Entries - Entry Category: Arts - Starting with T

T. C. McRae House

The T. C. McRae House is located in Prescott (Nevada County). Designed by architect Charles Thompson and commissioned by Thomas Chipman McRae, the house was constructed in 1919 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 22, 1982. Thomas McRae was born in Mount Holly (Union County) in 1851. Educated in New Orleans, Louisiana, and at Washington and Lee University, he began practicing law in Nevada County in 1873. McRae married Amelia Ann White in 1874, and the couple had nine children. Elected to represent Nevada County in the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1876, McRae moved to Prescott after the county courthouse was moved there in 1877. Subsequently elected to represent the Third Congressional District in …

Tabor, Ronald Dale

Since he was a child, Ronald Dale Tabor has been capturing the rustic scenery and the wildlife of the Ozarks on canvas. For most of his adult years, he painted without the use of his limbs. Tabor is a quadriplegic mouth-artist who taught himself to paint using his mouth after sustaining an injury in a near fatal car accident. He is one of the few Arkansans to gain membership in the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists of the United States (MFPA) and the International Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (IMFPA) based in Liechtenstein, Switzerland. Tabor is known for his realistic paintings of barns, wildlife, and the scenic outdoors of rural Arkansas. Dale Tabor was born in Harrison (Boone County) on …

Taborian Hall

Built at 800 W. Ninth Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County) between 1916 and 1918 by local African-American contractor Simeon Johnson, Taborian Hall is the last remaining original building on the Ninth Street “Line,” which was once the center for black businesses and culture in Little Rock. Originally known as Taborian Temple, the Classical structure was built for the Knights and Daughters of the Tabor, a black fraternal insurance organization. More than 1,500 fraternal members came to the grand opening in 1918. Also in 1918, the first floor informally became the Negro Soldiers Club for black soldiers stationed at Camp Pike (now Camp Joseph T. Robinson). Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Taborian Temple housed many black-owned businesses, including offices for Dr. J. V. …

Talbot, John Michael

John Michael Talbot—the founder and leader of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity at the Little Portion Hermitage near Eureka Springs (Carroll County)—is one of the preeminent Catholic musicians in the world, with more than fifty albums to his name. He is also the founder of the Catholic Association of Musicians and the author of more than a dozen books on Christian meditations and music. John Michael Talbot was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on May 8, 1954, to Jamie Margaret (Cochran) Talbot and Richard Talbot. The family moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County) when Talbot was seven years old and then to Indianapolis, Indiana, two years later. Struggling to make friends in Indianapolis, the family started playing music as …

Taylor, Johnnie Harrison

Johnnie Harrison Taylor was a popular gospel and rhythm and blues singer, known as the “Philosopher of Soul,” whose recording career spanned forty-six years. His single, “Disco Lady,” was the first single ever to be certified platinum. He was added to the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1999. Johnnie Taylor was born in Crawfordsville (Crittenden County) on May 5, 1934. The official date of his birth was not revealed until after his death; he had long claimed to be four years younger. The youngest of three siblings, he was raised by his grandmother in West Memphis (Crittenden County). She was religious and made sure he attended church regularly. He made his church singing debut at age six, and inspired …

Telephone Exchange Building (Powhatan)

The Telephone Exchange Building is the oldest commercial building still standing in Powhatan (Lawrence County) in the twenty-first century and visually represents the commercial and civic characteristics of the town during the nineteenth century. The Powhatan Telephone Exchange Building is a one-story brick building that reflects Greek Revival architecture and design. The building was constructed between 1887 and 1888, placed in the heart of the thriving town where commerce, business, and social interaction took place. The Telephone Exchange Building is a rectangular structure with long, straight, flat sides. There are no windows on the south side, and the north side has two windows like those on the front of the building. The design style of the time called for buildings …

