Marion Koogler McNay, Founder of the McNay Art Museum
In June of 1915, the superintendent of the city schools in Marion, Ohio, wrote that Marion Koogler "is one of the best qualified art teachers I have ever known…. She teaches Art in a manner that arouses and develops the child’s observation and enlarges his aesthetic nature." The following year Marion met Don McNay, who would become her first husband in 1917. But before the end of 1918, Don had died of the influenza epidemic that swept the world. After four subsequent marriages, Marion returned to using the McNay name.

In 1926 Marion came to San Antonio with her mother. She soon married Dr. Donald Atkinson. On his Sunset Hills property, Marion began to build a Spanish Mediterranean-style mansion, which would eventually become the McNay Art Museum. Soon after the house was completed, she bought her first oil painting, Diego Rivera’s Delfina Flores. Using the inheritance from her father’s oil-rich Kansas land, she also collected French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists; early 20th-century modernists like Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall; and Southwestern santos and retablos.

When she died in 1950, Marion Koogler McNay left her residence and collection to become a museum "for the advancement and enjoyment of modern art."

Eight later additons to the Museum building have included galleries for medieval and Renaissance art, 20th-century European and American modernism, sculpture, and prints, as well as an extensive theatre arts library and gallery; an art reference library; and an auditorium for lectures, concerts, and special events.

For information about tours of the Museum, call 210.805.1768.

Go to: McNay Home Page The McNay Art Museum today in San Antonio, Texas.

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