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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Organization of Collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Photographs

Printed Materials

University of Texas San Antonio

A Guide to the Robert Willson Collection, 1935-2015



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Willson, Robert, 1912-2000
Title: Robert Willson Collection
Dates: 1935-2015
Creator Abstract: Robert Willson was an internationally known artist who was educated in the Southwest United States and Mexico. In his early twenties he studied in Mexico and was among the first American artists to adapt Mayan and Mexican folk art imagery in his art. Willson's later work merged Ancient Mayan imagery with Italian glass sculpture techniques.
Content Abstract: The collection consists of photographs from Robert Willson's two educational trips to Mexico, with a focus on the local people and culture. Also included are signed photographs of artists he befriended, and promotional flyers for Socialism in Mexico.
Identification: MS 451
Extent: 0.2 linear feet
Language English
Repository University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections

Biographical Sketch

Robert Willson attended the University of Texas at Austin. In 1935, the university granted Willson the Farmer International Fellowship to study in Mexico. He traveled to various regions in Mexico to see ruins, local museums and art, people and culture. In addition to photographing his travels, Willson recorded much of his research in sketchbooks. He returned to Mexico in 1941 to conduct addtional research. Willson earned a Master of Fine Arts degree with honors from Escuela Universitaria de Bellas Artes. Later in life, Willson worked with master potter Harding Black in San Antonio experimenting with ceramic glazes. He taught art at various institutions. In 1957, Willson traveled to Murano, Italy where discovered glass as a sculptural medium and learned about ancient Venetian techniques that would influence his work until his death in 2000. During his life, Willson also made contributions as a writer; he submitted commentaries on the future of glass in American art, as well as on the major and minor figures of Mexican and Italian art.

SourcesRobert Willson biography at [www.robertwillson.com/biography.html], accessed September 19, 2017.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection includes photographs from Robert Willson's research trips to Mexico in 1935 and 1941. The photographs capture the art, culture, and people of Mexico during the first half of the century and also include several signed pictures of Mexican artists who Willson met during his trips. Assorted print materials, such as promotional flyers for Socialism in Mexico and research materials on Mexican marriage and Sarape weaving, are included in the collection and reflect the many changes Willson saw taking place in Mexico.

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Organization of Collection

Photographs
Printed Materials

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Original audiovisual materials cannot be handled directly by patrons. Please contact Special Collections to request access to these materials, which may require the creation of digital copies.

This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.

Use Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

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Index Terms

Persons
Willson, Robert, 1912-2000.
Subjects
Artists--Mexico--1920-1940.
Mexico--History.
Photographs--Mexico.
Places
Mexico.
Oaxaca (Mexico).
Taxco (Mexico).
Zacualpan (Mexico, Mexico).
Genres/Formats
Art.
Correspondence.
Photographs.
Printed Materials.
Local Subjects
Art/Artists
Mexico/Mexican History
Photographs/Photography

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Related Material

The Archives of American Art holds a Robert Willson Papers collection consisting of one microfilm reel with biographical data, a poster, Texas Art press books, artwork, reports, and college curriculum.

The Juliette K. and Leonard S. Rakow Research Library of The Corning Museum of Glass holds a Robert William Willson Papers collection comprised of six boxes containing business records, correspondence, unpublished writing, ephemera, artwork, and audiovisual materials.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Robert Willson, 1935-2015, MS 451, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

There is no available acquisition information for this collection.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Amber Harmon, Library Assistant II, May 2016.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Photographs

Box Folder
1 1 Tocapulca Market, Taxco, Zacualpan, 1935 and undated
2 Oaxaca, Teotihuacan, 1935 and undated
3 Photographs from Mexico Trip, 1941-1942 and undated
4 Signed photos and sketches of various Mexican artists, 1935

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Printed Materials

Box Folder
1 5 Luis Velasco Communist protest, 1935
6 Communist, Socialist Mexican flyers, 1935
7 Correspondence on Sarape weaving, 1935
8 "Mexican Marriage in Utopia, Texas" by A. Wentworth, 1935
9 Raul Anguiano exhibition catalogue, 1962
9 Raul Anguiano exhibition catalogue, 1962
10 Robert Willson biography, 2015

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