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For Immediate Release

September 20, 2011

Three works by Renoir acquired by the McNay Art Museum


renoir 1

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Lemons and Tea Cup, 1912. Oil on canvas. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Morgan Chaney, by exchange, Gift of Regina C. Evans, and Museum purchase.

The McNay Art Museum has acquired three works by Pierre- Auguste Renoir: Lemons and Teacup, 1912; Head of a Woman; and Small Head, ca. 1905. The three paintings hang in a space designated for new acquisitions in the entrance hall of Marion Koogler McNay's residence. "Lemons and Teacup is a small masterpiece of Impressionist still-life painting and the two portrait sketches show a freedom of execution that became Renoir's dominant style late in life," says William J. Chiego, who celebrates 20 years as McNay director.


While Lemons and Teacup has been on loan from a private collector and on view in the museum's galleries since the 1960s, this still life is now part of the McNay's

collection, it is a gift by exchange of Mrs. Morgan Chaney. An example of the artist's smaller still lifes, the painting depicts a tabletop group with a knife, lemons, foliage, a teacup with saucer, and a spoon. A close-up view of the objects combines with loose animated brushwork that obscures details yet allows for a dynamic play of light and color. The decorative flower motif on the china alludes to Renoir's past as a porcelain painter. Renoir completed the painting in his later years, when he returned to using bright hues and color to model forms.


Examples of Renoir's portrait works, the oil sketches Head of a Woman and Small Head are gifts of Lois and John Hayward in memory of Muriel Hayward. The Haywards considered various museums before making the gift to the McNay, citing the museum's commitment to education as the reason for their choice.


These acquisitions greatly complement the McNay's collection, which already has three Renoir paintings: Guernesey, 1892; Gabrielle in Oriental Costume, 1913; and The Serenade, 1919. The three recent acquisitions add more depth to the museum's holdings of Renoir's late work, while expanding the McNay's representation of Impressionism.


Images available upon request.



renoir 3

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Small Head. Oil on canvas. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Lois and John Hayward in memory of Muriel Hayward

renoir 2

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Head of a Woman. Oil on canvas. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Lois and John Hayward in memory of Muriel Hayward.
















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Built by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay in the 1920s, the Spanish Colonial Revival-style residence opened as Texas's first museum of modern art in 1954. Today more than 100,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.  In June 2008, the museum opened the 45,000-square-foot Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions designed by internationally renowned French architect Jean-Paul Viguier. Nearly doubling the McNay's exhibition space, the Stieren Center includes three separate outdoor sculpture galleries.



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