McNay Art Museum

Last updated
McNay Art Museum
Entrance to the original McNay home and museum.
USA Texas location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of the McNay in Texas
Location6000 N. New Braunfels Ave.
San Antonio, Texas
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Coordinates 29°29′09″N98°27′22″W / 29.485776°N 98.456233°W / 29.485776; -98.456233
TypeArt Museum
DirectorRichard Aste [1]
CuratorRene Paul Barilleaux, Lyle W. Williams

The McNay Art Museum, founded in 1954 in San Antonio, is the first modern art museum in the U.S. state of Texas. The museum was created by Marion Koogler McNay's original bequest of most of her fortune, her important art collection and her 24-room Spanish Colonial Revival-style mansion that sits on 23 acres (9.3 ha) that are landscaped with fountains, broad lawns and a Japanese-inspired garden and fishpond.


McNay was an American painter and art teacher who inherited a substantial oil fortune upon the death of her father. The museum was named after her, and has been expanded to include galleries of medieval and Renaissance artwork and a larger collection of 20th-century European and American modernist work. She built a home in 1927 designed by Atlee Ayres and his son Robert M. Ayres. Upon her death, the house was bequeathed to the City of San Antonio to house the museum. [2]

The museum focuses primarily on 19th- and 20th-century European and American art by such artists as Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Georgia O'Keeffe, Diego Rivera, Mary Cassatt, and Edward Hopper. The collection today consists of over 20,000 objects [3] and is one of the finest collections of contemporary art and sculpture in the Southwestern United States. The museum also is home to the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, which is one of the premiere collections of its kind in the U.S., and a research library with over 30,000 volumes.

The McNay Art Museum added the Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions in 2008, built by internationally renowned architect Jean-Paul Viguier, to display their Modern collection. [4] The 45,000-square-foot structure houses light-filled galleries for special exhibitions, a glass-fronted gallery for sculpture from the museum's collection, a gallery for paper works, wall cases for small objects, and state-of-the-art lecture hall and learning centers. The Center's elegant design, rich materials, and architectural details both contrast with and complement the original Spanish Colonial Revival-style residence, which it adjoins. [5]

Collection highlights

Related Research Articles

André Derain

André Derain was a French artist, painter, sculptor and co-founder of Fauvism with Henri Matisse.

Armory Show 1913 American art exhibition

The Armory Show, also known as the International Exhibition of Modern Art, was a show organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors in 1913. It was the first large exhibition of modern art in America, as well as one of the many exhibitions that have been held in the vast spaces of U.S. National Guard armories.

Lovis Corinth

Lovis Corinth was a German artist and writer whose mature work as a painter and printmaker realized a synthesis of impressionism and expressionism.

Anselm Kiefer German painter and sculptor

Anselm Kiefer is a German painter and sculptor. He studied with Peter Dreher and Horst Antes at the end of the 1960s. His works incorporate materials such as straw, ash, clay, lead, and shellac. The poems of Paul Celan have played a role in developing Kiefer's themes of German history and the horror of the Holocaust, as have the spiritual concepts of Kabbalah.

Arthur Dove American painter

Arthur Garfield Dove was an American artist. An early American modernist, he is often considered the first American abstract painter. Dove used a wide range of media, sometimes in unconventional combinations, to produce his abstractions and his abstract landscapes. Me and the Moon from 1937 is a good example of an Arthur Dove abstract landscape and has been referred to as one of the culminating works of his career. Dove did a series of experimental collage works in the 1920s. He also experimented with techniques, combining paints like hand mixed oil or tempera over a wax emulsion as exemplified in Dove's 1938 painting Tanks, in the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.


The Städel, officially the Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, is an art museum in Frankfurt, with one of the most important collections in Germany. The Städel Museum owns 3,100 paintings, 660 sculptures, more than 4,600 photographs and more than 100,000 drawings and prints. It has around 4,000 m² of display and a library of 115,000 books.

Arthur Bowen Davies American painter

Arthur Bowen Davies was an avant-garde American artist and influential advocate of modern art in the United States c. 1910–1928.

