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Donald Barthelme: An architecture suitable for Everyday Use, 1939-1945


Click to see inside the catalog

Houston Mod’s first exhibition catalog, Donald Barthelme: An Architecture Suitable for Everyday Use, 1939-1945 ($20) brings to life a series of radical house designs by Houston architect Donald Barthelme (1907-1996).

These houses were remarkable for the manner in which they fused cutting edge modern design with the seemingly banal building type of the ranch house and a deep concern for the local climate and geography of Houston in years before air-conditioning.

Donald Barthelme: An Architecture Suitable for Everyday Use is the result of a confluence of circumstances surrounding Barthelme’s last standing house in Houston, the Bousquet-Wightman House of 1941. Houston Mod coordinated with Henry L. Wightman, who resided in the house from 1960-2005, and the Historic Preservation and Adaptive Use Program of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston to document the house for the Historic American Buildings Survey.

In March and April 2005, their findings were publicly exhibited at the University of Houston. In the first week of April 2005,the Rice Design Alliance and Houston Mod included the house on the RDA's twenty-eighth annual architecture tour. Houston Mod produced this catalog as a permanent record of the efforts to document and publicize the house.

It is Houston Mod's hope that this catalog will be the first in a series documenting significant modern buildings in Houston as part of its effort to educate the public about the importance of the city's collection of endangered modernist architecture.

The catalog was designed by Chris Promecene of ph Design Shop.

Limited quantities remain.

Donald Barthelme: An Architecture Suitable for Everyday Use can be purchased at:

Brazos Bookstore

Donald Barthelme: An Architecture Suitable for Everyday Use can also be purchased from Houston Mod.


To pay by check ($20 + $4 postage)
Make check payable to Houston Mod and send to:
P.O. Box 541353
Houston, Texas
77254-1353 USA