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CHH presents The William J Hill Texas Artisans and Artists Archive


Contemporary Handweavers of Houston Presents

The William J. Hill Texas Artisans and Artists Archive:

A Tool for Researching 19th century Texas Needleworkers and Weavers

Presented by Michelle Verret Johnson

on Saturday September 15th 10:00am – noon 

2723 Commerce, Suite 106 Houston, TX 77002

Everyone is welcome.

Wool and cotton overshot coverlet woven in a variation of “Whig Rose” or “Lover’s Knot” pattern. Colors are cream, navy and red. Woven in two panels and then stitched together. Created by Mrs. Catherine Hunsacker Kimmel, 1845 – 1861.

Created by the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Hill Archive is a freely-searchable online archive that documents the lives, work, and products of Texas artisans and artists through 1900. Named for the late Houston collector and Bayou Bend supporter William J. Hill, the archive is intended to facilitate research, understanding, and appreciation of Texas decorative arts, as well as painting, photography, and other media.

One of the more exciting avenues of research made available by the Hill Archive is that of needleworkers and weavers. Records of amateurs as well as professionals are included with images of their work, advertisements, and tools of the trade. This presentation will highlight examples of these records, provide tips for searching and browsing the Hill Archive, and discuss avenues for further research of these 19th century textile artisans.

One of the more exciting avenues of research made available by the Hill Archive is that of needleworkers and weavers. 

The Hill Archive went live in January 2013 with 6,000 records, and its online content now boasts of over 100,000 records. The Hill Archive aims to bridge the gap between the vast array of 19th century Texas decorative arts and the noticeable lack of published research on the artisans and artists who created the objects. As a result, The Hill Archive is a hybrid database that consists of census records, city directory entries, research notes, newspapers, manuscripts, ephemera, correspondence, and objects from a variety of institutions and private collections across Texas.

Find the archive at:

Search for specfic items at: Hill Archive Object Search

Michelle Verret Johnson joined the William J. Hill Texas Artisans and Artists Archive as Project Manager in April, 2014. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University and a Master of Arts in History from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is an avid embroiderer and accumulator of family needlework and textiles.

For more info contact: DeeDee Woodbury