Discovering Texas: The Works of Robert Jenkins Onderdonk On View at the DMA March-July, 2008

Exhibit Complements Bluebonnets and Beyond: Julian Onderdonk, American Impressionist, A Major Retrospective of the Career of the Artist’s Son

Discovering Texas: The Works of Robert Jenkins Onderdonk provides an intimate look at nearly three dozen paintings, watercolors, and drawings spanning the career of one of Early Texas’s most important artists. This tightly focused installation is presented in the Dallas Museum of Art’s Level Four American Galleries as a complement to Bluebonnets and Beyond: Julian Onderdonk, American Impressionist, a major retrospective of the career of the artist’s son, on view in the Museum’s J.E.R. Chilton and Focus I Galleries from March 23 to July 20, 2008, and traveling statewide into 2009.

Born in Maryland, Robert Jenkins Onderdonk (1852-1917) was one of the first students of famed instructor William Merritt Chase at the newly formed Art Students League in New York. Intending to earn sufficient money to underwrite further European training, Robert moved to San Antonio, Texas in September of 1879. Over the next thirty-eight years, Robert Jenkins Onderdonk painted the distinctive Texas local culture of markets, architecture, landscape, and personalities, both in San Antonio and Dallas, while acting himself as an influential teacher.

Drawn from the Museum’s own permanent holdings, as well as from private collections in Dallas, the exhibition presents a vivid range of the artist’s landscapes and still lifes and his most celebrated portrait, including the preliminary oil sketch for Robert’s most celebrated painting, The Fall of the Alamo, installed today in the Governor’s Mansion in Austin. Viewers will also encounter delicately rendered drawings from the artist and his wife’s own sketchbooks, executed during his tenure at the National Academy of Design in New York and his early time around San Antonio. Given to the Museum in the early 1960s, these works have never before been shown to the public. Discovering Texas: The Works of Robert Jenkins Onderdonk is organized by Christopher Saenz, the McDermott Curatorial Intern for American and Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art, established in 1903, has an encyclopedic collection of more than 23,000 works spanning 5,000 years of history and representing all media with renowned strengths in the arts of the ancient Americas, Africa, Indonesia and South Asia; European and American painting, sculpture and decorative arts; and American and international contemporary art.

The Dallas Museum of Art is the anchor of the Dallas Arts District and serves more than one-half million visitors a year, offering more than 5,000 education and public programs annually, designed to engage people of all ages with the power and excitement of art.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.