McNay Art Museum

The Tobin Collection: The Americans

May 1, 2015
Gift of Robert L. B. Tobin. TL1999.247.6

Eclectic might be one way to describe Robert Tobin's taste in art. There seems to be no prejudice in his collection of theatre art and no stifling specialization. This is not to say that the collection is without holes in it. As Linda Hardberger, the first curator of The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, points out, there is little, if anything, from Africa. Latin America is also under-represented.

Who is today's Birthday Bard? Why, it's William Shakespeare! In truth, his birth date is rather hazy. Nevertheless, April 23, 1564, is when the BBC celebrates it, and that's good enough for me. However, to keep all bases covered, his baptism record shows the date April 26th on it.

Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Robert L. B. Tobin, TL1998.109. / © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris

All the Rage in Paris: Diaghilev's Ballets Russes is currently on display at The McNay. It is a reflection of the richness of The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts and the keen eye of Tobin curator Jody Blake. The exhibition reflects one of the most fertile artistic experiments ever, the 20 year residency of Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in Paris.

The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, at San Antonio's McNay Art Museum, is regarded by many to be the most important collection of its kind in the country. In addition to the thousands of volumes of rare and essential books, there are thousands more pieces of visual art in the form of costume, scene, and stage designs, most of them with a musical pedigree. How did such a collection come about? Tobin Collection curators Linda Hardberger and Jody Blake give us some clues.

Watch the video slide show here:

A Gift Of Art From Two Philanthropic Giants

Mar 27, 2015
James Baker

As I walked out of San Antonio's McNay Museum of Art this morning, after a wonderful interview with Linda Hardberger, I felt as though I were swimming upstream against an unstoppable current of children. They were there to tour the McNay's current exhibition of pieces from the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts. I had only moments earlier been speaking to Mrs.

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