In the WSJ, Willard Spiegelman reviews the Kimbell Art Museum’s current exhibition, “From the Private Collections of Texas: European Art, Ancient to Modern.” He calls it not so much another of the Kimbell’s “elegantly didactic” efforts — a description one might apply to the entertainingly waspish Spiegelman himself — but a celebration, “a giant Christmas stocking stuffed with more than 100 random goodies.”
The exhibition, Spiegelman writes, tells two stories, one about Texas and the other about the state’s collectors:
The De Menils collected Surrealists and African art along with Old Masters. The Clarks of Dallas focused on Mondrian; the Nashers, on modern sculpture. Michael Rosenberg, also of Dallas, amassed 18th-century French work. Marion Koogler McNay loved the Impressionists. The Barretts of Dallas, Johnnys-Come-Lately, recently developed a taste for Swiss painting. All of these collectors, both unnamed and named, worked with dealers, but they also followed their own instincts.