Member Updates

Philosophical Society member Charles Butt, chairman of H-E-B, is personally donating $1 million to Prairie View A&M University in honor of its president, also a Philosophical Society member, Ruth J. Simmons. A Houston Chronicle article about the award can be read here.

Nobel Prize-winning scientist and Philosophical Society member, Dr. James P. Allison, has been named a 2020 History-Making Texan by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.  Allison and other winners will be honored at the Texas Independence Day Dinner at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin on March 2.



The Art of Texas: 250 Years, based on the book of the same title by Ron Tyler, will close August 25, 2019. It is currently on view at The Witte Museum in San Antonio. The major and massive exhibition features artists ranging from 19th century Theodore Gentilz to 20th century Georgia O’Keeffe. The more than one hundred art pieces include a mural by John Biggers, a sculpture by Jesús Moroles, and a painting by Julian Onderdonk, “Chili Queens at the Alamo,” that once graced the Oval Office during President George W. Bush’s time in the White House. Art has travel ed from museums and collectors from throughout the United States for the exhibition. 

by John Martin Davis, Jr., forward by Mary L. Volcansek

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Celebrate the publication of The Art of Texas: 250 Years, edited by Ron Tyler!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

River Crest Country Club

4:30-7 p.m.

Books will be available for purchase, and light refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public! For more information, visit the event page.

All guests will be entered for a chance to win a free book (drawing at 6:30 p.m.)!

About the Book

More than a quarter of a century ago, critic and author Michael Ennis observed that “there is no comprehensive work on Texas art; there has never been an exhibition offering more than a cursory overview of Texas art from the nineteenth century to the present.” But appreciation for Texas art has undergone a genuine renaissance, with collectors, museums, and the public paying more attention to it than ever before. The Art of Texas: 250 Years tells this story, beginning with key Spanish colonial paintings related to Texas and moving through two and a half centuries of art in Texas. 

This event is hosted by TCU Press and the Center for Texas Studies at TCU with special thanks to Nancy and Ted Paup.

Header image credit: Alexandre Hogue, Neighbors, 1932, oil on canvas, 14 x 30 in. George and Beverly Palmer Collection


Edited by Frances Brannen Vick

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by Lois Farfel Stark

Website  |  Facebook  |  TwitterTED TALK "Shape: Hiding in Plain Sight"  |  More information and purchasing details

by Jan Jarboe Russell

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book cover

by Bill Wright

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book cover

by Blaine A. Brownell

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Gerald D. Hines of Houston, who recently celebrated his 95th birthday, passed away at his home on August 23rd. Mr. Hines was the founder (in 1957) and chairman of the international real estate firm Hines. The College of Architecture and Design at the University of Houston is named in his honor. He was also co-owner of the Aspen Ski Company, skiing into his 90s. Mr. Hines was a Society member since 1995. His obituary in The New York Times can be seen here.

Paula M. Mosle of Dallas, a member since 2001, contributed both her time and financial resources to innumerable institutions throughout her life. She was a life trustee and chairman of the Hockaday School; dean of women, Rice University; governor and trustee advisor, Rice University; past President of the Junior League of Dallas; and trustee of The St. Michael Foundation. Mrs. Mosle passed away August 28th and her obituary is posted here.

William C. Gruben of Dallas passed away on March 17, 2020. Dr. Gruben was inducted into the Society in 2006. He was an economist who spent the better part of his career at The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, co-created The Center for Latin American Economics there, and from 2008-2014, was Director of the Ph.D. Program in International Business at Texas A&M International University's A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business. He also, along with his brother, wrote, produced, and hosted a 30 minute comedy show on KCHU in the 1970s called "Dallas Arcade."  His obituary is posted here.

Robert H. Rutford, former president of The University of Texas at Dallas, died December 1, 2019 at the age of 86. Rutford served as president of UT Dallas from 1982 to 1994. Rutford’s research interests were in the fields of glacial geology and geomorphology. In 1975 he became the director of the Division of Polar Programs for the National Science Foundation. He embarked on more than two dozen treks to Antarctica. Mount Rutford, located in the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica, is named for him. His obituary can be read here.

Ronald K. Calgaard of San Antonio passed away on April 10, 2020 at the age of 82. Dr. Calgaard was President Emeritus of Trinity University in San Antonio, chairman and trustee of the Ray Ellison Grandchildren Trust, former Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Kansas. Calgaard's twenty-year presidential tenure at Trinity was the longest in the university's history. His obituary is posted here.

John Martin ("Marty") Davis, Jr. of Dallas passed away on December 7th, 2019 at the age of 74. Mr. Davis was a lawyer, CPA, veteran, and philanthropist. He authored or co-authored five books, compiled an extensive Texas map collection donated to the Museum of the Big Bend, and generously supported the arts and humane organizations. His obituary is posted on Dignity Memorial.

