This has been a record-breaking year for the Martin Museum of Art at Baylor University in terms of art acquisitions and donated art done by well-known artists.
"Word is getting out," said Karin A. Gilliam, director of Martin Museum of Art. "We've had many inquiries regarding donating artwork to the museum, and we have had to be very selective."
Among the donations accepted in the past academic year are 50 prints and etchings by the late John Winkler, a well-known printmaker; three oil paintings by the late "Lone Star modernist" Michael Frary; and three pieces of art from AT&T, including two works by Robert Kipniss, known for oil and print contemporary landscapes, and a large painting by San Antonio artist Reginald Rowe.
That's impressive in that normally, the museum may purchase one or two works of art a year and have one or two donated to its permanent collection of more than 1,000 works of art, Gilliam said.
Besides being known for the quality of its art, the museum is known for its reflection of community and area history, including works by Baylor art faculty and other area artists.
The most recent addition is a large painting by Wacoan Kermit Oliver -- a family portrait he did for Waco philanthropists Ted and Sue Getterman, both Baylor graduates, who donated it. The Gettermans have established an endowed fund for the museum as well as endowed scholarships in Baylor's Schools of Music, Business and Education; athletics; and George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor.
The portrait, painted 18 years ago, depicts the family and a gazebo, with images that reflect their loves and hobbies: a baseball mitt, pictures of trains, golf clubs, the family's dogs and the ducks and geese that Ted Getterman loves to feed, his wife said.
"Kermit Oliver is a well-known name," Sue Getterman said. "The more top exhibits the Martin Museum of Art gets, the more the reputation will grow."
Getterman said she plans another donation next year -- a painting by painter and sculptor Ted Egri, which depicts a man and his creation of a contemporary building.
The museum has two galleries, each about 1,000 square feet, and Getterman said additional storage and display space would be an asset to accommodate the growing amount of art and exhibit it. Much of the archived art is in conservation flat files, and the storage area does not have an independent climate-control separate from the rest of the building.
The museum, with the generous support of the Martin Museum Art Angels, serves as a valuable tool for students and faculty, with exhibitions that complement courses in art history and studio art.
The first Baylor Art Museum was established in 1968 by Dr. J.B. Smith, who was then the chairman of the department of art. It was housed in the Carroll Science Building and consisted of the McArdle and Kinsinger Galleries. In 1982, under Baylor President Herbert Reynolds and Dr. Harold Simmons, chairman of the fine arts department, the museum moved into the newly constructed Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center. A contribution for a new art museum in the center was made by Lady Hooper Schaefer's niece, Ruby Laura Hooper Martin of Conroe. The museum was named the Martin Museum of Art.