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Dr. William Camfield and Dominique de Menil, c. 1970. Courtesy of William Camfield.

A 1.3 mile exodus

In the fall of ’69, the de Menil group came to Rice. I had never planned to stay long in Texas, and had actually almost signed a contract at Brown University. I had bid the de Menils goodbye, and we were about to move to Rhode Island. But unbeknownst to us, there were already difficulties between the de Menils and the University of St. Thomas. They split ways in the spring and summer of ’69, and Rice was interested in picking up the people in the Arts [Department] at St. Thomas…a whole troop of us came over. The de Menils, without pressuring us, just asked if we would stay to help the transition, and Rice did too. We did—and we are still here. Rice had to find places for us, and the de Menils proposed a building that would fit in with the campus in terms of the type of brick work and historical reference and design, etc. But there wasn’t time for that, or people didn’t think there was time for that. So the decision was made to put those two buildings out there: the buildings that now house the Media Center and the Continuing Studies Program.

They were meant to be temporary buildings—yes!—but they are still there. And one of the arguments from a crusty old guy at Rice was, “Goddamn, I remember The University of Texas when they brought in these Quonset huts after WWII, and they were supposed to be temporary, but they are still there, and I won’t stand for this!” They’re not Quonset huts, but…they are corrugated metal, so they are squared-off Quonset huts. But they were very elegant inside, and they are not only still here, but they are highly sought-after spaces. There are people on this [Rice] campus that would kill to have one of those buildings now.

Rice University had…for years James Chillman, who as you know was Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, and a part-time teacher at Rice. He had been here since 1916. He taught history of architecture and other history courses and from time to time Rice had had someone else doing a little academic work in history of art and architecture. But there wasn’t an art department until 1965. Katherine Brown was hired in 1963 at Rice to do some art history courses, and she knew so much more about art history and history of architecture and so forth, that the School of Architecture said, “Hey, keep her!”

The de Menils left St. Thomas a small collection of books and other things, too, but St. Thomas developed a stronger art department in terms of studio art. And Earl Staley had been let go at Rice previously, and he was hired as the Chair at the University of St. Thomas, and built a very lively little department there with Jack Boynton and a classicist who dealt with classical Greek and Roman art—and I believe she is still there.

Academic art in the seventies

The 70s became richer early on, right away. Certainly at Rice, where things changed radically in terms of the arts with the de Menils’ shift—because finally there really was an art department, and since there were five art historians and five artists, it immediately became sort of a balanced department. But it was a complex department, too, which nobody recognized—because in addition to the department per se, the media center, being physically separate, tended to become an entity of its own. Both Winningham and Blue were empire builders out there, so the Media Center was part of the art department technically, but practically it was out there—and they had lots of money and lots of ambition, lots of energy and lots of talent. Then unbeknownst to most people, drama was part of the department.

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
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
Daniel
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
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
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.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
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.
Tarell
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.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
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.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
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Yasmin
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Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
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AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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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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