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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

KTRK 13's Marvin Zindler photography exhibit: Bayou City Noir

If you've been reading this blog over the years, you know I interned with KTRK Action 13's Marvin Zindler. In 2007, when he passed away, I developed an extensive online memorial section for him on

So I was glad to hear that Zindler still is in Houston's consciousness with a new photography exhibit. These are photos he took while working at the defunct version of The Houston Press way before his days at Channel 13. Here is more from the press release:

The Museum of Printing History and Houston Arts and Media are proud to present the exhibition Bayou City Noir: The Photography of Marvin Zindler.

For decades, Zindler was known in Houston and throughout the world as KTRKTV’s flamboyant consumer affairs reporter and advocate for the indigent.

However, what many do not know is that during the early 1950s, Zindler prowled Houston’s streets as a newspaper photographer covering the crime beat. Working for the now-defunct daily Houston Press, Zindler caught Houstonians at their most vulnerable. Crime suspects, robbery victims, socialites, wayward juveniles
and even domestic violence victims were captured in unflinching detail.

Bayou City Noir: The Photography of Marvin Zindler not only provides a dramatic look at the photographic eye of a Houston icon, it spotlights the days when big city journalism captured the drama of the day, and when Houston was known as the murder capital of the nation. Many of the photos exhibited have never before been seen publicly or have not been seen since publication in the early 1950s. Some of the photos come from the Houston Press collection at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center while others are graciously provided by the Zindler family.

Zindler was born in Houston on August 10, 1921. His media career began in the 1940s as a radio disc jockey while also employed at his father’s clothing store. In 1950, he became a cameraman and reporter for Southwest Film Production Company, which provided news for KPRC (Channel 2). Two years later, Zindler joined the Houston Press to work as a freelance photographer. He eventually left the retail business and joined the Harris County Sheriff’s Department in 1962.

Two years before joining KTRK (Channel 13) in 1973, Zindler established a consumer fraud division with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

At KTRK, Zindler quickly made headlines through reports that led to the closure of the Chicken Ranch brothel in La Grange, Texas. The work became the inspiration of the Broadway musical and film “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” Aside from his investigative work, Zindler also highlighted the cleanliness of Houston’s restaurants through his rat and roach reports. Finally, with the help of Houston doctors, Zindler also made sure thousands of indigent children around the world had access to needed medical care. Zindler died in 2007.

Museum Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Admission: Free
Location: 1324 West Clay Street, Houston, TX 77019 Tel: (713) 522-4652 Fax: (713) 522-5694
Web Address:


Opening Reception
Thursday, March 24, 2011, 6-8 P.M. at Museum of Printing History
Free and open to the public.

Remembering Marvin: Reflections on a Houston Icon
Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 6:30 P.M. at Rice Media Center
(Located at the corner of University Blvd and Stockton, entrance #8 on the Rice University Campus.
For location details, check
Free and open to the public.
Roundtable Panelists: Dr. Joseph Agris of the Agris-Zindler Children’s Fund; Ed Brandon, former
KTRK weatherman; Bob Dows, KTRK cameraman; Shara Fryer, former KTRK anchor; Lori Reingold, Zindler’s former producer

Into the Lens: Examining the Photography of Marvin Zindler
Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 6:30 P.M. at Museum of Printing History
Free and open to the public.
Roundtable Panelists: Joel Draut, photo-archivist at Houston Metropolitan Research Center and
Steve Gonzales, director of photography at Houston Chronicle

Closing Reception and Silent Auction
Saturday, August 13, 2011, 6-8 P.M. at Museum of Printing History
Free and open to the public.
All framed photographs will be available for purchase by silent auction throughout the duration of the exhibition. Each photograph will go to the person placing the highest bid by 8pm on Saturday, August 13, 2011. Proceeds benefit Houston Arts and Media and the Museum of Printing History. Please direct all questions to the Museum Gift Shop at 713-522-4652. COMMENT: Click to leave your thoughts on this post here