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Texas Art Project Microfilm: Porfirio Salinas Papers

Identifier: AAA 13498

REEL 2249: A letter from Lyndon B. Johnson; a scrapbook of clippings and a few photos; sketches; and photos of Salinas and his paintings.

REEL 2250: Clippings and printed material, 1949-1974.


  • 1943-1974


Conditions Governing Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

Conditions Governing Use

Collections are made available for research purposes only. Documents, photographs, art work, microfilm, recordings, and transcripts owned by the Archives of American Art may be protected by copyright, trademark, or a related interest not owned by the Archives. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to determine whether any such rights exist, and to obtain necessary permission for use.

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2 Microfilm Reels

Biographical / Historical

Porfirio Salinas (1910-1973) was born near Bastrop, TX. Salinas is well-known for being one of the first Mexican-American artists to be recognized for his artwork, and for being one of Lyndon B. Johnson’s favorite painters. Salinas began painting and drawing at a young age, and met English landscape painter, Robert William Wood, while working in an art supply store, after which he began working in Wood’s studio. Wood would serve as a mentor for Salinas in the early years of his career, helping him navigate aspects of landscape painting and the art business.

Salinas began painting professionally in 1930, working primarily as a painter of Texas landscapes, and began working with art dealer Dewey Bradford in 1939. By 1960, Salinas’s work was known throughout Texas, and when one of his main collectors, Lyndon B. Johnson, was elected as Vice President in 1961, his reputation as an artist grew exponentially. Johnson hung paintings by Salinas in the White House and his personal residence, and gifted one of Salinas’s paintings Mexican president Gustavo Díaz Ordaz as an official gift from the United States.

Salinas had a solo exhibition at the Witte Museum in 1962, and the book Bluebonnets and Cactus published in 1967 used his work as illustrations. His work was also published widely by the New York Graphic Society. Salinas died in 1973 and the city of Austin established Porfirio Salinas Day later that year. In 1975, Ruth Goddard published her book Porfirio Salinas. Salinas’s impressionistic landscapes can be found in locations such as the Texas Governor's residence, the Witte Museum in San Antonio, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, and at the Porfirio Salinas Art Exhibition held annually in Bastrop, TX.


Other Finding Aids

AAA online guide at

Acquisition Information

Microfilmed as part of the Archives of American Art's Texas project. Material on reel 2249 lent for microfilming 1981 by Maria B. Salinas, widow of Salinas; material on reel 2250 donated 1981 by Dewey Bradford, former dealer of Salinas, then subsequently transferred to the NMAA/PG Library after microfilming. Reel 2249: Originals returned to the lender, Maria B. Salinas, after microfilming.

Note: The Porfirio Salinas Papers were microfilmed for the Texas Art Project at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as part of the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art. Currently the papers can be accessed on microfilm at the MFAH. The University of Houston Libraries and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston are digitizing these papers as part of a collaborative TexTreasures 2020 grant project through the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) with funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).When digitization is complete, these papers will be made available online through UH Libraries and MFAH websites.

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm reels 2249-2250 available for use through interlibrary loan.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas Art Project Microfilm Repository