San Antonio Museum of Art presents "40 Years, 40 Stories: Treasures and New Discoveries from SAMA’s Collection"

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40 Years, 40 Stories: Treasures and New Discoveries from SAMA’s Collection
Photo courtesy of San Antonio Museum of Art

Over the course of its 40-year history, the San Antonio Museum of Art has developed an expansive 30,000-object collection that represents human creation and experience from across thousands of years and from cultures spread across six continents. In its upcoming exhibition, "40 Years, 40 Stories: Treasures and New Discoveries from SAMA’s Collection," SAMA will present works from the collection that are currently held in storage and that have been selected by members of the Museum’s curatorial team as works of particular personal interest, inspiration, and fascination.

Many of the 40 objects chosen for the show have been off view for numerous years, while others are being presented for the first time. In other instances, artworks capture little-known or under-studied artistic and cultural narratives. Together, the works engage audiences anew with SAMA’s broad-ranging holdings and highlight the depth, range, and dynamism of the collection.

Among the highlights in the exhibition is the reinstallation of the monumental painting Mary, Lady Arundell of Wardour (1767) by the famed English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds. The full-length portrait was acquired by SAMA in 1981 and held a prominent position in its European decorative arts gallery for many years. The newly conserved painting reveals a new depth of detail and color within Reynolds’ composition.

Another work in the exhibition that is being presented following recent conservation is the late 17th- to early 18th-century Chinese handscroll, Peach Blossom Spring. The work depicts the tale of a fisherman who discovers a utopian community. The handscroll, which has been in storage for many years, was repaired and remounted, so that it can be safely unrolled for viewing.

Works in "40 Years, 40 Stories" will be organized loosely by subject, function, and aesthetic resonance, capturing the ways in which seemingly disparate objects relate to and connect in dialogue together. The exhibition is curated by Powers, with objects selected by members of SAMA’s curatorial, collections, and education teams.

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San Antonio Museum of Art
200 W. Jones Ave.
San Antonio, TX 78215