Collection UA05.03.001 - Paul Baker Papers

Identity elements

Reference code

US TxSaT UA05.03.001

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Collection

Title

Paul Baker Papers

Date(s)

  • 1925-1976 (Creation)

Extent

18.8 Cubic Feet

Name of creator

(1911-2009)

Biographical history

Paul Baker was born in 1911 in Hereford, Texas. His family moved to Waxahachie when Baker was eight years old. Baker graduated from Trinity University with a degree in drama in 1932. He continued his studies at Yale University, earning his master's degree in 1939. Baker married Sallie Kathryn "Kitty" Cardwell in 1936; they had three children. During World War II Baker served in the United States Army as a Special Services Entertainment Officer. He received the Legion of Merit Award in 1945 for his work reorganizing the entertainment branch in the European Theater of Operations.

Paul Baker's teaching career began as a drama professor at Baylor University in 1934. He established a standalone drama department at Baylor in 1940, and served as the inaugural chair of the department. Baker designed Studio One, a state-of-the-art theater facility at Baylor in 1941. In 1963, controversy arose when Baker produced Eugene O'Neill's "Long Days Journey into Night" without censoring the language. After Baker was reprimanded by the Baylor administration, the entire drama department faculty resigned in protest. Baker and his fellow faculty members then moved to San Antonio to establish the theater department at Trinity University, where he taught until his retirement in 1976. Baker founded the Dallas Theater Center and Graduate School of Drama in 1959. He taught graduate courses at the Dallas Theater Center from 1959 to 1982, and collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright to design and build the Kalita Humphreys Theater for the organization.

Baker was well known for his Integration of Abilities curriculum for teaching drama. Published in 1972, they are based on the "elements of form": space, movement, color, silhouette, line, sound/silence, rhythm, shape, and texture. This curriculum promotes a philosophy of individual creativity.

Baker resided on his Central Texas ranch in retirement, and was awarded the Texas Medal of Arts in 2007 for his contributions to arts education across the state. He passed away in 2009.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Paul Baker Papers consist of correspondence, photographs, administrative records, scripts, playbills, blueprints for theatre construction, periodical clippings and scrapbooks spanning the years 1925-1976 with the bulk of the material concerning the mid-century. The material from the latter years relates to Baker’s tenure at Trinity University, but the majority of the collection is from his years with Baylor University and his work with the Dallas Theatre Center. The collection also contains a small portion of Kitty Baker’s correspondence and personal papers as well as Jearnine Wagner’s papers regarding efforts in children’s theatre.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open and available to the public for research in the Special Collections & Archives reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

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Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Accruals

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Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Paul Baker & Kitty Baker Papers, Texas State University Wittliff Collections: https://www.thewittliffcollections.txstate.edu/research/a-z/baker.html

Baylor/Paul Baker Controversity, Baylor University: https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/baytc/10374/btc-10374.html

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Paul Baker Papers. Coates Library Special Collections & Archives, Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas).

Alternative identifier(s)

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Sources used

Archivist's note

Processed by Kate Cuellar, 2015. Finding aid migrated to AtoM by Colleen Hoelscher, September 2019.

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