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Harris, Vida A. (1893-1985) | Morse Department of Special Collections

Name: Harris, Vida A. (1893-1985)
Variant Name: Harris, Vida Agnes

Historical Note:

Vida Agnes Harris was born 29 March 1893 in Harveyville, Kansas. She was the daughter of Samuel Murrell and Sarah Elizabeth (Thackrey) Harris. She was a home economics graduate of the Kansas State Agricultural College (B.S. '14). She began her career as a domestic science teacher at the American Missionary Society's Tillotson College in Austin, Texas. Short stints teaching at the University of Oklahoma and the Stout Institute were punctuated by returns to K.S.A.C. to participate in advanced summer courses. By the early 1920s, Harris had returned to Manhattan permanently. She taught art and design courses, developed illustrations for various faculty publications, and participated in the Cosmopolitan Club. She served on the Kansas State faculty from 1924 until her retirement as an associate professor in 1963.

Throughout her career, Harris sought educational advancement. She received a Master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1927, and subsequently studied at the Chicago Art Institute, the University of Mexico, and the University of Colorado. In 1930, she toured museums in Italy, France and Spain under the tutelage of Michel Jacobs (1877-1958), the founding director of the Metropolitan School of Art. She was a Fulbright teacher in India for two years (1951-52) and worked as an interior designer for five.

During her time at Kansas State, she co-authored a Lippincott text, Costume Design, wrote a bulletin titled The Picture on Your Wall, and created an illustrated map of the Manhattan campus. Printed by the Greiner-Fifield Lithographic Company, Ye Campus Mappe. . . of ye. . . Kansas State College was commissioned by Home Economics Dean Margaret Justin.

Harris died in 25 May 1985 and is buried in Manhattan's Sunset Cemetery.


The Aggie Alphabet [AKA The A.B.C.’s of College Life at K.S.C.]. Manhattan, Kansas, 1934.

Harris, Vida. Ye Campus Mappe. . . of ye . . . Kansas State College. Printed by Greiner-Fifield Litho Co., Kansas City, Missouri. 23 September 1928.

Morris, Maria and Vida Agnes Harris. Costume Design: A Student's Handbook. Chicago: J.B. Lippincott, 1934.

"Omnicron Nu To Sell Unique Campus Maps." The Kansas Industrialist 5 December 1928.

Turner, Mary Lee scrapbook. Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

"Vida Harris." The K-Stater June 1963, p. 12.

Note Author: K. Rylance and A. Wedel

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