Museums in Fort Worth and San Antonio Announce Recent Acquisitions

by Jessica Fuentes December 12, 2023

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art (the Carter) in Fort Worth, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and Ruby City have announced recent acquisitions to their respective collections.

A painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner of figures walking in the foreground with a city in the distant background.

Henry Ossawa Tanner, “Sodom and Gomorrah,” ca. 1920-24, oil on canvas, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY, 2023.11

Earlier this season, the Carter announced that it has acquired works spanning over 250 years of American art. Among the pieces that have entered the collection is an early painting by Benjamin West, which is the earliest oil painting to be acquired by the museum. Additionally, the museum has acquired the 20th century painting Sodom and Gomorrah, its first work by Henry Ossawa Tanner; the piece is currently on public view for the first time in a decade. Other highlights include works by BIPOC women such as Emma Amos, Sadie Barnette, Camille Billops, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Martine Gutierrez, Ester Hernández and Meryl McMaster.

An etching by Ester Hernández of the Virgin of Guadalupe dressed in a karate uniform and kicking the air.

Ester Hernández, “La Virgin de Guadalupe Defendiendo Los Derechos de los Chicanos,” 1975, etching and aquatint, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, 2023.6, © 1975 Ester Hernández

In a press release, Andrew J. Walker, the Carter’s Executive Director, stated “Our goal is for the Carter’s collections to reflect the complexity of the American experience — with all of its nuance, dimensionality, and diversity of voices. The works we’ve acquired over the past year move us closer to that goal, bringing living artists into dialogue with our foundational collections to provide fuller context to the American experience and ensuring that visitors encounter and engage with the most comprehensive view of American art.”

A photograph of a small earthenware sculpture of a seated male figure.

“Seated male figure with a headdress,” Maya culture, Mexico, ca. 600–900, earthenware, 7 1/4 inches tall. San Antonio Museum of Art, Gift of John and Kathi Oppenheimer, 2023.7.82

Last month, the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) announced that it has acquired two collections focused on the art of the Americas prior to 1500. John M. and Kathi Oppenheimer, collector and longtime SAMA supports, have gifted the museum nearly 200 objects created by people who lived in the present-day western United States, Central Mexico, and Central America. Cultures represented in the gift include the Aztec, Mixtec, Colima, Nayarit, Jalisco, Maya, Zapotec, and Olmec. The collection primarily features ceramic and stone figures and vessels. 

A photograph of a diamond-shaped tunic made in Peru around 700 AD.

“Diamond shaped tunic tabard with nested diamonds,” Moche-Wari culture, Peru, c. 700, cotton, 50 x 40 inches. San Antonio Museum of Art, Gift of Lindsay and Lucy Duff, 2023.12. 89

The second collection is from Lindsay and Lucy Duff and includes over 100 objects dating from 500 BC to AD 1500 from early South American cultures, including the Moche, Nasca, Wari, Chimu, and Inca. The Duff Collection includes ceramics, textiles, carved stone, and wooden objects. 

A photograph of a retablo painting by Santa Barraza.

Santa Barraza, “Emma Tenayuca Retablo,” 1993, oil on metal, 15 x 14 x 13/16 inches. San Antonio Museum of Art, Purchased with funds provided by the Dorothy Antoinette LaSelle Foundation, the William and Salome Scanlan Foundation, and Candace and Michael Humphreys, 2023.9, © Santa Barraza

Additionally, SAMA has recently acquired objects across its Contemporary, American, Latin American, Asian, and Ancient Mediterranean collections. Highlights include, a retablo by Santa Barraza, a major figure in Chicana/o art and the South Texas Chicano Art Movement; 10 ceramic works by modern and contemporary Japanese artists, including Nakamura Takuo, Koie Ryoji, Takiguchi Kazuo, Ito Motohiko, and Seto Hiroshi; and Yemayá, one of the three paintings in the Goddess Triptych by San Antonio artist Ángel Rodríguez-Díaz.

A photograph of an installation by Mona Hatoum featuring furniture and household objects suspended on moving wires.

Mona Hatoum, “Mobile Home II,” 2006, furniture, household objects, suitcases, galvanised steel barriers, three electric motors and pulley system,
46 3/4 x 86 1/2 x 236 1/4 inches. © Mona Hatoum. Courtesy Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin. Photo: Jens Ziehe.

Ruby City, also in San Antonio, has announced that in 2023 it has acquired 65 works by 26 artists. The new acquisitions include works by internationally-acclaimed artists, as well as artists with ties to Texas and San Antonio. More than half of the artists whose work has been acquired are new to the collection, including Nicole Eisenman, Valie Export, Anya Gallacio, Emily Jacir, Charles LeDray, Annette Lemieux, Constance Lowe, Celia Álvarez Muñoz, and Sue Williams. Some artists whose work was acquired this year and were already represented in Ruby City’s collection include Nate Cassie, Mona Hatoum, Kim Jones, Tala Madani, Paul Pfeiffer, Juan Miguel Ramos, and Tim Rollins + KOS.

In a press release, Ruby City Director Elyse A. Gonzales stated, “I’m deeply proud of the acquisitions we’ve made this year given their ability to speak to the personal and universal as well as the innovative artistic approaches and processes they employ. Each addresses themes inherent to the Collection such as: feminism, the home, identity, process, and materiality. I can’t wait to share them with our audiences.”

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