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“A Piece of the Past” Museum Essay Contest

Prior Winners

2021 Piece of the Past Award Winners

Piece of the Past Winners with Dr. & Mrs, Sloan, Lisa Simon, and Dr. Stewart Morris

Southern History/American Architecture and Decorative Arts


Maria-Louise Cook

1st Place   ($500)  Maria-Louise Cook, “Admiration Coffee: The Bitter Taste of Southern Hospitality”

2nd Place  ($250)  Elizabeth Marie Campbell, “A Dress of Freedom: How the Flapper Used Fashion to Take What She Needed and Do What She Wanted”


Dunham Bible Museum

Eric Keller
Emma Perry

1st Place  ($500)  Emma Perry, “Medieval Prayer: Studying a French Book of Hours”

2nd Place ($250) Eric James Keller, “The 1516 Genoa Psalter”


Art Museums

Justin Okeugo
Loana Pichardo

1st Place  ($500) Justin Okeugo, “Marc Chagall’s Exodus”

2nd Place ($250)  Loana Pichardo, “Judgment Day: Frans Franken the Younger’s The Last Judgment”



Perseverance in Times of Great Trial

Jaylene Ortiz
Rebecca Rizzotti

1st Place ($500)  Rebecca S. Rizzotti, “The Eyes of the Blind Shall See: The Braille Bible”

2nd Place  ($250) Jaylene F. Ortiz, “Healthcare Amidst Adversity: The Doctor’s Bag”


Freshman/HBU Academy

Erika Gonzalez
Khanh Nguyen

1st Place ($500)  Khanh Nguyen, “The Significance of Cromwell’s Soldiers Pocket Bible”

2nd Place ($250) Erika Garcia Gonzalez, “Freedom Within Quilts: The ‘Flying Geese’ Pattern Quilt, 1861”


Grand Prize Winner

Grand Prize Winner Hannah Gentry with Lisa Simon, Dr. & Mrs. Sloan, and Dr Stewart Morris

($1500)  Hannah Gentry, “The 1855 Daguerreotype: Capturing American History”




Honorable Mention

($50) Oghenemarho Avworo, Sarah Ayala. Angela Mai lei Baltimore, Rebecca Bargainer, Natalie Bennett, Xiaofan Cai, Josiah Carr, Camie Copeland, Julia Davis, Slacna De La Cruz, Eric A.Joseph, Christina Little, Isaiah Williams, Jordan Lockett, Mariana Lopez, Symone A. McClendon, Savion A. Moning, Alice Nong, Annette-Mirabel Offiah, Kayla Perrin, Anissa Sanchez, Liliana L. Segura, Daniel Sinecio, Sahil Swapnesh, Andrew Tran

1.Nicholas Van Cleve$3,000 (2012-2015)
2. Jonathan Richie$2,500 (2015-2017)
3. Andrew S. Jimenez$2,250 (2013-2014)
3. (tie) Corrie McCloy$2,250 (2016-2018)
5. Katrina Bolman $1,550 (2018-2019)
6. Victoria Thorpe $1,500(2019)
7. Katie L. Kuhlman$ 1,100 (2011-2014)
8.  Emma Perry $1000 (2019-2021)
8.  (tie) Alexander B. Hale$ 1,000 (2016-2017)
9. Andrew W. Adler$ 750 (2011-2012)
9. (tie) Kyra Brown $ 750 (2014-2015)
10. Cody Pepper $600 (2013)

2020 Winners – 10th Annual Piece of the Past essay Contest

(Since this year’s Awards Event was virtual, due to COVID, there were no photos taken.)

