"James Rouse was of course well-known for his role as the founder of Columbia — he even ended up on the cover of Time magazine. But a new exhibit at Columbia Archives, “Jim Rouse at Leisure,” shows a different side of him.
“This exhibit shows the more human side of Rouse, the unpretentious man who many people knew from his manner of dress,” said Barbara Kellner, director of Columbia Association’s (CA) Columbia Archives. “We thought, particularly in the summertime, that highlighting the way Rouse spent his leisure time could connect people to him in a different manner. In many ways he was just plain ‘Jim,’ walking the paths and fishing in the lake.”
The exhibit opens on July 1 and will run through September at the Archives, which is located in the American City Building at 10227 Wincopin Circle in downtown Columbia. A reception on July 17 at 7 p.m. will be an opportunity to visit after hours and enjoy a program highlighted by a Rouse family member recalling vacations and get-togethers. The reception will also feature some additional artifacts that will not be on display as part of the exhibit.
“Jim Rouse at Leisure” includes photos, documents and artifacts such as a passport showing the extent of his business travel, a pair of his ice skates, a fishing rod, an Orioles shirt presented to Rouse on his 80th birthday by famed third-baseman Brooks Robinson, and even a turtle shell.
This exhibit continues the celebration of what would’ve been Rouse’s 100th birthday. A traveling display exhibit on the life and legacy of Rouse — chronicling his career from the mortgage banking firm he established in 1939 to Enterprise, which he founded once he retired from The Rouse Company — will be hosted from Aug. 11 to Aug. 24 at The Mall in Columbia and then at the Howard County Central Library in September. And the annual Columbia BikeAbout, on Sept. 13, will start in Wilde Lake Park and will highlight some Rouse-specific sites.
Columbia Archives is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are encouraged. Among the materials available is the extensive James Rouse Collection, which chronicles Rouse’s long career that influenced urban and suburban development in the United States and around the world. It is rich with correspondence, speeches, photographs and memorabilia. The collection is open the public for research.
For information, email Columbia.Archives@ColumbiaAssociation.org or call 410-715-3103."