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May 19, 2010

Neither Model nor Muse: Women as Artists

June 2 | September 12



In 1971, renowned art historian Linda Nochlin pioneered feminist art theory in her ARTnews essay entitled “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” Over the past 56 years, with art collector, educator, and watercolorist Marion Koogler McNay as inspiration, the McNay has demonstrated the absurdity of Nochlin’s question by acquiring countless works by women artists. Neither Model nor Muse: Women as Artists brings together for the first time the McNay’s works by women artists, integrating paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, and designs for the theatre.

Boasting large and varied holdings in all media, the collection now includes several artists in depth. Of particular interest in Neither Model nor Muse are multiple examples by American constructivist sculptor Sue Fuller, Russian painter and theatre artist Natalia Gontcharova, British sculptor Barbara Hepworth, Texas abstractionist Dorothy Hood, abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell, assemblage sculptor Louise Nevelson, and iconic American modernist Georgia O’Keeffe. More recently, works by contemporary artists Chakaia Booker, Lesley Dill, Danielle Frankenthal, Margo Sawyer, Sandy Skoglund, and Kiki Smith have joined their colleagues at the McNay. Art by lesser-known yet equally dynamic artists, including Edna Andrade, Florence Miller Pierce, and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, augment the group, as do designs for theatre settings and costumes by Sonia Delaunay, Jean Eckart, Alexandra Exter, Adrianne Lobel, and others. Works on paper complete the selection with prints by Helen Frankenthaler, April Gornik, and Agnes Martin, as well as drawings by Leonora Carrington and Yvonne Jacquette.

Image: Pictured clockwise, from upper left, are four artists whose work is included in Neither Model nor Muse. American modernist Georgia O’Keeffe gazes at her 1931 painting Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses. Contemporary painter Yvonne Jacquette poses in front of her work Northeast View of Downtown Chicago, from1997. British sculptor Barbara Hepworth stands next to her 1953 model of The Unknown Political Prisoner, winner of The Institute of Contemporary Arts International Sculpture Competition. Russian-born, American sculptor Louise Nevelson sits in front of her massive, painted wood construction Royal Tide II, dated 1961–62.


This exhibition was organized by the McNay Art Museum.


Funding is generously provided by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Exhibition Endowment,

the Endowment Fund for Exhibitions, the Director’s Circle, and the Host Committee.


Media sponsorship is provided by the San Antonio Express-News.


The McNay

Built by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay in the 1920s, the Spanish Colonial Revival-style residence opened as Texas’s first museum of modern art in 1954. Today more than 100,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.  In June 2008, the museum opened the 45,000-square-foot Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions designed by internationally renowned French architect Jean-Paul Viguier. Nearly doubling the McNay’s exhibition space, the Stieren Center includes outdoor sculpture galleries.



Tuesday–Friday, 10 am–4 pm; Thursday, 10 am–9 pm;

Saturday, 10 am–5 pm; Sunday, noon–5 pm.

The McNay is closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.


General Admission

McNay members, free; Children 12 and under, free; Adults, $8; Students 12 and under, $5;

Seniors (65+),  $5; Active Military, $5. 

An extra admission charge of $5 applies during special exhibitions. There is no charge for general admission on Thursday nights and on the first Sunday of the month. At these times, the extra admission charge applies only for entrance to the special exhibition.


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