Templeton, Fay

Born into a theatrical family, Fay Templeton excelled on the legitimate and vaudeville stages for more than half a century. As an actress, singer, and comedian, she was a favorite headliner and heroine of popular theater. Fay Templeton was born on December 25, 1865, in Little Rock (Pulaski County), where her parents were starring with the Templeton Opera Company. John Templeton, Fay’s father, was a well-known Southern manager, comedian, and author. Helen Alice Vane, Fay’s mother, starred with her husband. At age three, Templeton, dressed as Cupid, sang fairy tale songs between the acts of her father’s plays. Gradually, she was incorporated into the productions as a bit player and then, at five, had actual lines to recite. At eight, …

Ten Mile House

aka: Stagecoach House
aka: McHenry House
The Federal-style Ten Mile House, located on Highway 5 in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is a rare example of a largely intact rural home of the early nineteenth century. The house has suffered few exterior alterations and retains four nineteenth-century outbuildings surrounded by a large parcel of wooded property. Ten Mile House was commandeered by Union troops during the Civil War and accommodated travelers on the Southwest Trail stagecoach line, earning it the alternative name “Stagecoach House.” The house is also referred to as the McHenry House after the original owner of the property, Archibald McHenry. Twentieth-century newspaper articles and periodicals state that McHenry built a log home on land he had purchased in Pulaski County after moving from Tennessee …

Terry, Clark

Trumpeter and flugelhornist Clark Terry inspired audiences in a jazz career that spanned more than seventy years and included work with some of the biggest names in American music. Terry was one of the most recorded musicians in the history of jazz and performed for eight U.S. presidents and served as a jazz ambassador for State Department tours in the Middle East and Africa. Terry moved to Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) in 2006 and was active in musical activities associated with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), along with mentoring music students from around the world. He died in 2015 at the age of ninety-four. Clark Terry Jr. was born on December 14, 1920, to Clark Terry Sr. …

Tharpe, “Sister Rosetta”

aka: Rosetta Nubin Tharpe
Arkansas native Rosetta Nubin Tharpe was one of gospel music’s first superstars, the first gospel performer to record for a major record label (Decca), and an early crossover from gospel to secular music. Tharpe has been cited as an influence by numerous musicians, including Bob Dylan, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Arkansan Johnny Cash. Rosetta Tharpe was born in Cotton Plant (Woodruff County) on March 20, 1915, to Katie Bell Nubin Atkins—an evangelist, singer, and mandolin player for the Church of God in Christ (COGIC)—and Willis Atkins. She went by the first names Rosa, Rosie Etta, and Rosabell, and used both her father’s last name and her mother’s maiden name, Nubin. She began performing at age four, playing guitar and singing …

Thea Foundation

Paul and Linda Leopoulos founded the Thea Foundation in 2001, six months after their seventeen-year-old daughter Thea Kay Leopoulos died in a car accident. The nonprofit foundation’s mission is based on the idea that young people achieve confidence and personal success due to involvement with the arts. The Leopouloses found this to be true of their daughter, and they wanted other young people to benefit from the arts as Thea had. The Thea Foundation’s scholarship program awards Arkansas high school seniors based on their hard work and artistic talents. The twenty-eight scholarships in the categories of visual and performing arts, short film, creative writing, and poetry slam are not based on test scores or GPAs, nor do the students have …

Theater

Although Arkansas was often considered wild and uncultured in its early history, the state has a consistent theatrical tradition of professional touring troupes, local companies, and community theater—all providing Arkansas theater-goers with entertainment from slapstick to the classics. The first recorded attempt at a permanent theater in the state was in Little Rock (Pulaski County) barely two years after statehood, when the capital city’s population was about 1,400. In July 1838, a meeting was organized to establish a theater. After unsuccessful attempts to sell shares for the construction of a permanent building, the first theatrical production recorded in Arkansas was mounted on December 3, 1838. It was presented in a downtown warehouse and was a comedy called The Young Widow. …

Thebom, Blanche

Blanche Thebom was a world-renowned operatic soprano, opera director, and educator. With her trademark six-foot-long hair, she was among the first American opera singers to have a highly successful international career, spending more than twenty years with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She also appeared in Hollywood feature films. Thebom conducted a groundbreaking tour of the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. After retirement from the Met, she brought her talents to Arkansas when she taught and directed opera productions at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) for almost a decade. The daughter of Swedish immigrants, Blanche Thebom was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, on September 19, 1915. She was raised in Canton, …

