Request Checked Items
Search Terms

Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

email signup
Search Collections

Alvin and Ethel Romansky:

An Inventory of Their Art Collection in the Art Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Romansky, Alvin and Ethel
Title: Alvin and Ethel Romansky Art Collection
Dates: 1768-1987 (bulk 1834-1987).
Extent: 12 boxes, 54 flat file folders (725 items)
Abstract: The Alvin and Ethel Romansky Art Collection is a collection of works on paper, consisting mainly of prints and drawings from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A number of the works reflect Romansky's interest in the political upheavals in France during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The bulk of these are satirical depictions of the characters and events of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and the Paris Commune of 1871. Other works concern the Revolution of July 1830, the Revolution of February 1848, and a few works relate to World War I.
Language: English, French, and German .
Access:

A minimum of twenty-four hours is required to pull art materials to the Reading Room.




Acquisition:

Gifts, 1987-1989 (G3038, G8126, G8127)

Processed by:

Helen Young, 2006

Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


Alvin Sylvan Romansky, an art collector and patron, was an active figure in the cultural affairs of Houston and one of the founders of the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston.

Romansky was born March 15, 1907, in Houston, Texas, to Joseph L. Romansky and Kate Flaxman. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Houston Law School, where he received a law degree in 1929. He practiced law in Houston and was involved in the political scene, serving as state chairman of the Young People's Committee supporting Democrat Al Smith for President in 1928, and as an aide to Governor Miriam Ferguson between 1933 and 1935.

Romansky was also a painter and ceramicist; in 1943 he took courses at the Houston Fine Arts Museum.

In 1948 Romansky was a part of the group that chartered the Contemporary Arts Association; with the building of a small facility in 1950 the Association became the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. He was the Museum's vice president from 1948-1952, and organized the exhibits Contempora in Cotton (1950) and Rufino Tamayo (1952).

Romansky was also a major donor to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; in addition to gifts of art he provided funds for the Alvin Romansky Gallery for Prints and Drawings, and for the printmaking studio of the Museum's Glassell School. He donated art works to the University of Houston and to Baylor University, for whom he also established the endowed Alvin Romansky chair of biochemistry.

Romansky donated large collections of art to the University of Texas Art Museum and to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. In 1971 the University Art Museum exhibited Ashanti gold weights loaned by Romansky.

Alvin Romansky's wife, Ethel Hays Romansky, died in January 15, 1986. Alvin Romansky died March 14, 1994.


Johnson, Sally. "Contemporary Arts Museum." Handbook of Texas Online. The Texas State Historical Association, http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/CC/klc2.html (accessed 6 June 2001).

Paris: Siege and Commune, 1870-1871. An Exhibition in Honor of Alvin Romansky and in Memory of his Wife, Ethel Hays Romansky. Austin, Tex.: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, 1988


The Alvin and Ethel Romansky Art Collection is a collection of works on paper, consisting mainly of prints and drawings from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection is organized into two series: I. Graphic Arts, 1768-1987, and II. French and German Works, circa 1800-1915.

Series I., Graphic Arts, has 132 works (ninety-one prints, seven drawings, three paintings, and thirty-one posters) by seventy-five named artists and a few unnamed artists. The bulk of this group is prints by twentieth century artists. Well-known names include American artists Alexander Calder, Man Ray, and Andy Warhol; European artists Salvador Dali, Käthe Kollwitz, Joan Miró, and Jacques Villon; and Mexican artists Jose Ignacio Aguirre, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Miró's works include his gouache and oil painting La Poétesse and thirty exhibition posters. Depression-era artists include Charles Henry Alston, Peggy Bacon, William Hicks, Leon Foster Jones, and Seymour Fogel. There are prints by Pre-Raphaelite artists Sir John Everett Millais and Holman Hunt. Portrait subjects include Charles Baudelaire (12.7), Georges Braque (11.15), Marcel Duchamp (8.29), and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (12.8).

Series II., French and German Works, consists of 593 works (231 drawings, 332 prints, four watercolor paintings, one collage, two broadsides, and twenty-three reproductive prints) by ninety-three named artists and several unnamed artists. These works primarily reflect Romansky's interest in the political upheavals in France during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The bulk of these are satirical depictions of the characters and events of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and the Paris Commune of 1871. Other works concern the Revolution of July 1830, the Revolution of February 1848, and a few works relate to World War I, including a group of works by the German artists Max Lieberman and Emil Orlik. Other artists represented by several works in the collection are Cham, Honoré Daumier, Theodore Faure, Faustin, Paul Gavarni, Paul Klenck, Maximilien Luce, Hippolyte Maissin, G. de Marcilly, Moloch, and Georges Pilotell. The works are arranged alphabetically by artist. An index of persons depicted in this series appears at the end of the finding aid.


The Ransom Center also has Alvin and Ethel Romansky Collection materials in its Library, its Manuscripts Collection, and its Photography Collection.