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Valentin Gertsman Papers and Photographs

Identifier: 2017-031

The Valentin Gertsman Papers and Photographs dates from 1922 to 2018. The collection consists of photographic prints, slides, correspondence, sketches, exhibit posters, recorded television appearances, and manuscripts/mock-ups of Gertsman’s published and non-published books that document architectural development in Houston, Texas. Also included in this collection are over three hundred signed and numbered artist proofs (photographs).


  • 1922-2018


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.


64 linear feet (51 boxes)

Biographical Information

Valentin Gertsman (1925-2013) was a Russian-American orthopedist, and fine arts photographer. Gertsman was born in Moscow and entered the Soviet Army at the age of 17. After serving in World War II he graduated from the First Moscow School of Medicine and specialized in general surgery. He also attended the Central Institute for Advanced Medical Studies eventually becoming Deputy Chief of Orthopedics for Russia (USSR).

In 1974, Gertsman immigrated to the United States and obtained a position at Spring Branch Medical Center in Houston, Texas where he worked for nearly thirty years as an assistant surgeon. Gertsman always had an interest in art whether it was sculpting, drawing, or photography. In Houston, he was particularly attracted to the architectural works of Philip Johnson. Gertsman published several books of his photographs that documented Houston landmarks. Gertsman passed away October 6, 2013.



These records are organized into eight series:

Series I. Books and calendars, 1985-2013;

Series II. Artworks, 1963-2018;

Series III. Exhibits, 1979-2012;

Series IV. Personal, 1922-2018;

Series V. Audiovisual and other media, 1929-2010;

Series VI. Artist proofs, 1975-2010;

Series VII. Slides with Russian labels, 1978-2005;

Series VIII. Unlabeled slides, 1983-2017.

Acquisition Information

Materials were donated to University of Houston Libraries in 2017.

Language of Materials

Materials mostly in English with some in Russian.

Processing Information

In 2021, Brooks Whittaker arranged and rehoused the materials, and created the collection description in compliance with current professional standards.

Valentin Gertsman Papers and Photographs
In Progress
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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