Thomas R. McGuire House

The Thomas R. McGuire House at 114 Rice Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), built in the Colonial Revival style, was rendered in hand-crafted or locally manufactured materials by Thomas R. McGuire, a master machinist with the Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad. It is the finest example of this particular architectural style in the turn-of-the-century Capitol View neighborhood and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 19, 1991. The house has been owned by the McGuire family ever since its construction. The house is a one-and-one-half story, cast-concrete block residence on a continuous poured-concrete foundation. It was built on a rectangular plan in a vernacular design with Colonial Revival details. The hipped roof and ridge of …

Thompson, Charles Louis

Charles Louis Thompson was a highly prolific architect who created one of the most successful architectural practices in Arkansas during the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. His firm designed more than two thousand buildings, of which hundreds still exist today. Charles Thompson was born in November 1868 in Danville, Illinois, to James C. and Henrietta Lightner Thompson. He and his six siblings were orphaned when he was fourteen, and they moved to Indiana to live with relatives. He quit school at the age of fourteen and went to work in a mill to help support his brothers and sisters. During his extra hours, he worked for an architect named Hunt, who taught him drafting and exposed …

Thorncrown Chapel

Thorncrown Chapel, designed by architect E. Fay Jones, is the most celebrated piece of architecture built in Arkansas. It won five design awards and was named by American Institute of Architects (AIA) as the fourth–best building of the twentieth century. Its uniqueness was recognized almost immediately. Within a year of its July 10, 1980, opening in Eureka Springs (Carroll County), it had been featured in many major architecture journals worldwide and had received an AIA Honor Award for design; in December of 2005, it received the 2006 AIA Twenty-five year Award for architectural design that has stood the test of time for twenty-five years. The chapel draws more than 100,000 visitors a year, and more than four million people have …

Tompkins, Rosie Lee

aka: Effie Mae Martin Howard
Rosie Lee Tompkins was the assumed name of Effie Mae Howard, a widely acclaimed African-American quiltmaker whose prodigious talents catapulted her to the forefront of contemporary art. As New York Times critic Roberta Smith put it, “Tompkins’s textile art [works]…demolish the category.” Effie Mae Martin (Effie Mae Howard was her married name) was born in Arkansas on September 6, 1936, to Sadie Bell and MacCurey Martin. The oldest of fifteen half-siblings, she grew up picking cotton and helping her mother piece quilts in rural Gould (Lincoln County), where poverty forced the family to use every available scrap of cloth. Howard never completed high school. She moved to Richmond, California, in 1958 and took courses in nursing at various local institutions, …

Top of the Rock Chorus

The Top of the Rock Chorus is the Little Rock (Pulaski County) chapter of Sweet Adelines International, the female barbershop singing group. The chorus was formed on February 7, 1961, and two original members sang with Top of the Rock until 2005. The group was originally called Little Rock Chorus and was renamed Top of the Rock Chorus in the 1980s. It is composed of about sixty women—ages twenties to eighties—who rehearse weekly and compete annually against other female choruses and quartets in Region 25 (Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas), the Heart of America Region. Sweet Adelines International was formed on July 13, 1945, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A few women wanted to participate in the “chord-ringing, fun-filled harmony” that their husbands—members of …

Trammell, Bobby Lee

Bobby Lee Trammell was known as a boisterous performer of boogie-woogie-flavored rockabilly music with such songs as “Arkansas Twist” and “You Mostest Girl.” He was later elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives and the Craighead County Quorum Court. Trammell’s high-energy music has been compared to that of fellow Arkansan Sonny Burgess, while his onstage antics drew comparisons to Jerry Lee Lewis. Bobby Lee Trammell was born on January 31, 1934, in Hergett, a small unincorporated community in Craighead County near Jonesboro. He was one of four children born to Wiley and Mae Trammell, who were cotton farmers. His parents were also musicians, with his father playing fiddle and his mother playing the church organ. Trammell was exposed to gospel …

