Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Time to read
1 minute
Read so far

Vanderpool tells tale of ’92 exhibition at LOAC opening

February 27, 2019 - 00:00
Posted in:
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Rick Vanderpool visits with Henry and Pam Potter of Columbus during Saturday’s reception for “Rick Vanderpool’s Columbus” at Live Oak Art Center. The Potters posed for Vanderpool to shoot their portrait while he was in Columbus in the 90s.
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Rick Vanderpool addresses attendees at Live Oak Art Center's opening reception for "Rick Vanderpool's Columbus."

Citizen | Vince Leibowitz

COLUMBUS–In 1989, Rick Vanderpool was listening to NPR when an announcer came on and mentioned something about the then recently-formed Columbus Quincentennial Commission. That report included some information about the controversy that existed–and still exists today–about whether Columbus really “discovered” the Americas, and about some of the more unfortunate consequences of his exploration.

“I decided quickly I would like to get a project started,and wanted to focus on all of the positives,” of the various places named after the Italian explorer who claimed much of the Americas for the Spanish crown.

Working with postal historians, and researching in the Library of Congress, Vanderpool developed a list of places named Columbus–even those that no longer existed–and set out to visit and photograph each one.

“I wasn’t given the project, or allowed to do the project, or did the project for any other reason than I thought of it, and God gave me the idea, and that’s where all creativity comes from, and I ran with it,” he said.

The exhibition of those photographs, including three from Columbus, Texas, is on display at Live Oak Art Center through mid-March.

The exhibition, which had its first public viewing in here in 1992, has found a permanent home at Live Oak Art Center, as Vanderpool donated the exhibition to the center’s permanent collection late last year.

Of all of the Columbuses Vanderpool visited, Columbus, Texas, however, quickly became his favorite.

“Every time I examined another community, I compared it to Columbus, Texas. I could not help it,” Vanderpool told the audience.

He talked of visiting with Laura Ann Rau and the late Buddy Rau, both longtime Columbus boosters and preservationists.

“Columbus, Texas has everything that all of the other Columbuses had in, in a form or in a sense,” Vanderpool said.

“Columbus, Texas had the best and not-so-god that every other community had, except for Columbus, Ohio,” Vanderpool said.

Vanderpool, who is known to many for his books and posters highlighting his photography of Texas, is perhaps most famous for his work photographing all of the state’s 254 courthouses.