McNay Art Museum

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. © Sucessio Miro / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2015

The visual art style of Cubism was born between the years 1907 and 1914, breathing first life mostly in Paris, and largely through the efforts of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. As the world began to notice this new way of “seeing,” reaction ranged from dismay to celebration. As other artists began to adapt their work to the new style, both music and theater became infected. Picasso found an ally and a friend in Igor Stravinsky, while Erik Satie pressed the boundaries of music to better reflect the changes in the art world.

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.

Slideshow: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Apr 24, 2015
Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of the artist 2012.32.7

There is nothing that says theatre, in the traditional sense, like William Shakespeare. We read his plays while still in school, perhaps see "Romeo and Juliet," or "A Midsummer Night's Dream" played by an amateur theatre troupe. Sometimes, we get our first glimpse of Shakespeare's genius through movies. Sir Laurence Olivier on the big screen, playing "Hamlet," "Richard III," and "Henry V," showed us the dramatic and historical side of Shakespeare. These movies also demonstrated the power of music to enhance the drama. The composer Sir William Walton, led the way.

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.

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