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An interview with Michael Collins about his father Lowell Collins, conducted by Sarah C. Reynolds.

Remembered by his son, Michael R. Collins

Michael Roque Collins earned a BFA from the University of Houston in 1978. He later earned an MFA in painting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He has exhibited his paintings since 1974, in solo and group exhibitions nationwide. Since the mid-1970s he has directed the Lowell Collins School of Art in Houston.


He was born in San Antonio, and along with my grandmother and grandfather came to Houston as a very young boy. His grandfather—my great-grandfather—could draw ambidextrously, so I think the facility was possibly genetic; he saw his grandfather at an early age make drawings. My great-grandfather was Roque George, which is my middle name: Michael Roque Collins. I was named after him. And he would say, “Lowell, come over here; sit by me. I want to show you some things.” So they would draw. After he showed some early ability, some of the first things that I recall being told that he drew, were that he colored in his Grimms’ Fairy Tales, which I happen to have. After that he had an interest in cartooning, and shortly thereafter he started carving objects when he was in middle school, let’s say, when he got his first pocket knife. After all of this evidence, my grandmother placed him at the Glassell School (formerly the Houston Museum School) when he was very, very young.

When the war happened he waited to be drafted—actually waited for his number to be called for training. He went to the Clayton Air School and he was getting his wings, ready to serve and probably be shipped overseas, when an inner ear problem grounded him. So he spent the war in Colorado Springs after a long stint in the hospital. But after this the Air Force based him in Colorado Springs, where he was fortunate to sign up with the Colorado School of Arts and Design. [There] he met Otis Dozier and had some experience with Otis’ friend, Thomas Hart Benton. I think that he did this for two or three years as a scholarship student. I also believe he made contact with Robert Preusser who was an early influence on him. At some point after the war was over he came to Houston, but immediately went up [to New York]to the Art Students’ League, where he met Edsel Cramer, a fellow student. Then he gets this cable, this wire that he was offered a position to teach at the Houston Museum School. I remember he told me Edsel was laughing and ribbing him: “If you have a job, you don’t need to be a student. Go and teach.”

So when he moved back from New York he became very close to my godparents, Ruth Uhler and James Chillman. I remember from my father’s stories and their stories to me their both saying to him that he needed to take lessons—that he needed to study with people like Robert Joy; to take the experiences from Preusser and Otis Dozier and Benton and turn that into a degree or two. So he went into the University of Houston where he had a tremendous portfolio already; he got his undergraduate degree, I believe in short order, then he went through the MLA program. He was continuing at that time as an instructor at the Museum School, and he actually became an instructor—an adjunct professor—in studio art at U of H, and an adjunct professor at Rice, teaching art for architects. He met my mother as he was a teacher at the University of Houston; she was a student there studying art. I guess after the MLA was completed he then started seriously as an instructor at the Museum School and at some point in an 11-year period was named dean under Sweeney’s regime at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.

Lowell Collins began instructing at the museum school in 1946. He served as dean of the museum school from 1957 to 1967.

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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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
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