Bert L. Long, Jr. Resources

Bert L. Long, Jr. (1940-2013) was an artist intent on elevating Houston’s art scene, establishing communal projects such as its first art magazine, Art Scene, and helping to found Project Row Houses. His social praxis was in part informed by his childhood in the “Bloody Fifth”—Houston’s Fifth Ward—where he was challenged by an environment of poverty and violent crime. Long saw his work as an artist in part as a ticket out of, as he describes it, “the worst ghetto.” After holding a series of jobs as “the man of the house,” he would eventually nourish a creative spirit, first during his time as a renowned chef, creating decorative foods and experimenting with ice sculpture. And, starting in 1977, as a full time professional artist.

Public Art UHS’ collection includes two seminal works by the artist: The Couple (Chest of Material Wealth) at UHD and The Force (or Bottom Bound) at UH, both from 1977. These works are complemented by the Bert L. Long, Jr. Papers at the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections, which document the artist’s life and career. The collection includes resumes and CV’s, autobiographical statements, and material relating to his exhibits, artworks, and projects. This material includes checklists, invitations, small brochures, loan agreements, shipping documents, correspondence (to and from), selected media clippings, photographs, slides, concept art, and proposals. A bulk of the materials span from the 1980s to 2013. Additionally, there are documents relating to his personal life and his careers in the military and as a chef before he became an artist. 

Bert L. Long, Jr. Papers

Access the finding aid for the Bert L. Long, Jr. Papers at UH Libraries Special Collections.

Highlights from the Collection

The Couple (Chest of Material Wealth), 1977

The Force (or Bottom Bound), 1977