Martin Museum of Art to Host Henry A. McArdle: Texas Painter, Patriot, and Baylor Professor

July 15, 2014
The Martin Museum of Art at Baylor University will feature Henry A. McArdle: Texas Painter, Patriot, and Baylor Professor beginning August 12 and running though September 21. Henry McArdle was one of the earliest artists in the Republic of Texas and his work documents historically significant events as well as instrumental individuals who helped shape the state.

This exhibition will be the first to bring together twenty-two works by McArdle. The pieces will be representative of collections across Texas, including the Texas State Capitol, Southern Methodist University, the Texas Collection at Baylor University, the Nau Civil War Collection, and private collectors. The works range from the large, action scenes of The Battle of San Jacinto, The Settlement of Austin’s Colony, and Lee at the Wilderness to portraits of Sam Houston, Governor James Hogg, and Baylor founders and presidents.

Henry McArdle was born in Ireland in 1836. He immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland, with an aunt at the age of just fifteen. He was a soldier in the Civil War, and his diaries and sketches from his service will be displayed courtesy of the Nau Civil War Collection. As an art professor at Baylor University in Independence, Texas, from 1871 to 1885, McArdle executed several of his best-known epic paintings such as Dawn at the Alamo (1875) and Lee at the Wilderness (1873), both of which were destroyed in the fire at the Texas State Capitol in 1881 and McArdle created revised versions of both paintings in the following decades. In addition to the paintings of events, he was also a portrait artist for historic figures and families around Independence. He was commissioned by the class of 1885 to paint the first five Baylor presidents.

Dr. Sam Ratcliffe, Head of Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library at Southern Methodist University, will moderate a roundtable discussion with the exhibition lenders and John Wilson, Director, Texas Collection at Baylor University, from 3-4:30pm on Saturday, August 30 in lecture hall 149 adjacent to the museum. A reception with light refreshments will follow from 4:30-5:30. The event and exhibition are free, and the public is cordially invited.

The Martin Museum of Art is located in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center on the Baylor University campus. HOURS are 10am-6pm Tuesday – Friday, 10am-4pm Saturday and 1-4pm Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays and during university holidays. Admission is free and all events are open to the public, unless specified. For more information, or to schedule a group tour, please call 254-710-1867 or visit the museum website at
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