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Paintings from Bobbie and John Nau’s private collection on view at The Grace

Fisherman by Everett Franklin Spruce, c. 1949

Fisherman by Everett Franklin Spruce, c. 1949

Drawing on the Past: Selections from the Bobbie and John Nau Collection of Texas Art
The Grace Museum
May 25 through August 21, 2010

In just seven years, the Texas art collection of Houstonians Bobbie and John Nau has grown to include more than 700 paintings and works on paper, representing a broad spectrum of styles and artists. Tuesday, The Grace Museum will open an exhibition of selected works from the collection titled Drawing on the Past: Selections from the Bobbie and John Nau Collection of Texas Art.

The works, ranging in date from the 1850s to 2009, show how artists have portrayed the ever-evolving story of Texas. Grace Museum Chief Curator Judy Deaton wrote the following in the catalog for the exhibition:

The Naus’ commitment to collecting, preserving and documenting outstanding examples of Texas art is a testament to their passion for the history and future of the state. Because of the depth and breadth of the Naus’ collection, this exhibition offers a unique opportunity to examine the important visual dialogue between artist and artist across time. Looking beyond one artist, one locale, one slice of time gets to the heart of the enduring versatility of the label “Texas art.” There is a palpable directness, pride of place and drive to be authentic that transcends specific subject matter and style and reinforces the strength of each artist’s unique personal vision.

Besides being important collectors of Texas art, Bobbie and John Nau are also involved in a wide array of civic and philanthropic endeavors in Texas and across the U.S.

Thursday, May 27, The Grace Museum will host a public opening reception for the exhibition from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Grace Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and houses a children’s museum, history museum, and art museum. At 55,000 square feet, The Grace Museum is the tenth largest general museum in Texas, and is the cornerstone of cultural arts and education in West Texas. The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Grace Museum is a non-profit organization, and the museum’s exhibitions and educational programs are supported in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, the City of Abilene, Taylor County, and the Downtown Revitalization Program of the Tax Increment Finance District.

The Grace Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday. Admission is free Thursday evening after 5 p.m.

Fisherman by Everett Franklin Spruce, c. 1949

Fisherman by Everett Franklin Spruce, c. 1949

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