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Royal Dixon and Chester Snowden Papers

Identifier: 2016-049

The Royal Dixon and Chester Snowden family papers includes materials covering the personal and professional lives of the Houston-based couple. There are written works by Dixon, including the unpublished Bird Personalities which is illustrated by Snowden. The first series of the collection includes a large amount of correspondence of both Royal Dixon and Chester Snowden. Letters to them individually are in later series in the collection. The majority of the letters are addressed to Dixon. The Snowden series includes illustrations, photographs of Snowden’s paintings, valuations of the paintings, and a written work by Snowden. This section also includes genealogical materials of the Snowden family. Last, the collection includes Gary Zeller’s correspondence and school papers. Zeller, the son of artist Alfred Zeller who worked with Snowden, took care of Snowden’s estate after he died in 1984. The 1.5 linear foot collection dates from 1901 to 2006. The majority of the materials are dated between the 1920s and 1950s.


  • 1901-2006


Conditions Governing Access

Open for Research.

Conditions Governing Use

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


1.5 linear feet

Biographical / Historical

Couple Royal Dixon and Chester Snowden were well-known figures in the literary and art community in Houston, Texas. They met in the late 1920s and worked out of their home at 1310 Truxillo Street which was also known as The Patio or the Thirteen Ten Art Studio and Galleries. Royal Dixon was an author and naturalist, born sometime between 1880-1885 in Huntsville, Texas. He attended Sam Houston State Teachers College and Morgan Park Academy in Chicago. He worked as the curator for the Department of Botany at the Field Museum of Chicago and was a staff writer at the Houston Chronicle. Dixon founded the First Church of Animal Rights and worked to increase rights for immigrants in the United States. He died in 1962. Chester Snowden was an artist born in 1900 in Elgin, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas and then studied art at the Cooper Union, the Art Studies League of New York, the Grand Central Galleries Art School in New York, and the Richard Art School in Los Angeles. He painted and did illustration for Dixon’s books as well as others. Snowden died in 1984.

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA