In early December, the Baylor University Libraries received a large, framed oil painting of Rufus C. Burleson, the “much-loved” president of Baylor. He was the university’s top administrator on two occasions — from 1851 to 1861 and from 1886-1897.
The painting, which is 35 by 44 inches, is of a younger Burleson, probably in his late 30s or early 40s, and the artist is unknown. After cleaning and minor restoration of the frame, the Burleson painting will be hung in the Leach Conference Room on the first floor of Moody Memorial Library.
“This is a wonderful gift for the libraries,” said John Wilson, director of library advancement and special projects. “Quite possibly it was painted during Burleson’s service as the second president of the university. It will add a sense of Baylor history to the frequently used conference room.”
George “Tad” Anderman of Albuquerque, N.M., a direct descendent of President Burleson, donated the painting. Anderman decided to hand-deliver the painting and take a good look around Baylor. He was favorably impressed with the students and the campus and has promised to return for a visit in the future. His mother, Joan Evans Anderman, suggested that the painting be given to Baylor for its safekeeping.
“Baylor University was the best place for the painting for it has more purpose and meaning there than in my own collection. It is definitely part of Baylor history. I hope it will be well received for years to come. Hats off to Baylor’s staff and students; they couldn’t have been kinder to me on my recent visit,” Tad Anderman said.
— John Wilson, Library Advancement and Special Projects