Famed Houston Photographer Donates Work to UH Special Collections


Andy Warhol and Diane Von Furstenberg at the 1980 premiere of “Urban Cowboy” at Gilley’s club in Pasadena. Photo courtesy: Janice RubinRubin is taking a photo of astronaut Sally Ride in NASA’s space shuttle simulator building in 1983. Photo courtesy: Janice RubinRubin is holding one of her works damaged by Hurricane Harvey.World-renowned Houston photojournalist Janice Rubin was preparing to donate a sizeable part of her collection to the University of Houston when Hurricane Harvey hit. The storm that drenched a portion of her prized photography only motivated Rubin to work faster to preserve what survived. 
“I was beginning slowly to scan things with the idea that some day the archive would come to the University,” said Rubin, who chose UH after a tour of the UH Libraries Special Collections. “I would have gone much, much slower. It might have taken me 10 years to do what I did in a year.”
Still displaced by the storm and working out of a rented home, Rubin recently donated 15,000 pieces to the UH Libraries Special Collections. The black and white prints, color slides and negatives from 1976-2002 showcase late 20th-century Houston life, art, politics and business. Famous faces in the photos include former Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire, the late Congressman Mickey Leland, President George H.W. Bush, former Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan and Drs. Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley.
“This part of the collection includes a lot of power brokers and people who made this city in the late 70s and early 80s,” Rubin added. “Houston at that time was a great interest to the world.”
Scanning, documenting and cataloging images that appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine, Forbes, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated just to name a few, was an enormous task of which Rubin could not do alone. Grants from the Harvey Arts Recovery Fund helped hire UH student and library assistant Micaela Cadungog. For …

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