<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
Interview with Dorothy Hood, conducted by Sarah C. Reynolds.

Early sixties

[The art climate] was sparse. I think there were three artists…Jim Love, Dick Wray and myself. I mean, these were the artists that seemed to be together. The fact is we had to know each other because we were the only ones.

We came here from Mexico and stayed, oh, three or four months—then we came back again and stayed longer. Not until 1965 did [my husband Valasco

José Maria Velasco Maidana, 1901-1989. Noted Bolivian conductor and composer, he was considered by many to be the leading nationalistic composer of his country. He was married to Dorothy Hood for nearly 50 years.
and I] come back for good. I had family here—my mother and my father. We really wanted to go back to Mexico but things started happening.

Kathryn Swenson had a gallery…she and Jerry MacAgy worked very closely together. Jerry was at the museum at that time; when we came to Houston she was working with Mrs. de Menil. Ruth Pershing Uhler had a big role there…she knew everything—every archive, everything that ever happened at the museum. She was the one you went to to find out the facts.

One day Meredith Long came by the studio and he looked at the work and said, “I want to go to Mexico and see some of your artists and bring some [work] back.” So he went and visited in Mexico and he took some of my friends’ work and brought them to exhibit here in Houston. That’s how I knew Meredith. Then he took me on with his very first gallery, over by the railroad tracks. [We decided to stay because]things were slim in Mexico. I mean, one could hardly make a living there. It was all beautiful—I mean we had a nice apartment and so forth—but as far as the practical, it was more beneficial to stay here.


By Dorothy Hood, 1969. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Meredith J. Long.


In Mexico everyone helped each other without hesitation. They would bring people into your studio. We had galleries which divided into groups, and we had common goals and everything. Here it was really disorganized. I felt as if there were groups that I couldn’t see what their motive was. They seemed more political, if anything.

I think the Museum of Fine Arts [MFAH] has had a variable position in the art realm. I think every director has come in with their own agenda, and I think it depends greatly on the director of the museum how the art community lives, or does not live.

The de Menils became from the very first an example of excellence. A lot of people think that they, by showing really fine art, did their duty to the community—and I’m sure that they have. I don’t believe at any time, though, that they got involved with the creativity of the Houston scene.

The CAA (which became CAM) had a place out on Main I think it was—a little building. I think they were very close, all the people that organized it at first. It was a closely knit endeavor, and I thought it was a very good thing.

View of MFAH installation of "Dorothy Hood Drawings," February 27, 1975-March 20, 1975. Photo by Allen Mewbourn. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Archives.

The houston scene

I see [the art scene in Houston] the way I first saw it: You can work at your own pace here, and you can either participate or not. You’ve got a lot of free choice. I do think that I haven’t seen any impulse toward local pride and wanting to push art from Houston in other places. I really have seen very little self-assurance that they have good talent here, with groups of artists really being proud, on a high level. To a lot of the dealers the locals are a token and their real interest is very expensive—either old masters or contemporaries from New York. There’s a lack of adventuresomeness among the collectors to a certain extent.

There’s a lot of freedom in Houston, though…mental freedom…because you had to work alone. I mean you had to think alone, and of course you could set up your own values. It was great for art…because you could be anything, you didn’t really have to fit into anything. In that way it was very, very creative.

[Socially] you really had to “toe the mark.” With men it didn’t matter, but with women you needed to be sure that you came across as a proper person. I came back [from Mexico]determined that I wasn’t going to do anything eccentric and that I was going to honor their values, you know. Which I did. It made me pretty much of a loner. I mean, I felt like a loner, which might have been good. But then of course, I had Valasco as a companion, and we were okay. He was composing [then] and he wasn’t conducting. He had entered his passive phase, which was very hard on me. When we were in Latin America, he earned the living and when we were here it changed because he just could not keep up with the pace. It was too rapid for him. So I became kind of the boss at that time.

Dorothy Hood, c. 1960s. Photo by Hickey and Robinson. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Archives.


[Being awarded an honorary PhD at Rhode Island School of Design] was one of the nicest experiences of my life, I think. I never expected it. I never knew they followed me, or my work. This thing came, and I went—there were many French directors there, and it was a nice feeling. I’ve kept a history of art in Houston from all my scrapbooks. I’ve kept them from the first.