Trapnall Hall

Located at 423 E. Capitol Ave. in the MacArthur Park Historic District of Little Rock (Pulaski County), Trapnall Hall is an exquisite example of Greek Revival architecture. It was constructed in 1843 of brick at a time when most houses were made of either wood or rock. The architect is unknown. The house was built for Frederic and Martha Trapnall. Frederic Trapnall was a lawyer who spent several sessions in the Arkansas General Assembly. Frederic fell ill and died in 1853, and Martha lived in the home until her death in 1861. Frederic’s brothers became the heirs to the property, and, as they lived out of state, quickly sold the home. In 1929, Julia Taylor purchased the home and donated it …

Trapp, George Francis

George Francis Trapp was one of several architects active in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the mid-twentieth century, a period of relative prosperity and growth that included much public and private building. Two qualities consistent throughout his career were sensitivity to siting (judging how a building’s design and material related to the site) and boldness in setting shapes against each other. George Trapp was born on March 20, 1900, in Chicago, Illinois, to Charles C. and Fanny Trapp. The family moved to Little Rock in 1914, and Trapp’s father worked for the Otis Elevator Company and the Big Rock Stone Company. Trapp’s interest in architecture might have been inspired by some of the new tall buildings in Little Rock, such …

Travis, Kathryne Bess Hail

Kathryne Bess Hail Travis was an artist and teacher who was especially known for her still-life paintings of flowers. For a three-year period in the late 1920s, she and her then-husband, artist Olin Travis, ran the Travis Ozark Summer Art School near Cass (Franklin County). Kathryne Bess Hail was born in Ozark (Franklin County) on February 6, 1894. She was the only child of Albert Eugene Hail, who owned a general store, and Maude (Brown) Hail. Her education was financed and closely supervised by a wealthy uncle, Oliver Brown. She studied art in high school and graduated with honors from Galloway College in Searcy (White County) in 1911. She briefly attended a girls’ school in Chicago, Illinois, before enrolling in …

Travis, Olin Herman

Olin Herman Travis was a Dallas-based artist, muralist, and teacher who worked in Arkansas periodically for about twenty years. For a three-year period in the late 1920s, he led the Travis Ozark Summer Art School near Cass (Franklin County). Olin Travis was born in Dallas, Texas, on November 15, 1888. He was the second of six children born to Olin Few Travis and Eulalia (Moncrief) Travis. His father was a printmaker. Travis graduated from Bryan High School in Dallas in 1906 and from Metropolitan Business College in Dallas in about 1908. Interested in art from childhood and encouraged by his high school art teacher, Travis studied briefly in Dallas under Max Hagendorn. In 1909, he enrolled in the School of …

Trent, Alphonso E. “Phonnie”

Alphonso E. “Phonnie” Trent was a nationally renowned jazz pianist and “territory” band leader from Fort Smith (Sebastian County). (“Territory” bands were those that traveled outside the large eastern markets, such as New York City.) He led the Alphonso Trent Orchestra, a group of young African-American musicians who toured the country, made several recordings, and had a lengthy engagement at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas. During that engagement, the band became the first group of black musicians to be featured on regional broadcasts over WFAA radio in Dallas. Alphonso Trent was born in Fort Smith on October 24, 1902, the son of E. O. Trent and Hattie S. Smith. Trent’s father was one of the first African-American graduates of Ohio State University. …

Trice, Will Carl

Will Carl Trice is an accomplished theater producer who has received multiple Tony Awards for his various productions, among other accolades. He began serving as the executive artistic director of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre (the Rep) in 2019. William Carl Trice was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on January 31, 1979, to William Trice and Judy Trice. He grew up in Little Rock, where he graduated from Central High School in 1997. Trice’s father was a family lawyer and his mother a theater teacher at Hall High School; both performed in the Arkansas Bar Association’s Gridiron Show, a satirical musical production that pokes fun at prominent figures in politics, business, and law. Trice’s sister, Kathryn Pryor, is a lawyer …

Trieschmann, John Werner, IV

John Werner Trieschmann IV is a playwright and professor living in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Trieschmann’s many plays have been staged by Moving Arts in Los Angeles, California; Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York; the New Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts; Red Octopus Productions in Little Rock; and other companies, as well as by countless middle schools and high schools in the United States and abroad. First-prize winner of the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans New Play Competition, Trieschmann was also the first playwright to have been honored with the prestigious Porter Prize in Arkansas (1994). Werner Trieschmann was born on September 9, 1964, in Hot Springs (Garland County), the oldest of four boys. His father, John Trieschmann, was a …

