Heritage, 2011, Volume 1 Page: 24
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The State's Premiere Art Museums
As stewards of the state's rich cultural legacy,
museums play a pivotal role in the preservation
and presentation of early Texas art.
By William E. Reaves
Our state is blessed with a strong net-
work of public museums, and collec-
tively they have pursued their obliga-
tions to historical Texas art with great
vigor. Indeed, during the last quarter-
century, art museums throughout the
state have been instrumental in expand-
ing scholarship and increasing aware-
ness of the history and character of early
The state's sesquicentennial of 1986
fostered renewed appreciation for the
history of all things "Texan." Museums
in the state responded with landmark
exhibitions, reintroducing earlier Texas
art and artists to an eager and admiring
public. Major sesquicentennial exhibi-
tions were mounted in the largest muse-
ums, including Lone Star Regionalism at
The Dallas Museum of Art, and The
Texas Landscape, 1900-1986 at the
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. These
anniversary offerings proved to be
extremely popular, paving the way for
other important exhibitions in flagship
museums during the decade of the '90s.
Texas-themed exhibitions continue into
this millennium, with keystone shows
of historical Texas art already presented
in San Antonio (The Witte's Art for
History's Sake), Fort Worth (The Amon
Carter's Fort Worth Circle) and Dallas
(The DMA's Julian Onderdonk-
American Impressionist). No doubt, such
high profile venues in the state's major
metropolitan museums have added
immeasurably to the merits of historic
Texas art during these years and have
advanced regional art and artists as
credible subjects for exhibition and
Today, more than ever before, Texas
museums showcase historical regional
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2011, Volume 1, periodical, 2011; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254220/m1/24/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.