The San Antonio Museum of Art is pleased to present the exhibition The Three Worlds of José Arpa y Perea: Spain, Mexico, and San Antonio on view April 18 through June 28 in the Special Exhibitions Gallery. More than twenty works will be on view from local public and private collections including the Witte Museum, McNay Art Museum, and San Antonio Art League Museum.
An acclaimed academic painter in his native Spain, José Arpa y Perea (1858-1952) won the Rome Prize three times, which is awarded to emerging artists and scholars who represent the highest standard of excellence in the arts and humanities. He worked independently in Mexico before shifting his attention to San Antonio in the early 20th century. By the 1920s, he became one of the city’s most successful painters.
José Arpa celebrates the Museum’s acquisition of two major paintings: a grand landscape painted at the turn of the 20th century showing a textile factory in Puebla, Mexico, and an image of a mother and child in a garden in Spain painted after Arpa’s return from San Antonio. Along with these two paintings are works that highlight Arpa’s wordly perspective and unconventional views of subjects from the mundane to the historic. Together they form the story of a painter who played a prominent role in the art worlds of three countries in the early 20th century.
The exhibition is organized by the San Antonio Museum of Art and is guest-curated by A. Kate Sheerin, an independent art curator, writer, and consultant in Austin, TX. A graduate of New York University's Institute of Fine Arts with a Master's degree in Art History, Sheerin returned to Texas to study and advocate for Texas art. She served as assistant curator at the Meadows Museum and later as Director of CentralTrak, The University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency.