Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

E. Richardson Cherry Papers MSS.0027

Descriptive Summary

Creator Cherry, Emma Richardson, 1859-1954
Title: E. Richardson Cherry Papers
Dates: 1882-1954, 1909-1950
Dates (Bulk): Bulk, 1909-1950
Identification: MSS.0027
Quantity: 12.5 Linear feet, 10 boxes
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

Emma Richardson Cherry resided in Houston between the years of 1892 and 1954. Her works, primarily in oil or watercolor, depicted landscapes, still lives, and portraits. She was perhaps the city's best-known artist for half a century.

Ms. Cherry was born on February 28, 1859 in Aurora, Illinois. She initially attended the Art Institute of Chicago, and then the Art Student League in New York City. Following this period, she studied in Paris and Italy.

Upon completion of her studies, she began teaching at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. In 1887, she married Dillon Brooke Cherry. After five years of living in Denver, Colorado, the couple moved to Houston, Texas. There, Mrs. Cherry worked as a painter and arts promoter. She was director of the Elisabet Ney Museum in Austin and worked to organize the San Antonio Art League. It was during this time that Mrs. Cherry helped found the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. She and her husband remained permanent residents of Houston.

Scope and Contents

E. Richardson Cherry's collection of correspondence, notes, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia detail her family's history, her own travels and artistic achievements as well as her role in the founding of what has become the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Her papers also contain an extensive assortment of materials relating to the career of her son-in-law, Colonel Walter H. Reid, who served for a time as the commanding officer of Ellington Air Force Base.


The collection is arranged in two series contained in ten boxes. Boxes one through eight contain E. Richardson Cherry's papers; including correspondence, postcards, clippings and photographs. Boxes nine and ten contain Mrs. Cherry's sketch books.
Series 1: Letters
Series 2: Sketches


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the E. Richardson Cherry Papers must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Cherry family
Ellington Air Force Base (Tex.)
Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, Tex.)
Cherry, Emma Richardson, 1859-1954
Reid, Walter

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

E. Richardson Cherry Papers. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated November 4, 1977.

Processing Information

Processed by: 'COC', November 1977.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Box Folder
1 1 Undated Correspondence
2 Undated Correspondence
3 Undated Correspondence
4 Undated Correspondence
5 Undated Correspondence
6 Undated Correspondence
7 Fragmented Correspondence
8 Correspondence, 1894 to1907
9 Correspondence, A. E. Job to Mrs. Cherry, 1905 to 1921
Box Folder
2 1 Correspondence, 1908
2 Correspondence, 1909
3 Correspondence, 1910 to 1911
4 Correspondence, 1912
5 Correspondence, 1913 to 1951
Box Folder
3 1 Articles about Mrs. Cherry
2 Newspaper clippings about the Cherry family
3 Miscellaneous materials about Mrs. Cherry
4 Clippings and miscellanous materials about Col. W. H. Reid
5 Correspondence and newspaper clippings about Col. Reid
6 Photographs of the Cherry family
7 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
Box Folder
4 1 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
2 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
3 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
4 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
5 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
6 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
7 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
Box Folder
5 1 Catalogues of exhibits containing the works of Mrs. Cherry
Box Folder
6 1 Undated postcards
2 Undated postcards
3 Undated postcards
4 Postcards, 1900 to 1942
5 Miscellaneous memorabilia
6 Undated Christmas cards
Box Folder
7 1 Miscellaneous art notes by Mrs. Cherry
2 Miscellaneous art notes by Mrs. Cherry
3 Diploma fragments
4 Address book
Box Folder
8 1 Correspondence, 1882 to 1909
2 Correspondence, 1910 to 1929
3 Correspondence, 1930 to 1954
4 Correspondence, undated
5 Correspondence, undated
6 Photographs: WPA murals, unidentified exhibit
7 Notes
8 The Little Review: Joseph Stella
9 Photo negatives of paintings
10 Scripts: "The Humanitarian Hour"; Biographical sketch of E. Cherry; Miscellaneous


9 Sketch books
10 Sketch books