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Exhibition Archives

 

FOR JERRY
MASTERPIECES FROM THE LAWSON BEQUEST

September 12, 2012 | January 13, 2013

Jerry Lawson, daughter of famed oilman Gus Glasscock, as well as a savvy businessperson and rancher in her own right, became acquainted with the McNay Art Museum shortly after moving to San Antonio from Corpus Christi in the 1960s. As the story goes, she bought a wonderful Gauguin woodcut while on a business trip and decided to get an opinion of the work from the McNay’s director. John Palmer Leeper immediately recognized the print as one of the artist’s best and was duly impressed with Jerry. He was even more impressed shortly after, when she brought in another masterful Gauguin impression. He took her to lunch and thus began a decades-long relationship between the museum, its staff, and Jerry.

Lawson gave the museum numerous prints over the years, but her greatest gift to the print collection was her decision to fund construction of the Jerry Lawson Print Gallery. When completed in 1982, it was the only facility in Texas dedicated to exhibitions of works of art on paper. When Jerry died in 1993, she left her own print collection, which she had carefully and thoughtfully built over the years, to the McNay. Highlights from her bequest appear in a celebratory installation of the 30th anniversary of the Jerry Lawson Print Gallery.

Jerry collected works by the greatest printmakers of the 19th and 20th centuries: Francisco Goya, Jasper Johns, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Pablo Picasso. Included in the exhibition are all 15 of Picasso’s Saltimbanques (1904–05). These etchings and drypoints about the lives of itinerant acrobats were the first that Picasso made and include his early masterpiece Le Repas Frugal, which beautifully describes a meager dinner of bread and wine shared by two acrobats. Another highlight of the show is a group of prints by Jasper Johns, an artist whom Jerry collected in depth, including his lithographs Decoy and Decoy II, both landmarks in 20th-century American printmaking.

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This exhibition was organized by the McNay Art Museum.

The Elizabeth Huth Coates Exhibition Endowment and the Arthur and Jane Stieren Fund for Exhibitions are generously funding this exhibition.
 
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