Exhibitions and Collections
AMSET hosts eight to ten exhibitions each year, some of which are organized in-house and travel on to other venues. Exhibits of note include Oil Patch Dreams, an exhibit designated to be the statewide kickoff event for the governor-appointed “Spindletop 2001” celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Spindletop oil boom in Beaumont. Natural Histories: A Survey of Photographs by Keith Carter showcased the career of internationally renowned Beaumont photographer Keith Carter. John Alexander: 35 Years of Works on Paper was a drawing retrospective exhibition focusing on internationally celebrated artist and Beaumont native John Alexander. In 2004, AMSET presented Twang: Contemporary Texas Sculpture, curated by C. Sean Horton. In 2006, AMSET presented Paul Manes: The Big Big Picture Show, an exhibit of works by a former Beaumont resident who has gone on to great acclaim in the art world.
In August 2007, AMSET opened a semi-permanent gallery featuring the folk art totems of Beaumont self-taught artist Felix “Fox” Harris. Harris’ work had a colorful history at the museum – from its installations in outdoor areas, to de-installations due to hurricane threats, to criticism from the community, to many recent years in storage – finally the totems found a resting place in the newly dedicated gallery made to recreate Harris’ home site.
AMSET's collection consists of approximately 1,000 works of art (painting, sculpture, prints, photographs, folk and decorative arts) of the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries, with an emphasis on American art, and a growing regional collection of folk art.