Celebrate Buffalo Bayou: River of Life

Public Reception, Saturday, Nov. 13, 5 to 7 p.m.

Great Deals on Rare Historic and Contemporary Photos and Art Inspired by Buffalo Bayou

A Benefit Exhibition and Sale

Performance of original music by Max Winningham, 5:30 pm

Plus Fascinating Talks about the Geology and History Buffalo Bayou

Flatland Gallery, Café Brasil, 1709 Westheimer, Houston

On View Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 6 pm, through Nov. 28

Nov. 2, 2021

Renowned Houston photographer Geoff Winningham has curated an unusual exhibition of rarely seen modern and historic photographs of Buffalo Bayou. The show, titled “Buffalo Bayou: River of Life,” also includes artwork and prints.

Winningham, whose widely-acclaimed book Along Forgotten River documented Buffalo Bayou over twenty years ago, has researched and reproduced historic etchings and photographs of the bayou, many created before 1900.

Watch This Short film: Photographer and Author Geoff Winningham Describes His Discovery of Buffalo Bayou

Digging Deep into Archives

Winningham, who holds the Lynette S. Autrey Chair in the Humanities at Rice University, dug deep into the archives of Harvard University, the University of Houston, and the Houston Metropolitan Research Center for the show. He discovered historical photographs, artwork, and artifacts relating to Buffalo Bayou going back to 1836.

The majority of these early photographs are by anonymous photographers, but a few, dated 1895-96, were taken by Henry Stark, a celebrated and published photographer of the time. Others, which Winningham located in the Loeb Library at Harvard, were taken by Alfred C. Comey, who was hired in 1912 to do a study of the landscape of the city and advise officials on the planning of future parks.

“At Magnolia Park on Buffalo Bayou,” ca 1890s. Anonymous photographer. Archival pigment print from a digital scan of the original print. Courtesy of Special Collections of the University of Houston Library.

Buffalo Bayou from Green Tree Road, by Geoff Winningham, 2003

Most Never Exhibited Before

There are 138 pieces for sale in the exhibition, including 32 historic photographs and prints, some 50 original landscape photographs by Winningham, as well as photographs of the bayou by Jim Olive and George O. Jackson. Most of the photos have never been exhibited before.

The work on sale also includes art by Janice Freeman and photographs and prints by Houston school children. The latter participated in a photography and art project created by Winningham in 2010 that focused on the city and the bayou. The project resulted in the 2017 publication of the book In the Eyes of Our Children: Houston, An American City.

The exhibition and sale of modern and historic photographs and art benefits two nonprofit organizations devoted to nature and rivers: Save Buffalo Bayou and Friends of Don Greene.

The public reception for the opening of the exhibition is Saturday, Nov. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the gallery attached to Cafe Brasil, 1709 Westheimer in Houston.

At 5:30 p.m. during the reception Max Winningham will perform his original work, “River of Life,” a string bass composition inspired by Buffalo Bayou.

The Geology and Evolution of Buffalo Bayou: Talk at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14

Geologist, naturalist, and river guide Tom Helm will share his extensive knowledge of the evolution of Buffalo Bayou in a public lecture Sunday, Nov. 14, starting at 1 p.m. in the gallery.

Helm will provide a general overview of southeast Texas geology and how the various components of structure, salt movement, stratigraphy, and geologic history have resulted in the landscape observable today in the outcrops visible along Buffalo Bayou.

Historic Settlement on Buffalo Bayou: Talk at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14

Then at 2:30 p.m. Kirk Farris, founder of Art and Environmental Architecture, will speak about his work preserving and reviving a historic section of Buffalo Bayou east of downtown Houston. This historic neighborhood at the east edge of downtown includes the McKee Street Bridge, James Bute Park and Frost Town, also known as Germantown, an early settlement on the south bank of Buffalo Bayou just east of its confluence with White Oak Bayou.

RSVP for the talks.

Exhibition and Sale Continues through Nov. 28

The exhibition remains open Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m., from Nov. 13 through Nov. 28, for further viewing and sales.

RSVP for the opening reception, Saturday, Nov. 13, 5 to 7 p.m.

Can’t come? DONATE!

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