James Perry Bryan

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					                                    James Perry Bryan
             Guest Curator for Texas! Making History since 1519

J.P. Bryan has sought to achieve a balance in life of
building a successful business enterprise as well as
dedicating       his   time   and   resources   to   historical
preservation and restoration.

J.P.’s roots in Texas are deep. Both Moses Austin,
Stephen F. Austin, and Stephen F. Austin’s sister, Emily,
are relatives.     W. Joel Bryan, who served in the Texas
Revolution and was the founder of Bryan, Texas was his
great, great-grandfather. His Aunt Halley Bryan Perry
was a founder of the Daughters of the Republic.             In
addition to the TSHA, he has served the cause of Texas history as Chairman of the
Institute of Texan Cultures, President of the Texas Historical Foundation for 8 years,
member of the executive council of the Texas Historical Foundation, Director of the
Brazoria County Historical Museum, The Dolph Briscoe Museum, and the Nina Stewart
Haley Museum. He is a member of the Sons of the Republic.

Bryan was born in Houston, but raised in the small coastal town of Freeport. He truly
believes that it was a great environment in which to learn about values, people and
community. Bryan attended the University of Texas, where he majored in art history.
There were two events in college that had a profound effect on J.P.’s future. First, he
developed an appreciation for art. Secondly, with a close friend, he started a rare book
business and a book publishing company, The Pemberton Press. From their store on 910
Congress Avenue, they dealt with a steady flow of buyers of rare and out-of-print Texana
material and the first biography of J. Frank Dobie. It was in this environment that J.P.
first developed his interest in collecting Texas historical material. The Torch Collection,
which he would later create, was born out of his love for rare books, and his original
book acquisitions are the cornerstone for the Collection. Having served as a grader while
attending the University of Texas, J. P. was first introduced to the TSHA, or Texas State
Historical Association, by former TSHA Director, H. Bailey Carroll. While at UT, Bryan
earned a law degree. After Law School, he attended Thunderbird School of International
Studies. He was admitted into the Texas Bar in 1966.

Following his schooling, Bryan’s career path began in New York with J.P. Morgan. For
14 years he was a banker, an investment banker, and mortgage banker, with a specialty in
oil and gas finance. His fascination with that business propelled the formation of Torch
Energy Advisors Incorporated (TEAI) in 1981, for which he still serves as the founder,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. From then to the present, Torch has purchased
more than $3 billion in producing oil and gas properties, and has sponsored six public
companies and numerous private enterprises. For his efforts in creating and building
Torch, J.P. was recognized as Entrepreneur of Year in 1995, and in 1996 as the Canadian
Oil Man of the Year for his role in restoring the fortunes of Gulf Canada.. During his
forty-year career in the energy industry, he has also served as President, Chief Executive
Officer and Chairman of the Board of various independent exploration and production
companies, including Bellwether Exploration Company, Nuevo Energy Company, and
Gulf Canada Resources Limited. In addition to his positions at Torch, Mr. Bryan serves
as Chairman of the Board of Resaca Exploitation, Inc.

J.P. has written and spoken frequently on subjects related to the history of Texas and the
Settlement of the West. Widely considered a scholar on Texas history, J.P. has given
countless talks on the subject, has published articles on Texas and related subjects, and
assembled the largest collection of Texana material in private hands, the Torch
Collection, which is housed primarily in Houston and offers visitors a rare view into the
history of the West. J.P. has been recognized for his contributions to Texas. Continuing
his passion for restoration and collecting, J.P. and his wife, Mary Jon, purchased the
Gage Hotel in 1978, and began returning the hotel to its original stature. In addition, they
have restored numerous structures on their ranches as well as an extensive effort to
restore the original grasslands.     These efforts resulted in awards for Grasslands
improvement; Wheat Award for Historical Preservation, Texas Historical Foundation;
Honoree as Founder of the Torch Collection at Old South Lone Star Ball, Museum of
Southern History; T.R Fehrenbach Award for leadership in promoting and preserving the
history of the State of Texas; Stephen F. Austin Leadership Award from The Brazoria
County Museum; Briscoe Achievement Award from the National Western Art
Foundation; as well as accolades from Architectural Digest.

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