We have the opportunity to do something extraordinary. We can honor the legacy of Russell Lee, one of the great American documentary photographers of the 20th century, and in the process surround our kids with art and beauty and history as they grow and learn. We can make Russell Lee Elementary a school like no other school in the nation.
By sponsoring the printing and framing of the images featured on this site, you can help create and curate a unique artistic and educational collection that will enrich the life of our school and community in the years and decades to come. You will also be able to honor friends, family, teachers, and loved ones by sponsoring a photo in their name.
A $100 sponsorship will pay for the printing and framing of the photograph you and your families select, as well as a small plaque with information on the photo and the sponsor (or another person you choose to honor). Our hope is to create a permanent collection of photos that reflect important themes in local, state, national, and global history and culture. Teachers will be able to use these photos, and stage thematic exhibitions, to support their teaching and inspire student learning.
When preparing to sponsor a photo, please note if it has been sponsored already. We'll try to remove the sponsored photos as quickly as possible, so there's no redundancy, but there may be an occasional lag.
This is an initial selection. If there are photos, or themes, that aren't represented that you would like to see highlighted, please let us know. There are more than 20,000 public domain Russell Lee images, which cover his work for various government agencies in the 1930s and 40s, that have been digitized by the Library of Congress. They can be seen and searched here:
The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, at UT Austin, has a collection of tens of thousands of Lee images and negatives, including many from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, as well as his Study of the Spanish-Speaking People of Texas series, which consists of more than 900 images taken between April and July 1949 in Corpus Christi, San Angelo, San Antonio, and El Paso.