Ima Hogg (Ima Hogg)

Ima Hogg

Ima Hogg (July 10, 1882 – August 19, 1975), known as “The First Lady of Texas”, was an American philanthropist, patron and collector of the arts, and one of the most respected women in Texas during the 20th century. Hogg was an avid art collector, and owned works by Picasso, Klee, and Matisse, among others. Hogg donated hundreds of pieces of artwork to Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts and served on a committee to plan the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. An enthusiastic collector of early American antiques, she also served on a committee tasked with locating historical furniture for the White House. She restored and refurbished several properties, including the Varner plantation and Bayou Bend, which she later donated to Texas arts and historical institutions who maintain the facilities and their collections today. Hogg received numerous awards and honors, including the Louise E. du Pont Crowninshield Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Santa Rita Award from the University of Texas System, and an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Southwestern University.

Ima Hogg was the daughter of Sarah Ann “Sallie” Stinson and James Stephen “Big Jim” Hogg, later Attorney General of Texas and Governor of the state. Ima Hogg’s first name was taken from The Fate of Marvin, an epic poem written by her uncle Thomas Hogg. She endeavored to downplay her unusual name by signing her first name illegibly and having her stationery printed with “I. Hogg” or “Miss Hogg”. Although it was rumored that Hogg had a sister named “Ura Hogg”, she had only brothers. Hogg’s father left public office in 1895, and soon after, her mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis. When Sarah died later that year, Jim Hogg’s widowed elder sister moved to Austin to care for the Hogg children. Between 1899 and 1901, Hogg attended the University of Texas at Austin; she then moved to New York City to study piano and music theory for two years. After her father’s death in 1906, she traveled to Europe and spent two years studying music under Xaver Scharwenka in Vienna. When she returned to Texas, she established and managed the Houston Symphony Orchestra and served as president of the Symphony Society.

The discovery of oil on her family’s plantation made Ima Hogg very wealthy, and she used this income to benefit the people of Texas. In 1929, she founded the Houston Child Guidance Center, which provides counseling for children with mental health problems or diagnoses and their families. Through her brother’s will, she established the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas at Austin in 1940. Hogg successfully ran for a seat on the Houston School Board in 1943, where she worked to remove gender and race as criteria for determining pay and established art education programs for black students. Hogg never married, and died in 1975. The Ima Hogg Foundation was the major beneficiary of her will, and carries on her philanthropic work today. Several annual awards have been established in her name, honoring her efforts to preserve cultural heritage in Texas.

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Born

  • July, 10, 1882
  • USA
  • Mineola, Texas

Died

  • August, 19, 1975
  • United Kingdom
  • London, England

Cause of Death

  • heart attack

Cemetery

  • Oakwood Cemetery
  • Austin, Texas
  • USA

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