BEEVILLE, TEXAS — “I am slowly conquering their minds,” observed William J. Hill, a collector who aims his charm ray at anyone who might not share his complete and utter passion for Texas arts and design. As a young man, Bill Hill began buying early Texas-made furniture and ceramics in Austin, New Braunfels and San Antonio. He rummaged in thrift shops. It was what he could afford to collect at the time. He recently observed with satisfaction, “No one wanted it then, but it is a lot different now. The grandkids and great-grandkids really appreciate the stuff. It is beautiful.” This champion and guardian spirit of Texas material culture recognizes its importance as a touchstone of regional pride and has joined with others to enact an integrated and strategic program of collecting, information sharing, scholarship and education. “Made in Texas: Art, Life & Culture 1845–1900” is on view at the Beeville Art Museum through January 10. Organized by Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), the exhibition features paintings, works on paper, furniture, silver, ceramics, needlework and related objects drawn from the private collections of William J. Hill and Bobbie and John Nau, as well as the museum collections belonging to Bayou Bend and the Heritage Society, Houston. ... Read more
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