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McNay Art Museum acquires the Collection of John M. Parker, Jr.
Frank Stella, Sheet from Multicolored Squares, State II, 1973. Suite of six lithographs. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of John M. Parker Jr. © Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- Richard Aste, Director of the McNay Art Museum, announced the transformative gift the collection of John M. Parker, Jr., to the Museum. The Parker Collection is a game changer for the Museum’s contemporary art collection, featuring more than 160 prints, drawings, photographs, paintings, and sculptures. A majority of the most important works can be characterized as Minimal or Conceptual art. Among artists in the collection are Alice Aycock, Donald Judd, Zoe Leonard, Agnes Martin, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella.

“John Parker is a very sophisticated collector,” Aste said, “His gift exemplifies the McNay’s commitment to artistic excellence and community impact. He now joins a group of collectors who were inspired by the legacy of our founder, Marion Koogler McNay, and through their own very generous spirits have enriched the collection of the first modern art museum in Texas.”

“Artworks in the Parker Collection significantly enhance the McNay's holding of examples by artists who emerged during the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in America and Germany,” said René Paul Barilleaux, Head of Curatorial Affairs at the McNay. “The impact of this donation is immediately apparent in our current exhibition, Mi McNay es Su McNay, which includes artworks by Donald Judd, Daniel Oates, Erwin Wurm, and Andrea Zittel.”

“John M. Parker Jr. was introduced to art collecting at the McNay in the 1980s,” said Lyle Williams, Curator of Prints and Drawings. “He spent the following decades collecting contemporary art in a thoughtful, diligent, and prescient way. His donation of masterpieces of Minimal printmaking and Conceptual German art is among the most important gifts in the McNay’s history.”

Mr. Parker, a native of San Antonio, studied art at Trinity University with Robert “Bob” Tiemann and became an avid collector. In addition to beginning his collection through the McNay, Parker maintains close ties with a number of Museum patrons and staff.

Of the 74 artists whose work is featured in the Parker Collection, 57 are living. There are 58 American artists represented in the collection, and of those 13 live in Texas or have strong Texas ties. There are two Austrian artists, nine German artists, three British artists, one Russian artist, and one Swiss artist represented in the collection. Fifteen of the artists are women, and of these only three are currently represented in the McNay’s contemporary art collection.

Many of the artists in Parker’s collection defy categorization, crossing genres and media. They are strongly interested in process as much or more than in the resulting work of art.

Several works from the Parker Collection are featured in ARTMATTERS 17: Mi McNay es Su McNay, October 2017 – July 2018 in the Museum’s Frost and Patio Galleries.

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