Texas Artist Museum

Museum History

No one entering the glass-walled foyer of the Texas Artists Museum today, with its chandelier and foyer art would ever imagine that in 2005, Hurricane Rita left nothing but a collection of scattered bricks from the former open porch that was ruined along with the front part of the Museum. When the Museum was remodeled, the area which had been the porch was made into the glassed-in foyer, and new flooring was added. That year the Museum celebrated its 20th anniversary with a large Grand Re-Opening reception for over 100 members and friends, and an exhibit of the work of five of the charter members: Tootsie Hansen, Katherine Durso, Georg Hampton, and Clarice Holloway. These artists were much admired and honored during their lifetimes and their art had been collected by area art lovers.

In 1972, a group of Port Arthur citizens, led by Normaj Broussard and Harry Ahysen formed the Texas Artists Museum Society. The Mayor, Bernis Sadler, stated "An Art Museum is a vital force in a community for quality life". By arrangement with the city, the land chosen for the Museum was next to the Civic Center and behind the public library.

The Museum included a large central gallery and two smaller galleries, one named for one of the charter members, Clarice Holloway. The building also included a kitchen, pantry, storage room, and numerous closets for tables, chairs, easels, and the permanent collection. In 1988, a Hebert Foundation grant allowed a port chochere, storage room, and driveway to be built, and the Grand Opening for that was held on September 9, 1988, with the original permanent collection: 39 paintings, watercolors, weaving, and ceramics on display.

In addition to displaying works of art, Texas Artists Museum strives to enrich the culture of the area, part of our mission statement, by bringing people into the Museum for various activities. Each summer, the Museum overflows with children during the summer art program named "Art Smart", where the children do themed art projects and crafts along with short snack-time lectures, which bring art education to the students.

Each month, the Museum presents "Second Thursday", a reception for that month's art exhibit, along with a program, free to the public, which includes entertainment from singers, dancers, actors, or speakers from the incredible talent available in the Golden Triangle area.