Browse Exhibits (6 total)

"Art for Humanity's Sake": A Walk Through the Studio and Archives

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In 1894, Elisabet Ney wrote and contributed an essay titled "Art for Humanity's Sake" for the first-ever State Council of Women, which would eventually become the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs. She wrote: "Art, when faithful to its highest mission, is the endeavor to embody in sense-given material, the spiritual aspirations, the emotional longings of humanity...It remains with us to bring about this higher, truly vital renaissance." 

Following Ney's death in 1907, her friends preserved the studio and its contents as the Elisabet Ney Museum and established the Texas Fine Arts Association dedicated to her memory. This exhibition strives to bring the experience of walking through the galleries and archives of the Elisabet Ney Museum, featuring the sculptures Ney created while living in Europe and in Texas, as well as other artifacts found in the collections. The exhibition also demonstrates various aspects of Ney's artistic process and iterations of various pieces. 

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"Where Destiny Places Them": Pivotal Works Revisited

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In a letter dated May 3, 1904, the artist explained to her dear friend Bride Neill Taylor: "My life shall soon have ebbed away, the youthful pleasure of renown, if it can exist at my age, would be short lived." However, she insisted that her works would "speak for themselves where destiny places them." 

This exhibition highlights a few of Ney's monumental acheivements in art, including Lady Macbeth, sculptures of Texas icons like Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston, and mythological figures such as Prometheus Bound. Destiny has kept these works in the studio home of the artist, now the Elisabet Ney Museum, and we are pleased to share the stories behind a few of her most celebrated works with you. 

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Ink & Dust: Unveiling Ney's Original Letters


The Digital Collections of the Elisabet Ney Museum contain correspondence and other materials that document not only the history of the museum but also the history of Ney herself. 

This exhibition serves to highlight documents in the digital archive that Elisabet Ney either created herself or documents that were sent to her by her friends and associates. It focuses primarily on her personal friendships with people like the Bickler family and Emma Burleson, but it also includes more professional records such as a log of sittings for William Jennings Bryan and letters from Ney's business associates, Friedrich Ochs and Karl Dürck.  

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The Artist as Subject: A Portrait of Elisabet


"People will come to know Elisabet Ney as she really was...a woman of nobility, extremey talented and endowed with a pioneering spirit far beyond the times, rather than the 'character' as Texians labelled her..." So writes the Elisabet Ney Museum's first curator, Willie B Rutland (also known as Mrs. J. W. Rutland). 

This exhibition serves to highlight documents and photographs in this digital archive that represent the history of securing a portrait of Elisabet Ney, painted by American artist Adrian Lamb in the late 1950s. The exhibit especially focuses on the correspondence between Lamb and Willie B. Rutland, as well as the curator's years-long fundraising efforts to finance the portrait. 

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The Hermit Philosopher of Liendo


"[I seek to] give an exposition of the life and labors of Dr. Montgomery and to show that his best claim to immortality is not the fact that he was Elisabet Ney's husband." - Ira K. Stephens in The Hermit Philosopher of Liendo

This exhibition serves to highlight documents in this digital archive that are related to Dr. Edmund Montgomery, whom Elisabet Ney married in 1863. The exhibit primarily highlights the correspondence between the Elisabet Ney Museum's first curator, Willie B. Rutland (also known as Mrs. J. W. Rutland), and the author of The Hermit Philosopher of Liendo, Ira Kendrick Stephens, as he conducted research in various archives and museums across the state. Stephens's book was a biography of Dr. Montgomery, which the author hoped could establish the philosopher's work apart from his famous wife. 

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Women Carving Out History: The Texas Fine Arts Association


"On April 6, 1911, there met in the Ney studio a group of friends, devoted both to the memory of Miss Ney and to the best interests of Texas...and later the decision was confirmed at a meeting held in the parlors of the Driskill Hotel, that an organization should be formed, called the Texas Fine Arts Association and Elisabet Ney Museum." This quote comes from a 1912 pamphlet, created by the Texas Fine Arts Association to serve as a "Sketch of Elisabet Ney History, Purpose, Management, Officers, [and] Work Done."

This exhibition highlights documents in the digital collections that are related to or describe the Texas Fine Arts Association. The Texas Fine Arts Association was the earliest organization in Texas to promote art activity throughout the state and was founded in 1911 in honor of Elisabet Ney by some of her closest friends, including Bride Neill Taylor, Emma Burleson, and Ella Dancy Dibrell. 

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