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 Marion Koogler McNay  (1883 - 1950)

About: Marion Koogler McNay
 

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Lived/Active: Texas/Ohio      Known for: genre and landscape painting, teaching, philanthropy

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Ohio and raised in Eldorado, Kansas, Marion Koogler McNay established a career in Texas as a watercolor painter, art collector, teacher and philanthropist.  She trained in Chicago at the Art Institute and at the University of Kansas at Lawrence, where she also became an instructor.  In the 1930s, she was in Taos, New Mexico and took painting lessons from Emil Bisttram.

In 1926, she moved to San Antonio, and there used her inherited wealth from oil to endow the Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute in her home, a Spanish-Colonial mansion, on 23 acres of land, called Sunset Hill.  It was the first museum of modern art in Texas.  She also assembled a comprehensive art collection of American and European painting and sculpture and the largest collection of theatrical art in America.  She established an art school there that ran until 1994.

From 1937 to 1940, she was married to New Mexico painter, Victor Higgins.  He was her third of five husbands, but professionally she used the last name of her first husband, Don Denton McNay.  He died in the 1918 influenza epidemic.

Source:
John and Deborah Powers, Texas Painters, Sculptors & Graphic Artists
Ann Landi, "Avant-Garde Taste for Texas", ARTnews, June, 2008, p. 60

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