Trout Fishing in America

Trout Fishing in America (TFIA), based in northwestern Arkansas, is a musical performance duo consisting of Keith Grimwood, who plays bass and sings, and Ezra Idlet, who sings and plays acoustic guitar and banjo. The name of the duo comes from the seminal 1960s experimental novella by Richard Brautigan. Trout Fishing in America has been nominated for four Grammys and has released more than twenty albums. Grimwood has been a bass player since the age of eleven. He earned a degree in music from the University of Houston and performed with the Houston Symphony. Idlet, a guitarist since the age of fourteen, performed as a strolling musician at a Houston dinner theater. The two met as members of the Houston-based …

Twelve Oaks

The Twelve Oaks estate, located in a rural setting just south of Harrison (Boone County), is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which notes its local significance for its Craftsman- and Colonial Revival–style architecture. The house is one of the best examples of a Craftsman/Colonial Revival estate—and an unusually large example of the style—in the Harrison area. With the rise of the railroad industry in Harrison in the early twentieth century, a building boom hit the city. Among those who had worked on many high-profile buildings in Harrison was J. W. Bass, a steel contractor based in Detroit, Michigan. His J. W. Bass Erecting Company and Atlas Iron & Steel Company had offices in Detroit; Chicago, Illinois; and …

Twitty, Conway

aka: Harold Lloyd Jenkins
A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Conway Twitty has sold over 50 million records. Twitty had anywhere from forty-one to fifty-three No. 1 singles on the country and rock charts, depending upon the industry source used. He recorded 110 albums. Harold Lloyd Jenkins was born on September 1, 1933, in Friars Point, Mississippi, and was named after the famous silent film actor, Harold Lloyd. Jenkins had an older brother and sister. He was given his first guitar at age four. The family moved to Helena (Phillips County)—now Helena-West Helena—when Jenkins was ten, and soon thereafter, he formed his first band, the Phillips County Ramblers. His father worked off and on as a Mississippi riverboat captain, though his …

Two Bayou Methodist Church

The Two Bayou Methodist Church and Cemetery are located near Camden (Ouachita County). The oldest marked graves in the cemetery date to 1846, and the church was constructed around 1875. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 9, 1998. The first church services at the location were held under brush arbors well before the Civil War. A log building offered worshippers a more permanent structure but was destroyed during the war. Another log building was used by the congregation until the construction of the current building by J. T. Mendenhall in 1875. The congregation was served by various circuits over the decades. Research indicates that services held prior to 1848 were likely part of …

Tyler, T. Texas

aka: David Luke Myrick
T. Texas Tyler, the charismatic Arkansas native with a growling voice, initiated a distinctive country and western musical style that made him a success in the recording industry and on stage in the 1940s, 1950s, and into the 1960s. He pioneered a storytelling style in which the performer spoke some or all of the lyrics, later employed by other country stars such as “Red” Sovine, Jimmy Dean, “Whispering” Bill Anderson, and others. Tex Ritter, one of Tyler’s contemporaries, often referred to the influence Tyler’s style had on him. Tyler was born David Luke Myrick in Mena (Polk County) on June 20, 1916. His parents were James E. Myrick and Ida Bell Cagle Myrick. He was the youngest of three brothers. His …

Tyson Family Commercial Building

Located in downtown Camden (Ouachita County), the Tyson Family Commercial Building is an example of early-twentieth-century commercial architecture that continues to be utilized for that purpose in the twenty-first century. Constructed around 1923, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 21, 1994. Founded on the Ouachita River in the early 1800s, Camden became an important regional commercial hub. Crops grown in the surrounding area were taken to the city for shipment downriver. In 1873, the Iron Mountain Railroad constructed a line to Camden, increasing economic activities. By the early twentieth century, the town served as a major industrial and agricultural center in southern Arkansas, with numerous businesses operating in the area. One of the …