Past Gallery Exhibit – A Century of Galveston Art

A Century of Galveston Art

Rosenberg Library announced A Century of Galveston Art, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Galveston Art League and of the Library’s own 110th anniversary.

A Century of Galveston Art featured works by members of the Galveston Art League painted during the past one hundred years. Established in 1904, Rosenberg Library was the first organization in the city to collect and preserve fine art. Founded ten years later in 1914, the Galveston Art League was the first organization to promote art appreciation and to support local artists in the city. A natural partnership, the two entities have been closely connected since the early 20th century.

Mosquito Fleet

Mosquito Fleet by Paul R. Schumann, 1929
(gift of the Galveston Art League)

For many years, Art League exhibits were regularly held at the Library. When the Rosenberg Library added its Moody Memorial Wing in the 1970s, space was provided for a permanent gallery for the Galveston Art League. Each year a juried show was held, providing members the opportunity to exhibit and sell their art.

Lazy Bones

Lazy Bones by George W. Newman, ca.1934
(gift of the Galveston Art League)

In addition to planning regular exhibitions and juried shows, the Art League managed its own permanent collection of artworks that had been acquired over the years through purchase or donation. Many of these were displayed in the Rosenberg Library and became iconic images for patrons. Works by notable local and nationally acclaimed artists such as Paul Schumann, Boyer Gonzales, Dawson Dawson-Watson, Rolla Taylor, Frederic Taubes, and Eugene Speicher were included in the Galveston Art League collection. In 1982, the League generously donated its collection of 23 paintings and drawings to the Rosenberg Library to ensure its long-term preservation and care. Many of these works were included in A Century of Galveston Art.

Although the Art League now maintains its own gallery on Postoffice Street, the relationship between the League and the Rosenberg Library continues today through the McGivney Award purchase prize program. The McGivney Award was created by Dr. Merlin Joseph McGivney (1905 – 1985), a local dentist and long-time member of the Galveston Art League. Dr. McGivney perpetuated his love for the arts by establishing an endowment fund administered by the Rosenberg Library. Each year the Library awards a purchase prize to the McGivney Award winner at the Galveston Art League’s spring juried show. The winner is presented with a check, and his or her painting is added to the Library’s permanent collection.

Many McGivney award-winning paintings were featured in the exhibit, as was original works by Dr. McGivney.

Tour Train

Tour Train by Merlin J. McGivney, unknown date
(gift of the Estate of Dr. Merlin J. McGivney)