Lubbock art collector E. Jay Matsler has left his entire 125-piece collection of Texas and New Mexico regionalist art to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, “because of their …magnificent job in showing and promoting regional art,” according to his will.
Matsler collected prints by Texas artists, especially those by the Dallas Nine, including Jerry Bywaters, Otis Dozier, Perry Nichols, William Lester, Florence McClung, and Everett Spruce, and members of the all-female Texas Printmakers such as Stella Lodge LaMond. He also collected works by Lubbock artists Bess Bigham Hubbard, Leo Bernice Fix, Mona Pierce, and Dorothy Bryan. Notable works in the gift include: Jackrabbit (1943) and Cotton Pickers by Otis Dozier; a watercolor by New Mexico artist John Meigs; an oil by Santa Fe painter Odon Hullenkremer; a print by Gene Kloss, and a sketchbook and archives from Bess Bigham Hubbard.
“The size, breadth, and depth of the Matsler Collection make it the most significant gift of art objects Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum has received since the Lucille Nance Jones bequest in the 1970s,” said Michael R. Grauer, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Art and Western Heritage at PPHM.
Matsler was born at home on Aug. 7, 1939, in the Liberty Community to the late Grover C. and Lura Nell Matsler, a Hale County Pioneer family. He died on Dec. 31, 2013, in Lubbock at the age of 74.
After processing and cataloguing, pieces from the Matsler collection will be featured in the PPHM’s galleries.