McNay legacy informs two new exhibitions

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McNay legacy informs two new exhibitions
Building on Moffett’s exploration of the McNay collection, Marion Koogler McNay’s Legacy presents the largest exhibition to date of items from McNay’s original 1950 bequest. The exhibition includes select items from the 700 works gifted to create the first modern art museum in Texas in 1954. Treasures on view from the collection include iconic paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and even watercolors by Marion Koogler McNay herself.



SAN ANTONIO, TX.- The history of the first modern art museum in Texas inspires two new exhibitions on view at the McNay Art Museum.

DONALD MOFFETT + NATURE CULT + THE McNAY and Marion Koogler McNay’s Legacy present contemporary reflections on the storied Museum and its founder through September 11, 2022.

DONALD MOFFETT + NATURE CULT + THE McNAY

Artist and San Antonio-native, Donald Moffett, returns to his hometown for an exhibition that explores the natural world through a dynamic presentation of new artwork, masterpieces from the McNay permanent collection, and personal belongings from the artist. A longtime resident of New York City, Moffett grew up visiting the McNay in his youth, and cites a pivotal experience at the Museum that still resonates with him today.

“The McNay’s exquisite Seurat drawing (Silhouette de Femme) is the work I stood before when I was young and had the thought, ‘Maybe I could become an artist’,” recalls Moffett.

With degrees in both art and biology from Trinity University, the artist fuses seemingly disparate worlds to explore the collision of art, environmental crisis, and the human experience. Presented in the galleries as a progression through seasons of winter, fall, spring, and summer, visitors encounter the song of the now extinct Kauaʻi ʻōʻō bird from Hawaiʻi alongside artworks and objects that serve as carriers of both personal and political meaning.

“The immersive and sensorial experience in the exhibition is beautiful, unexpected, and disruptive by design,” said René Paul Barilleaux, Head of Curatorial Affairs. “The selection and placement of artwork alongside books, keepsakes, and objects throughout the installation is unlike anything the Museum has presented before.”

DONALD MOFFETT + NATURE CULT + THE McNAY is organized for the McNay Art Museum by René Paul Barilleaux, Head of Curatorial Affairs, with Donald Moffett. Lead funding is most generously provided by Ewing Halsell Foundation. Major funding is provided by Stephanie & Tim Ingrassia and The Flora Crichton Visiting Artist Fund. Additional funding is provided by Marianne Boesky Gallery, Anthony Meier Fine Arts, Lora Reynolds Gallery, and Chuck & Anne Parrish.

Marion Koogler McNay’s Legacy

Building on Moffett’s exploration of the McNay collection, Marion Koogler McNay’s Legacy presents the largest exhibition to date of items from McNay’s original 1950 bequest. The exhibition includes select items from the 700 works gifted to create the first modern art museum in Texas in 1954. Treasures on view from the collection include iconic paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and even watercolors by Marion Koogler McNay herself.

“This exhibition is the Museum’s first comprehensive celebration of our founder’s transformational gift to her beloved, adopted city and community,” said Richard Aste, McNay Director and CEO. “Marion’s bequest made San Antonio a global destination for the best of the art of our times, and its impact on our diverse community continues more than seventy years later.”

Also on view are Native American blankets collected during McNay’s frequent travels to New Mexico, turquoise jewelry, retablos (devotional paintings) and santos (saints) reflecting her adoption of Catholicism later in life, historic photographs and furniture from the original home, and contemporary responses to the bequest by San Antonio artists Joshua Perez and Drew Morros.

Marion Koogler McNay’s Legacy is organized for the McNay Art Museum by René Paul Barilleaux, Head of Curatorial Affairs; Lauren Thompson, Assistant Curator; Liz Paris, Collections Manager; and Edward Hayes, Exhibitions Senior Manager/Registrar; with Isabel Servantez and Philana Li, Semmes Foundation Interns in Museum Studies.

Major funding is provided by the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation and The Flora Crichton Visiting Artist Fund.










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