Marion Koogler McNay


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Collector and museum founder. Trained as a painter at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, McNay moved permanently to San Antonio after her first husband died in 1918. There she built a Spanish-style mansion, which became the Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute (now Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum) after her death. During the 1930s she spent much time in Taos, where she painted watercolors and bought the work of local artists. One of them, Victor Higgins, became her husband in 1937, but after their divorce in 1940 she ceased to collect Taos art. Instead, she concentrated on building the holdings of late-nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European art for which the museum is particularly known today. Opened to the public in 1954 as the first modern art museum in Texas, it has since expanded beyond its original building and enlarged the collection.

Subjects: Art.

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