Sunday, 25 August 2019 10:38 GMT

The Witte Museum Makes the Case That Texas Art is American Art in New Exhibit

(MENAFN - LLC) SAN ANTONIO, April 25, 2019 ( - ​​An unprecedented, comprehensive exhibition on Texas Art 250 years in the making opens at the Witte Museum May 4, 2019 in Kathleen and Curtis Gunn Gallery.

Drawn from both the Witte's acclaimed art collection as well as collections nationwide, The Art of Texas: 250 Years will feature over 130 paintings and sculptures. Artists include Julian Onderdonk, Georgia O'Keeffe, Frederick Remington, Porfirio Salinas, John James Audubon, John. T. Biggers, Frank Reaugh, Luis Jiménez, Thomas Hart Benton, Forrest Bess, and many more.

'Expect the unexpected this summer at the Witte. Given that the Witte's first Texas Art Curator and artist Eleanor Onderdonk began acquiring art early in the early 20th century and Witte curators avidly collected through its 93 year history, it is only fitting that the Witte be the location for the debut of the book and exhibition The Art of Texas: 250 Years,' said Marise McDermott, President and CEO of the Witte Museum. 'This exhibition is a tour de force, a comprehensive case for the illumination of Texas history. In this exhibition, you will experience the intimacy of multicultural scenes in the early 1800s Spanish city of San Antonio to the vast landscapes of West Texas and the fragmented urban growth of the 20th century.'

As visitors move through the exhibition, they will examine the themes of the Vast and Varied Landscape, the Peopling of Texas and Urbanization. Each section explores the evolution of that art from its earliest historical record, the history that informed the art, Texas regionalism and its cultures, economies and movements.

The Art of Texas was conceived by Marise McDermott, President and CEO of the Witte Museum and Dr. Ron Tyler, former Director of the Amon Carter Museum, several years ago. Key Texas Art scholars were invited to the Witte Museum for a colloquium on the possibilities of such a comprehensive exhibition and it was decided unanimously that the exhibition should be hosted by the Witte, which has hosted seminal Texas Art exhibitions since its founding in 1926. Debuting with a book of the same title, The Art of Texas: 250 Years is guest curated by Ron Tyler and Michael Duty. The book will feature essays by Dr. Michael Duty, Dr. Francine Carraro, Dr. Andres Tijerina, Dr. Michael Grauer, Dr. Sam Ratcliffe, and Witte Chief Curator Amy Fulkerson, among others. The book will be available in the Bolner Family Museum Store.

A companion exhibition, The Art of Texas: In the Home will be located in the Russell Hill Rogers Art Gallery located in the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center. On display will be artwork that was purchased for the use in the home. Artists featured in this companion exhibition include Julian Onderdonk, L. Schloss and Louis Oscar Griffith.

In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition, the Witte Museum will be hosting The Conference on Texas: 250 Years of Art for History's Sake on May 3-4. The speakers symposium will be a deep-dive into the history and context of Texas Art as a companion to The Art of Texas: 250 Years exhibition. Presentations on Texas Art as American Art and on the historical movements that shaped the point-of-view of the artists will reveal the latest scholarship and the stories behind the paint. Tickets are available at .

The Witte Museum and the San Antonio Art League and Museum have partnered for The Spirit of Texas juried art competition. Artists are invited to render their inspirations from the State of Texas. The juried art show is offered in the tradition of the 1927-1929 Edgar B. Davis Competitions sponsored by the San Antonio Art League and held at the Witte Museum with the coordination of curator Eleanor Onderdonk. Submissions are being accepted until May 3, 2019. Apply here.

The Art of Texas: 250 years opens on May 4 and runs through August 25, 2019 in the Kathleen and Curtis Gunn Gallery. Admission to the exhibition is included with an Adventure Pass for $25. Tickets are available at or at the Sally and Ganahl Walker Admissions Desk. Audio tours will be available for purchase.

The Art of Texas: 250 Years exhibition at the Witte Museum is presented in partnership with the Center for Texas Studies at Texas Christian University and is generously supported by the Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts, the Still Water Foundation, the Carolyn and Houston Harte Fund, Sharon and Ted Lusher, the Sarah E. Harte and John S. Gutzler Fund, Heritage Auctions, Bradford R. Breuer and Nancy and Ted Paup.

The Conference on Texas: 250 Years of Art for History's Sake at the Witte Museum is presented by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation and generously supported by the Summerlee Foundation, Veltri and Velasquez Wealth Management of Wells Fargo Advisors, Jefferson Bank, the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation, Humanities Texas, Plains Capital Bank and the Amy Shelton McNutt Charitable Trust.

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About the Witte Museum

Founded in 1926, the Witte Museum is where Nature, Science and Culture Meet, through the lens of Texas Deep Time, and the themes of Land, Water and Sky. Located on the banks of the San Antonio River in Brackenridge Park, the Witte Museum is San Antonio's premier museum promoting lifelong learning through innovative exhibitions, programs and collections in natural history, science and South Texas heritage.


The Witte Museum Makes the Case That Texas Art is American Art in New Exhibit


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