University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce that Patricia Covo Johnson has generously pledged the Lucas Johnson and Patricia Covo Johnson Papers to UH Special Collections.
Patricia Covo Johnson is known for her work as an art critic and gallery owner. After college, she met artist Lucas Johnson (1940 – 2002) while working at Galeria de Arte Misrachi in Mexico City. The couple married in 1971. In a 2006 Houston Chronicle story about Johnson, she wrote that he was self-taught in various art techniques and in 1962, found creative inspiration in Mexico City, where he lived for a decade.
Lisa German, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair, said that the future acquisition supports the Libraries’ mission to preserve and provide access to historically significant primary sources for teaching, learning, research, and scholarship. “We welcome the addition of the papers that document the life and work of Patricia Covo Johnson and Lucas Johnson,” German said. “This collection will go far in engaging the scholarly community on the history of art and artists in Houston and beyond.”
The collection comprises artist Lucas Johnson’s biographical and work history, files pertaining to Covo de Iongh Gallery, and Covo Johnson’s articles and essays for the Houston Chronicle and other publications. When asked what inspired her to gift her papers to UH Special Collections, Covo Johnson said “as an art historian by training and critic by profession, I treasure the value of archives for students and scholars. Their existence meets the need to access original material from which the histories of all human action are ultimately known, written and understood.”
The mission of UH Special Collections is to preserve, safeguard, organize, and describe materials in its collecting areas, while promoting access to rare archival items for current and future generations. “I am honored and grateful that my collection dating from the early 1970s will become part of that safe and invaluable public resource in our city,” said Covo Johnson.