 Plus the following Honorable Mention ($50)

Marissa Campisse, Daniel Dicken, Linh Dinh, Alan Omar Garay, Diana Gonzalez, Caroline Gillispie, Hailey Harvey, Daniel Idowu, Michael Knapton, Tieu Phuong Nguyen, Obianuju Favour Onyenso, Brandon Patterson, Renee Peters, Erik Pho, Esther Pouluse, Anissa Sanchez, Jayden Seals, Zeinah Wafi, Kayla Wilson, Alvina Zia

2019 Winners:

2019 winners with mentors, Dr. Sloan. and sponsor Stewart Morris

Grand Prize Winner ($1500):

Victoria Thorpe, “Flooded But Flourishing: The 1869 Map of the City of Houston” (Decorative Arts)

Mrs. Sloan, Victoria Thorpe, Stewart Morris, and Dr. Sloan

Southern History/American Architecture and Decorative Arts

1st       ($500) Jennifer Ren, “The Root of the Matter: Oral Care in Texas at the Turn of the 20th Century “ (Southern History)

2nd       ($250) Brandon J. Patterson, “Clother in White: The Ku Klux Klan Hood (c. 1920)” (Southern History)

Dunham Bible Museum

1st  ($500)   Emma Perry, “The Avery Bible: The Hearts of Children to Their Fathers”

2nd     ($250)  Caleb K. Wong, “Hope Found Through a Book: A Bible in Communist China”

Art Museums

1st   ($500)    Stacy Smith, “Humanity Marching Forward: David Alfaro Siquetros’ Dancing Woman” (1969)

2nd    ($250)   Conley Harris, “Van Dyck’s Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness” (Fine Arts Museum)

HBU Academy

1st   ($500)  Sol Pittman, “Harriet Lane’s Bell” (Southern History)

2nd    ($250)   Asiyyah Abass, “Indistinct Visions of Divided Wings: Aaron Novak’s Monarch Art” (Get Ready  MFA Exhibit 2019, University Academic Center)


 Plus: 25 Honorable Mention Awards        $50 each

2018 Winners:

A Piece of the Past 2018 Winners, with Stewart Morris and Dr. Robert Sloan

Grand Prize Winner:

Katrina Bolman, “Time Present and Time Past All Present in Time Future: The Russian Icon of the Triumphant Entry of Christ Into Jerusalem” (Fine Arts Museum)

Southern History/American Architecture and Decorative Arts

1st        Phillip E. Salazar, “Seminole Doll: The Art of Selling Culture” (Decorative Arts)

2nd       Jeremiah T. Holcomb, “The Radio—Waves of Progress: The 1940s Motorola Electric Box Radio” (Southern History)

Dunham Bible Museum

1st        Seth Grant, “The Gospel of America’s Russian Apostle: The Gospel of Matthew, 1848, Aleut Translation”

2nd       Jacob R. Johnson, “A Link in the Chain: The Pump Organ’s Role in the History of Christian Worship”

Art Museums

1st        Kelley McLemore, “Christ’s Crucifixion—An Artist’s Clarion Call: Marc  Chagall’s “Esquisse Pour L’Exode” (Fine Arts Museum)

2nd       Corrie McCloy, “Christ in Exile: Marc Chagall on Jewish Identity” (Fine Arts Museum)


1st       Ngozi Paula Ejim, “She Builds Upon the Mirror: Jenny Fine’s ME” (Contemporary Art Museum)

2nd       Rebecca A. Bargainer, “Mapping Houston’s Past: The 1869 Map of the City of Houston” (Decorative Arts Museum)

HBU Academy

1st        Gabrielle Thomason, “The Child’s Bible By a Lady of Cincinnati” (Dunham Bible Museum)

2nd       Cole O. Reynolds, “’A Well Founded Translation’: Charles Thomson’s Translation of the Bible” (Dunham Bible Museum)

2017 Winners:

Grand Prize Winner:

Corrie McCloy, “American Zouave: Fighting in Style”

Southern History/American Architecture and Decorative Arts

1st   Christina Ta, “The Winnebago Indian: A Mysterious Doll and A People We Are Forever Connected to”

2nd   Veronica Valle, “Dolls, Art, and Revolution: The Lay Figure Dolls for Jacques-Loui David’s The Coronation of Napoleon”

Dunham Bible Museum

Dunham Bible Museum Award Winners

1st   Jonathan Richie, “On the Style and Substance in Fragments of a Greek Manuscript”

2nd   Marisa Villarreal, “Clearing the Hurdles: The Gullah Bible of 2005

Art Museums

1st    Emilia Forbau, “Reclaiming the Christianized Jesus: Chagall’s Esquisse Pour L’Exode”

