DMA Insight

Barrett Collection of Contemporary Texas Art

In January 2008 the Dallas Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston announced that Nona and Richard Barrett of Dallas had given more than two hundred works of art form their outstanding private collection of contemporary Texas art to both museums. Ranging from the 1970s to the present—with the majority dating from the 1980s and 90s—the works form a wide-ranging survey of some of the finest art made in Texas over the past three to four decades.

The gift to the Dallas Museum of Art included paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculpture and added the work of thirty-one artists to the Museum's collections, eleven of them entirely new, including Jesse Amado, Stephen Duane Dennie, David Gibson, Lucas Johnson, Sharon Kopriva, Michael Miller, Kermit Oliver, Al Souza, Dick Wray, and Judy Youngblood, and a 1971 assemblage sculpture by a California and Idaho-based artist with Texas connections, Edward Kienholz. In addition, the DMA received pieces by twenty artists already represented in the Museum, including a major painting by renowned abstract expressionist Joseph Glasco; a maplike work by Vernon Fisher; a drawing by John Alexander; and significant works by David Baker, David Bates, Julie Bozzi, Patrick Faulhaber, Joseph Havel, Terrell James, Luis Alfonso Jimenez, Bill Komodore, Annette Lawrence, Jim Love, David McManaway, Melissa Miller, Linda Ridgway, Peter Saul, Lee N. Smith, Gael Z. Stack, and Danny Williams.

Since its founding over a century ago, the Dallas Museum of Art has engaged Texas's rich community of artists in its collections, exhibitions, and programs. This gift (following after the Barretts' donation in March 2007 of more than sixty early Texas works) is not only proof of the Barretts' continued generosity but ensures the Museum is able to continue to represent the work of major artists working in Texas. 

Adapted from

Charles Wylie, DMA Exhibition panel, Lone Star Legacy II: Barrett Collection of Contemporary Texas Art, June 22-September 14, 2008.