For many, the most striking permanent exhibit at The Nave Museum is the building itself. A popular stop for photographers and lovers of architecture, the building was designed as a majestic Greek revival temple by San Antonio architect, Atlee Ayers. It opened to the public in 1932.
Scattered around the building grounds are two monument sculptures by Texas artist, Mac Whitney. Mr. Whitney’s work has been exhibited in shows throughout the United States and Europe and, in addition to The Nave, he has permanent collections at the Dallas Museum of Art, The Fort Worth Museum of Art, The Witte Memorial Art Museum, and the University of North Texas Museum.
Also found on the museum grounds is a marble sculpture by Dallas artist, Jesus Moroles, currently on loan to the museum by his estate. Mr. Moroles’ art is currently displayed at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Osaka, Japan, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Mr. Moroles’ sculptures have been included in over three hundred museum and gallery exhibitions worldwide.
In addition to the 6-7 rotating exhibits of local, regional, and national artists featured in The Nave’s galleries each year, the museum is pleased to invite visitors to enjoy the paintings of the Nave’s namesake, Royston Nave. The museum currently has 44 of Mr. Nave’s paintings in our collection, with several on exhibit at all times, with displays rotated 5-6 times per year. Mr. Nave’s paintings include portraits, landscapes, and still lives, for which he’s most known. Overall, the collection of the museum consists of many sound examples of Nave's early portraiture, many of which merit examination and thoughtful study as they exemplify and inform viewers of the best tenets of American portraiture of the period. Among portraits shown at the museum, Norma, The Red Shawl, and Sidney Dickinson must undoubtedly be counted among Nave's most essential works, considering the accolades and notoriety that these works received in New York post-war reviews.
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