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Martin Museum of Art hosts 'Henry A. McArdle: Texas Painter, Patriot, and Baylor Professor'
The Battle of San Jacinto, 1901; Oil on canvas; 60" x 84.5". Private Collection, Midland, Texas. Photo: Bob Smith.
WACO, TX.- The Martin Museum of Art at Baylor University features Henry A. McArdle: Texas Painter, Patriot, and Baylor Professor beginning August 12 and running though September 21. Henry McArdle was one of the earliest artists in the Republic of Texas and his work documents historically significant events as well as instrumental individuals who helped shape the state.

This exhibition is the first to bring together twenty-two works by McArdle. The pieces are representative of collections across Texas, including the Texas State Capitol, Southern Methodist University, the Texas Collection at Baylor University, the Nau Civil War Collection, and private collectors. The works range from the large, action scenes of The Battle of San Jacinto, The Settlement of Austin’s Colony, and Lee at the Wilderness to portraits of Sam Houston, Governor James Hogg, and Baylor founders and presidents.

Henry McArdle was born in Ireland in 1836. He immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland, with an aunt at the age of just fifteen. He was a soldier in the Civil War, and his diaries and sketches from his service will be displayed courtesy of the Nau Civil War Collection. As an art professor at Baylor University in Independence, Texas, from 1871 to 1885, McArdle executed several of his best-known epic paintings such as Dawn at the Alamo (1875) and Lee at the Wilderness (1873), both of which were destroyed in the fire at the Texas State Capitol in 1881 and McArdle created revised versions of both paintings in the following decades. In addition to the paintings of events, he was also a portrait artist for historic figures and families around Independence. He was commissioned by the class of 1885 to paint the first five Baylor presidents.

Dr. Sam Ratcliffe, Head of Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library at Southern Methodist University, will moderate a roundtable discussion with the exhibition lenders and John Wilson, Director, Texas Collection at Baylor University, from 3-4:30pm on Saturday, August 30 in lecture hall 149 adjacent to the museum.

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