I’ve been given a great chance. I think the first thing an artist should [consider] is not whether you will be successful or anything like that. You have to think of the creative first. If I can do well, and I have the freedom to do well, that’s about the best thing that can be offered. [I have that here]without too many restraints, and it’s comfortable.

Dorothy Hood was interviewed on July 18, 1992. You can listen to the interview here .

Questions & Answers

Calculate price elasticity of demand and comment on the shape of the demand curve of a good ,when its price rises by 20 percentage, quantity demanded falls from 150 units to 120 units.
Helen Reply
5 %fall in price of good x leads to a 10 % rise in its quantity demanded. A 20 % rise in price of good y leads to do a 10 % fall in its quantity demanded. calculate price elasticity of demand of good x and good y. Out of the two goods which one is more elastic.
what is labor
Grace Reply
labor is any physical or mental effort that helps in the production of goods and services
what is profit maximizing level of out put for above hypothetical firm TC = Q3 - 21Q2 + 600 + 1800 P = 600 MC = 3Q2 - 42Q + 600
Sosna Reply
consider two goods X and Y. When the price of Y changes from 10 to 20. The quantity demanded of X changes from 40 to 35. Calculate cross elasticity of demand for X.
sorry it the mistake answer it is question
consider two goods X and Y. When the price of Y changes from 10 to 20. The quantity demanded of X changes from 40 to 35. Calculate cross elasticity of demand for X.
The formula for calculation income elasticity of demand is the percent change in quantity demanded divided by the percent change in income.
what is labor productivity
Lizzy Reply
if the demand function is q=25-4p+p² 1.find elasticity of demand at the point p=5?
Puja Reply
what are some of the difference between monopoly and perfect competition market
Obeng Reply
n a perfectly competitive market, price equals marginal cost and firms earn an economic profit of zero. In a monopoly, the price is set above marginal cost and the firm earns a positive economic profit. Perfect competition produces an equilibrium in which the price and quantity of a good is economic
what are some characteristics of monopoly market
Obeng Reply
explicit cost is seen as a total experiences in the business or the salary (wages) that a firm pay to employee.
Idagu Reply
what is price elasticity
it is the degree of responsiveness to a percentage change in the price of the commodity
economics is known to be the field
John Reply
what is monopoly
Peter Reply
what is taxation
is the compulsory transfer of wealth from the private sector to the public sector
why do monopoly make excess profit in both long run and short run
Adeola Reply
because monopoly have no competitor on the market and they are price makers,therefore,they can easily increase the princes and produce small quantity of goods but still consumers will still buy....
how to identify a perfect market graph
Adeola Reply
what is the investment
investment is a money u used to the business
investment is the purchase of good that are not consumed today but are used in the future to create wealth.
investment is the good that are not consumed
What is supply
 Supply represents how much the market can offer.
it is the quantity of commodity producers produces at the market
what is the effect of scarce resources on producers
Phindu Reply
explain how government taxes and government producer subsidies affect supply
what is economic
Charles Reply
what are the type of economic
macroeconomics,microeconomics,positive economics and negative economics
what are the factors of production
process of production
Basically factors of production are four (4) namely: 1. Entrepreneur 2. Capital 3. Labour and; 4. Land but there has been a new argument to include an addition one to the the numbers to 5 which is "Technology"
what is land as a factor of production
what is Economic
economics is how individuals bussiness and governments make the best decisions to get what they want and how these choices interact in the market
Economics as a social science, which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means, which have alternative uses.
Economics is a science which study human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means
Economics is a social sciences which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce mean, which have alternative uses.....
types of demand elasticity
Farouq Reply
what is competitive market?
Shantal Reply
Researchers demonstrated that the hippocampus functions in memory processing by creating lesions in the hippocampi of rats, which resulted in ________.
Mapo Reply
The formulation of new memories is sometimes called ________, and the process of bringing up old memories is called ________.
Mapo Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Houston reflections: art in the city, 1950s, 60s and 70s. OpenStax CNX. May 06, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10526/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Houston reflections: art in the city, 1950s, 60s and 70s' conversation and receive update notifications?