Barbara Hill Shares Why She Has Heaps of Postcards From Famous Artists Like Sol LeWitt

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By Barbara Hill
The minimalist interior designer’s archives reveal some incredible interlocutors.

In the early ‘70s, I began an art gallery in Houston called the Cusack Gallery (my name then). No one in Texas was showing the well-known minimalist/conceptualist artists of the time. I wanted to give them a platform. My friend asked, "If you could have anyone open your gallery, who would it be?" I said Sol LeWitt. 

So I got his number from information, called, and, to my surprise, he picked up. I asked him if he would come to Houston and make a show for my new gallery. He said, "I don’t see why not." I thought someone was pulling my leg! He did my first installation, followed by Carl Andre, Hanne Darboven, Jan Dibbets, Hamish Fulton, Daniel Buren, Richard Tuttle, Robert Barry, On Kawara, and many others. It was an exciting time! These artists were being shown in Europe and New York and L.A. but not Texas. 

Most of us kept up through letters and postcards. There was no social media or email. I have 72 postcards from On Kawara alone, and 36 from Sol LeWitt. A third of his came with special drawings. I treasure these postcards for the voices of love, support, and inspiration they carry. They’re still an important part of my life and archive. 

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Now known for curating whitewashed minimalist interiors across Texas and beyond, <br>Barbara Hill once ran a home gallery that brought world-class artists like Richard Tuttle and Robert Mangold to Houston.

Now known for curating whitewashed minimalist interiors across Texas and beyond,
Barbara Hill once ran a home gallery that brought world-class artists like Richard Tuttle and Robert Mangold to Houston.

From her days in the art world, she accumulated hundreds of postcards from artists she showed, including dozens from Sol LeWitt.

From her days in the art world, she accumulated hundreds of postcards from artists she showed, including dozens from Sol LeWitt.

Many of LeWitt’s postcards came with artworks.&nbsp;

Many of LeWitt’s postcards came with artworks. 

Conceptual artist On Kawara wrote to Hill 72 times, detailing the time he woke up that day.&nbsp;

Conceptual artist On Kawara wrote to Hill 72 times, detailing the time he woke up that day.