John Quinn (collector)

John Quinn was an Irish-American cognoscente of the art world; and a lawyer in New York City who fought to overturn censorship laws restricting modern literature and art from entering the United States.

San Diego Museum of Art Art Museum in California, US

The San Diego Museum of Art is a fine arts museum located at 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park in San Diego, California that houses a broad collection with particular strength in Spanish art. The San Diego Museum of Art opened as The Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego on February 28, 1926, and changed its name to the San Diego Museum of Art in 1978. The official Balboa Park website calls the San Diego Museum of Art "the region's oldest and largest art museum". Nearly half a million people visit the museum each year.

Marion Koogler McNay

Marion Koogler McNay, was an American painter,art collector, and art teacher who inherited a substantial oil fortune upon the death of her parents. She later willed her fortune to be used to establish San Antonio's first museum of modern art, which today bears her name. Inspired by Modern, Impressionism, and American Art she used her wealthy background to cultivate her eclectic art collection. McNay was able to design her San Antonio home after moving there in 1926. As soon as McNay moved to San Antonio she began buying and commissioning art pieces. The Spanish styled house was able to showcase a diverse amount of paintings including both American and European styled art. McNay favored Art made in the South Western American style. The fortune she inherited was able to fund her art collection which spanned over seven hundred art pieces by 1950, marking the year of her passing. San Antonio allowed McNay to have an expansive estate marking over 23 acres of land. The goal for McNay was to make her museum "a place of beauty with the comforts and warmth of a home."

Master of Frankfurt

The Master of Frankfurt was a Flemish Renaissance painter active in Antwerp between about 1480 and 1520. Although he probably never visited Frankfurt am Main, his name derives from two paintings commissioned from patrons in that city, the Holy Kinship in the Frankfurt Historical Museum and a Crucifixion in the Städel museum.

Ben Culwell American painter

Ben L. Culwell was an American painter and early participant in the abstract expressionist movement. He is most widely known for his participation in the Museum of Modern Art’s 1946 Fourteen Americans exhibition. His work is included in the permanent collection of Houston's Menil Collection, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1977, Culwell's work was featured in a retrospective at the McNay Art Museum. Ten years later in 1987, Culwell's early paintings were featured in Adrenalin Hour, an exhibition given at the opening of the Menil Collection, to critical acclaim. In 2007, his work was included in an exhibition at Baylor University, Texas Modern: The Rediscovery of Early Texas Abstraction 1935–1965.

Michael Frary was an American Modernist artist from Santa Monica, California, who was known for his interest in structural forms and architectural compositions, as well as for his Surrealist impulses. A versatile artist, Frary experimented with a range of mediums and constantly refined his approach to his subjects.

Jack Boynton American painter

James W. Jack Boynton was an American artist.

Jack Albert Youngerman was an American artist known for his constructions and paintings.

William J. Chiego is an American museum curator, who has been director of the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio since 1991.

Sue Fuller

Sue Fuller was an American sculptor, draughtsman, author, teacher and printmaker who created three-dimensional works with thread. She was a student of Hans Hofmann in 1934, Stanley Hayter in 1943, and Josef Albers in 1944. She was awarded the Alumni Merit Award by Carnegie Mellon University in 1974, and the Lifetime Achievement Award by Women's Caucus for Art in 1986. A passionate devotee of modern art, Sue Fuller began her career as a printmaker then used some of the techniques she experimented with to develop an original form of sculpture.


  1. "Longtime McNay Director Chiego Passes Baton to Aste | McNay Art Museum". Retrieved Nov 28, 2019.
  2. Sawyer, Ellen. "The McNay Art Museum". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  3. Museum, McNay Art (2010). McNay Art Museum: An Introduction. Scala Publishers. ISBN   978-1-85759-664-9.
  4. "Our Mission". McNay Art Museum. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  5. Chiego, William Joseph (2011). Jane & Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions: McNay Art Museum. Scala. ISBN   978-1-85759-668-7.