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Remembering two noted UH architects, artists


Attendees were able to view Colbert’s drawings and sculptures at a gallery after the lecture. | Kristina Olguin / The Cougar.

The College of Architecture and Design honored two former UH architecture professors who died recently with a lecture and exhibition of their art and life works Tuesday in the architecture building’s first floor atrium.

Professors William F. Stern and Thomas Colbert were noted architects devoted to art. Architecture Adjunct Professor of architecture and speaker Bruce Webb said Colbert was a maker of art and Stern was a collector.

“Neither of them were ordinary people,” Webb said. “Both of them were activist thinkers who spent hours considering problems and potentials in the city of Houston and its place on the vulnerable Gulf Coast Plain.”

David Breslin, chief curator of the Menil Collection, gave a lecture called “The Space of Drawing: Thoughts on Picasso’s Cartographic Line” where he compared Picasso’s drawings shown in the Menil to Colbert’s drawings.

Breslin said that he chose to focus his lecture on Picasso because both Stern and Colbert’s designs were similar to the artist’s linear drawings.

“Colbert left behind significant work on evacuation and protection strategies in the Gulf Coast, as well as a collection of his own drawings and other artwork for us to appreciate,” Webb said.

Webb said that Stern’s personal collection of contemporary artwork, as well as his house that he designed, were gifts to Houston’s Menil Collection.

After Breslin’s lecture, attendees were able to view Colbert’s drawings and sculptures at a gallery.

“It was interesting to see the professors showcased as architects,” architecture graduate student Tyler Nagai said. “Also, the work they did on the side, aside from their professional work, was interesting to see and something that I might take part in as I become an architect.”

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