John House Duncan, Sr. of Houston passed away on January 12, 2020 at the age of 91. Mr. Duncan was a native Houstonian, Korean War veteran, business leader, and philanthropist. He cofounded Gulf & Western Industries and Gulf Consolidated Services. Duncan was inducted into the McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame and awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Southwestern University. His obituary is posted on

Roger S. Horchow of Dallas passed away on May 2, 2020 at the age of 91, A Yale Graduate (1950), he served in the Korean War as 1st Lt. in the Army Security Agency. In 1971, Horchow founded The Horchow Collection, the first luxury mail-order catalog without a bricks-and-mortar presence. He sold The Horchow Collection to the Neiman Marcus Group, which provided the seed funds for his next career as a Broadway producer, for which he won two Tony Awards. His obituary is posted on

John Samuel Winters of Austin passed away on August 29th, 2019 at the age of 97. He was a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas since 1975. Mr. Winters was a decorated veteran, an attorney, a family man, and a distinguished civil and community servant. He was named partner of the Austin law firm Clark, Thomas & Winters and served as President of the Travis County Bar Association (now the Austin Bar Association). His obituary is posted on Dignity Memorial.

Joseph “Joe” Tortorice, Jr. of Beaumont passed away on August 10th, 2019. He was a member since 2014. The Beaumont Enterprise carried an article about Mr. Tortorice, the founder of the national restaurant brand, Jason’s Deli, who was also a philanthropist and civic leader.  His obituary is posted on Broussard Mortuary's website.

Lonn W. Taylor of Fort Davis passed away on June 26, 2019. The prolific writer and historian was the curator for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History for 20 years before his retirement. Texas Monthly posted an article about the "Rambling Boy," the byline used for the articles he penned for the Big Bend Sentinel. Marfa Public Radio also carried news about him.and broadcast a program about him following his death. Texas Highways magazine's 2018 article reveals much about the historian's early years. 

Robert Allan "Bud" Shivers, Jr. of Austin passed away on January 8, 2019. The businessman, investor, and son of Gov. Allan Shivers was heavily involved in Texas philanthropy, especially in Austin. He served on the boards of the Headliners Foundation of Texas, the Texas Association of Taxpayers and the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research. His wife Robin preceded him in death in 2009. He may have been best know for his courage, fortitude and grace in being confined to a wheelchair as the result of an accident since he was a very young man. The Austin American Statesman carried an article about him and also his obituary.

Herb Kelleher of Dallas passed away on January 3rd. He became a member in 2009. In April 1989 Texas Monthly featured a cover article about the entrepreneur. Harvard Business Review published a memorial. The Washington Post also carried an article. The Dallas Morning News published a commentary and his obituary is on

John Mendelsohn of Houston passed away on January 7th. He was a member since 2008. The Houston Chronicle carried an article about the former president who led the MD Anderson Cancer Center in becoming the nation’s top cancer hospital and research center.  M.D. Anderson published a tribute to the president emeritus.

A. Baker Duncan of  San Antonio passed away on January 16th. He was a member since 1985 and served as president of the Society in 2000. The San Antonio Express carried an obituary about the philanthropist and civic leader with projects throughout Texas and who was also chairman and founder of Duncan-Smith.

William C. Powers, Jr., of Austin passed away on March 10, 2019. He was a member since 2003. The attorney, academic, and university administrator served 2006-2015 as the 28th president of the University of Texas at Austin, becoming the second-longest serving president in the university's history. He held the Hines H. Baker and Thelma Kelley Baker Chair at the University of Texas School of Law and served as Dean of the Law School from 2000 until becoming the University President. Among other accomplishments, he completed funding that helped establish the University's Dell Medical School. The New York Times published an article about him and the Washington Post carried news about his passing. The University of Texas President Greg Fenves wrote a tribute about President Powers. The University held a public memorial for him on April 12, 2019,  and the university tower was lit that evening to display "BP" in his honor.

Joaquin G. Cigarroa, Jr.,  of Laredo passed away on March 20, 2019. He had been a member since 1994. The trailblazing doctor served the Laredo area for more than six decades. His honors include Laredo Times Man of the Year 1992 and 1994, LULAC's Life Achievement Laureate 1996, Humanitarian of the Year, and Make a Wish Foundation 1999. In 2002, the University of Texas named him a distinguished alumnus. Cigarroa also served 12 years on the Coordinating Board of Texas Colleges and Universities, where he helped bring Texas A&M International University to Laredo. The Laredo Morning Times' article gives more information and his family has posted a tribute to him.

William D. Wittliff of Austin passed away on June 9, 2019. He had been a member since 1973. The writer, filmmaker, and photographer was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters at the age of 29. He and his wife, Dr. Sally Wittliff, co-founded the Southwestern Writers Collection at Texas State University in 1986. The Austin American Statesman carried an article about him that includes a video. The Dallas Morning News also posted an article about him. News of his passing appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post through an AP wire service story. A memorial service will be held at a later date.