2nd   Abigail Sims, “Split Rings: An Exercise in Minimalism, or How I Met Modern Art and Learned to Love It”

Freshman/HBU Academy

1st   Alexander Hale, “War of the Boys: The Child’s Zouave Uniform”

2nd   Ana Kriletic, “The Bible As A Weapon of Defense: Julia Evelina Smith’s Translated Bible”

2016 Winners

6th Annual “A Piece of the Past” Museum Essay Contest Winners, 2016

2016 Winners:

2016 Winners of the “Piece of the Past” contest, with Stewart Morris in center and Dr. Sloan in background.

Grand Prize Winner:

Jonathan Richie, “The Bodey Oil Lamp: The Illumination of Dating Through Construction and Design”

Southern History/American Architecture and Decorative Arts

1st        Cora Cobb, “Reconstruction Era Quilts: Piecing Families Together”

2nd       Nathan Cobb, “The Pianola: Profane or Beneficial?”

Dunham Bible Museum

1st        Madeline Thorpe, “Justice in the Balance: The Word against the World in Acts and Monuments —An Original Leaf—Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, 1576”

2rd        Emil Simon, “The Bible Says What? The Wicked Bible”

Art Museums

1st        Allison Thai, “The Marriage At Cana by Marten Pepyn: A Baroque Treatment of Christ’s First Miracle”

2nd       Duyen Nguyen, “Francken’s The Last Judgment”


1st       Corrie McCloy, “The Realm of the Brownie”

2nd       Amber Ontiveros, “The Birth of Modern Medicine”: William Gunnell’s Surgeon’s Set”

HBU Academy

1st        Alexander B. Hale, “Surgical Saviors: The Civil War Era Surgeon’s Set”

2nd       Sidarth Joshi, “The Minie Ball —The Innovation that Devastated the Confederacy”


Grand Prize Winner

Southern History Museum

American Architecture and Decorative Arts

Dunham Bible Museum

Art Museums


1st       Blake Richards, “The Surrender of Galveston and the Battle to Win It Back” (Southern History Museum)

2nd       Doris M. Benavides, “Girls Gone Wild: The Flapper Dress” (Southern History Museum)



Winners of the 2014 “A Piece of the Past”  museum essay contest were announced March 27, 2014 at a special dinner for participants at the River Oaks Country Club. Essays from the contest can be read here.

Grand Prize Winner

Andrew S. Jimenez, “America’s Heroes: Houston’s WWI Training Camp” (Southern History Museum)

American Architecture and Decorative Arts

  • 1st       Justin R. Brittain, “Transcending the Toy Box:  The Changing Meaning of the Doll”
  • 2nd     Katie L. Kuhlman, “Always Remembered: A Human Hair Decoration from VictorianTimes”

Dunham Bible Museum

Museum of Southern History

  • 1st       Kyra Brown, “More Than Just A Mammy: The Story Behind the Historic Academy Award Win of Hattie McDaniel”
  • 2nd     Dayna C. Patterson, “Violence and Hate Without Reason”: A Ku Klux Klan Hood of the 1920s”

Fine Arts Museum and Contemporary Art Gallery

  • 1st       Tia Lee Wettman, “Chagall’s Symbolism: Esquisse Pour L’Exode”
  • 2nd     Nathan Cobb, “The Matterhorn: A Spirit of Adventure

Freshman Category

  • 1st       Elizabeth J. Shecterle, “A Different Kind of Surgery: A Civil War Era Surgeon’s Set”
  • 2nd     Samuel J. DeForke, “The Model 1842 Percussion Pistol – Its Time in History”




Museum of Decorative Arts

Dunham Bible Museum

Museum of Southern History

Freshman Category

Honorable Mention


Dunham Bible Museum

1st place, Nicholas van Cleve, “A Story of Remarkable Recovery”

2nd place, Andrew Adler, “The Initiative of John Eliot in the Translation and Printing of the Algonquian Bible


Dunham Bible Museum

1st place, Nicholas Mario Bruno, “Matthew Carey’s Douay-Rheims Bible”

2nd place, Andrew Adler, Adoniram Judson’s Burmese Bible: A Product of Intellect, Passion, and Providence”