Press Room /  Press Releases


February 5, 2010

An Impressive 2010 Begins with Two Special Exhibitions


An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection    



Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art, 1845-1945


PLEASE NOTE: An extra admission charge to the McNay applies during these special exhibitions (general admission + $5).

An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection
February 3 - May 9, 2010

We are pleased to begin the new year with a remarkable private collection of American paintings of the Impressionist era formed by San Antonians Marie and Hugh Halff. The 26 paintings in their collection are notable for both their range and quality and include superb examples by leading masters of the period from the 1870s to 1930.

Although their collection is not large, it is characterized by a surprising depth. Key artists, among them John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, Winslow Homer, and Edward Hopper are represented by multiple works.As Eleanor Jones Harvey, author of the catalogue of the Halff Collection and Chief Curator of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, has aptly written: "Whether under the spell of French impressionists, James McNeill Whistler, Near Eastern romance, or Japanese prints-these worldly artists shaped American taste, and helped bring American art into the modern era."  

An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection was organized by the McNay Art Museum.

Lead funding is generously provided by Jane Cheever Powell and Tom Powell Jr. Additional funding is provided by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Exhibition Endowment, the Endowment Fund for Exhibitions, Jefferson Bank, and the Host Committee.


TruthBeauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art, 1845-1945
February 3 - May 9, 2010

Pictorialism was simultaneously a movement, a philosophy, an aesthetic, and a style, resulting in some of the most spectacular photographs in the history of the medium. Drawn from the rich collections of the George Eastman House, TruthBeauty shows the rise of Pictorialism in the late 19th century from a desire to elevate photography to an art form equal to drawing and painting, and extends the historical period generally associated with it by including its influential precursors, its persistent practitioners, and its seminal effect on photographic modernism.

TruthBeauty presents over 130 masterworks from such wellknown photographers as Alvin Langdon Coburn, F. Holland Day, Robert Demachy, Frederick Evans, Gertrude Kasebier, Heinrich Kuhn, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz, and that illustrate the Pictorialism movement's progression from its early influences to its lasting impact on photography and art.

The depth of the Eastman House collections also provides a rare opportunity to examine the signature printing processes used by Pictorialists. Multiple unique prints made from single negatives by photographers such as Paul L. Anderson, Alvin Langdon Coburn, and Gertrude Kasebier invite a comparison of works in gelatin silver, gum bichromate, and platinum.

TruthBeauty is a smaller version of the exhibition of the same name produced by Vancouver Art Gallery. Both versions were curated by George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.
As of November 4, 2009, funding at the McNay is generously provided by the William and Salome Scanlan Foundation and the G. A. C. Halff Foundation.




# # #



Subscribe to What’s Up @ the McNay
McNay Art Museum, 6000 North New Braunfels, San Antonio, Texas 78209
Copyright © 2014. McNay Art Museum.