News release from The Grace Museum:
ABILENE, TEXAS – With grant funds awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The Grace Museum is now able to make its art collection publicly accessible through the development of a new online searchable database.
The Grace began the process in September 2020 and will launch the completed database on May 31, 2021 at www.thegracemuseum.org.
The Project and Benefits
The grant for this special project has provided the museum the funds to photograph, digitize, and create metadata for over 2,500 works of art, with the goal of making them available through The Grace Museum website. Web-ready images and comprehensive descriptions for the digital content will permit partnering institutions, researchers, and teachers in rural and urban classrooms across the country to learn about the museum’s art collection and its importance to contemporary and historical art and Texas culture. The searchable database will also serve as a way for other museums to discover artwork available for borrowing from The Grace’s collection.
It will educate the public about art through our mission and give people all over the world access to view our collection when they are unable to physically visit the museum. By connecting our new platform to social media, we will naturally expand the number of people who can engage with our collections, and The Grace can reciprocally interact with this larger audience of online visitors.
The CollectionThe Grace Museum’s art collection includes more than 2,500 works of art: paintings, fine art prints, artist’s books, sculpture, photographs, and works on paper including drawings, watercolors, and pastels. The focus of the collection is American art with Texas connections and features works by Ansel Adams, Edward Eisenlohr, Charles Taylor Bowling, Peter Hurd, Thomas Hart Benton, David Bates, Robert Rauschenberg, Vernon Fisher, Melissa Miller, James Surls, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, and many others.
Cultural and civic-minded citizens of Abilene had been collecting art for decades for the benefit of our community; today many of the stars of The Grace Museum’s permanent art collection were acquired in the 1930s and 1940s.
The first piece acquired for the collection was “The Farmer”, a painting by Marie A. Hull and purchased in 1939.