Empress of Texas is a full-length feature film about the life of Miss Ima Hogg, a Texas cultural and mental health advocate. As an icon in Texas history, Miss Ima’s contributions to the state in arts, philanthropy and civic improvements are legendary. Her story features elements of drama that have successfully engaged movie audiences since the beginning of time: love, loss, war and triumph.
The film will highlight the early years of Miss Ima’s life – a life that began with privilege and challenges with the loss of her mother at the age of 13 and later as an oil heiress. Empress of Texas, will explore how her experiences shaped Miss Ima’s vision and determination. It will illustrate how art and music played a role in her triumph over a severe depression after the loss of her fiancé in WWI.
We begin with scenes from Miss Ima’s dreams surrounding a honeymoon and Miss Ima in her wedding dress – and the aftermath. The film then flashes back to her birth in Mineola, Texas, and progresses to her early life as the daughter of the first native-born governor of Texas.
It follows her major achievements that shaped the cultural life of Houston: as a driving force in the founding of the Houston Symphony, the establishment of the first mental health center for children in the country, the dedication of her home and its collection of early American furniture to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and finally her fortune to set up the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas where she also left her personal papers and other materials. She died at the age of 93 in London after a fall exiting Harrods.