtain Club. Wallis also attended a significant numbers of events sponsored by the Community Concert Association, a New York based promotional company that advertised themselves as providing "a Carnegie Hall in every town." Performance programs from other local arts institutions similar to the earlier scrapbooks are also included.
Lastly, there are programs dating from 1960 to 1972 that Wallis saved but didn't file in a scrapbook. Similar to the three later scrapbooks, the majority of the programs are sponsored by the University of Texas Cultural Entertainment Committee, Department of Drama, Department of Music, and the Summer Entertainment Committee. Unlike the scrapbooks there are almost no programs from local, non-UT or out of state arts organizations. In addition there are a few 1960s season tickets for the UT Department of Drama, Cultural Entertainment Committee and Summer Entertainment series.
Open to all users
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. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Mary Ella Wallis Scrapbooks (AR.1994.043). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1972/079
Donation Date: 1972
Collection arranged and finding aid encoded by Molly Hults in 2017.