Campus Life

Texas A&M University Art Galleries To Reopen July 1 With New Exhibits

The Stark and Forsyth Galleries are taking precautionary steps to ensure the health and safety of staff and visitors.
By Molly Painter, University Art Galleries June 24, 2020

Texas A&M University Art Galleries has announced that the J. Wayne Stark and Forsyth Galleries will reopen on July 1 with new exhibits, but officials note that date is subject to change depending on health concerns.

Both the Stark and Forsyth Galleries are taking precautionary steps to ensure the health and safety of staff and visitors to the galleries. All interactive elements have been removed, public spaces are sanitized on a frequent basis, and guests are asked to observe physical distancing of at least six feet and are required to wear protective face coverings per Texas A&M University guidelines. Both galleries are located in the Memorial Student Center and admission is free.

The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design
Stark Galleries
July 1–Sept. 27

Developed by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville and organized for tour by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C, this display features 43 chairs with stories to tell about our national history, the evolution of American design, as well as artistry and craftsmanship. The American Chair Collection, the center of this exhibition, is a comprehensive private collection of iconic and historic chairs reaching back from the mid-1800s to pieces from today’s studio movement.

Perhaps the most illustrious piece of history in this collection is that of the House of Representatives Chamber Arm Chair from 1857. Designed by Thomas U. Walter, Architect of the Capitol from 1851 to 1865, the House of Representatives chairs were created to be used in the halls of Congress and were showcased in portraits of political leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. A later design by David Wolcott Kendall, deemed by his peers as “The Dean of American Furniture Design,” was presented to William McKinley during his term in the White House and has become known as the “McKinley” arm chair.

A Tale of Two Collections: Sharing Similarities and Celebrating Differences
Forsyth Galleries
July 1–Dec. 13

This exhibit, organized by the Stark and Forsyth Galleries, explores the similarities and differences of artworks between the two galleries’ collections.

“This exhibition allows the public a unique perspective on how two museums with different collections’ focus can relate to one another. Whether it is art from the 19th century or the 21st, visitors will be able to engage with the art, learn about the artists who made it, and have the added advantage of it all being in one place,” said Catherine Hastedt, director of the Texas A&M University Art Galleries.

The Forsyth Galleries houses the Bill ’35 and Irma Runyon Art Collection of late 19th and early 20th century glass and American paintings, along with one of the world’s leading collections of English Cameo glass. The J. Wayne Stark Galleries’ collections include American paintings and prints of the 19th and 20th centuries, with a strong emphasis on Texas art and artists.

Two Collections takes a look at how the artists whose work make up the collections approach a variety of topics and use different media to express themselves. For example, an Impressionist painting from the Forsyth by Mary Cassatt and a lithograph from the Stark by German Expressionist Käthe Kollwitz are paired to explore how each artist chose to depict the bond between a mother and child. Other pairings examine other artists’ takes on themes such as western art, landscapes, abstract art and more.

Both the Stark and Forsyth Galleries are part of the Texas A&M University Art Galleries, housed on the second and first floors, respectively, of the Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M campus.

Visit the galleries’ website at or call 979-845-8501 to inquire about the opening of the galleries.


Media contact: Molly Painter, University Art Galleries, 979-845-8501,

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