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San Antonio Museum of Art marks 40th year with show of rarely seen works that opens Saturday 

click to enlarge Tade Styka (French, born Poland, 1889–1954), Pola Negri, ca. 1924, Oil on canvas, unframed: 54 1/4 x 42 1/2 in. (137.8 x 108 cm), framed: 66 3/4 x 55 in. (169.5 x 139.7 cm), Bequest of Pola Negri, 87.39.1 - COURTESY OF SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART
  • Courtesy of San Antonio Museum of Art
  • Tade Styka (French, born Poland, 1889–1954), Pola Negri, ca. 1924, Oil on canvas, unframed: 54 1/4 x 42 1/2 in. (137.8 x 108 cm), framed: 66 3/4 x 55 in. (169.5 x 139.7 cm), Bequest of Pola Negri, 87.39.1
The San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) will commemorate its 40 years in operation with a new exhibition of seldom-seen works that opens Saturday, Oct. 16.

"40 Years, 40 Stories: Treasures and New Discoveries from SAMA's Collection" features a selection of 40 works drawn from storage. Much of the exhibition hasn't been on view for many years, and some of the pieces are being presented for the first time.



The exhibition is curated by Jessica Powers, SAMA's Interim Chief Curator and the Gilbert M. Denman Jr. Curator of Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World. The museum's curatorial team selected the pieces "as works of particular personal interest, inspiration and fascination."

click to enlarge Detail from Peach Blossom Spring, China, ca. 1662-1722, Handscroll with ink and colors on silk, painting: 12 in. x 106 in.; San Antonio Museum of Art, gift of Robert K. Winn, 64.291.97. - COURTESY OF SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART
  • Courtesy of San Antonio Museum of Art
  • Detail from Peach Blossom Spring, China, ca. 1662-1722, Handscroll with ink and colors on silk, painting: 12 in. x 106 in.; San Antonio Museum of Art, gift of Robert K. Winn, 64.291.97.
Two recently restored pieces will be on view.

The first, Sir Joshua Reynolds' 1767 painting Mary, Lady Arundell of Wardour, was sent to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2016 for a lengthy conservation project that was completed this year. The other, the 17th- to early 18th-century Chinese handscroll Peach Blossom Spring was repaired and remounted so it could be safely unrolled for viewing.

Another exhibition highlight is a portrait of Pola Negri, the Polish Hollywood star who retired to San Antonio and bequeathed the painting to the museum. As a tie-in to the exhibition, SAMA will screen Negri's film Hotel Imperial on Friday, Oct. 22.

click to enlarge Sir Joshua Reynolds (English, 1723–1792), Mary, Lady Arundell of Wardour, ca. 1767–1768, Oil on canvas, 95 x 58 in. (241.3 x 147.3 cm), Purchased with funds provided by the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, 81.74 - COURTESY OF SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART
  • Courtesy of San Antonio Museum of Art
  • Sir Joshua Reynolds (English, 1723–1792), Mary, Lady Arundell of Wardour, ca. 1767–1768, Oil on canvas, 95 x 58 in. (241.3 x 147.3 cm), Purchased with funds provided by the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, 81.74
"All of the artworks featured in the exhibition have a story to tell about culture, community and history," Powers said in a statement. "The exhibition provides an exciting range of creative and technical innovation through time and captures the ways in which material culture has always been and continues to be essential to both constructing and understanding the world in which we live."

Powers added: "At the same time, re-examining our collection felt like the perfect way to celebrate the Museum’s 40th anniversary. It’s an opportunity to explore how the collection has evolved and is also instructive as we continue to bring works into our holdings that capture the diversity of artistic production across time, geography, and media."

$10-$20, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday and Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16-Jan. 2, 2022, San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave., (210) 978-8100, samuseum.org.

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