Architecture that Speaks: the work of S. C. P. Vosper at Texas A&M University

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Newcomers to the Bryan-College Station area might be surprised to learn that the Memorial Student Center holds a few of the most well curated art galleries in the Brazos Valley. The J. Wayne Stark, Forsythe and Reynolds galleries bring in collections from all over the world, giving Bryan-College Station the chance to experience a multitude of cultures without ever leaving campus. The galleries’ focus, however, is on Texas art, and they do a great job of highlighting under-appreciated local art whenever possible.

The current exhibit in the Reynolds Gallery is a tribute to one of the men who built Texas A&M in a very tangible way. S. C. P. Vosper was a professor of Architecture at A&M, which boasted the first architecture program at a state college in Texas, who used his skills to design an astonishing ten buildings on campus in only four years. Vosper was the Chief Designer under Campus Architect Frederick E. Giesecke in the period just before the Great Depression.

Vosper’s designs followed the Beaux-Arts tradition, a very intricate neoclassical tradition that originated in France. If that doesn’t sound anything like Texas A&M’s current campus, it’s because most of his buildings were changed in the name of utility. The “Architecture that Speaks: the work of S. C. P. Vosper at Texas A&M University” exhibit in the Reynolds Gallery ensures that his contributions to campus, as well as a beautiful period in the history of A&M’s architecture, are not forgotten.

For those interested in learning more about Vosper’s life and work, he is the subject of a publication by Nancy T. McCoy, principal with Quimby McCoy Preservation Architecture,

Dallas, and David G. Woodcock, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, Texas A&M University. Both the publication and the exhibit will feature photos by noted photographer Carolyn E. Brown.

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