John Alexander, The Beast, Arnhem Land, Northern Australia, 2001,
pastel and charcoal on paper, 50 x 72 inches.
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET) has been acquiring works of art for its permanent collection since 1950. In those early days as the Beaumont Art Museum (BAM), new additions came from purchases from the annual members show and from gifts of generous donors. Just as each member had their own diverse taste in art, so did the collection result in a widely assorted group of various styles of artwork.
As AMSET has grown into maturity, so has the focus of its collecting. For the better part of the last two decades, AMSET director, curators and the Acquisitions Committee, an ongoing assembly made up of AMSET board members and other community members, have continuously worked to assemble a cohesive but integrated body of artwork. The areas of concentration have evolved to include modern and contemporary American art with a focus on the Texas region, including painting, prints, photography, sculpture, as well as contemporary folk art and a core collection of earlier 19th and 20th century works that can provide context in which to view later work.
As of 2009, the AMSET permanent collection includes approximately 1,000 pieces. AMSET is extremely proud to have Beaumont natives and internationally renowned artists John Alexander and Paul Manes represented in its permanent collection. The Beast by John Alexander, a large pastel and charcoal drawing of a crocodile in a swamp-lke setting, and Daedalus by Paul Manes, a large multi-panel painting of the frontal view of an airplane that hangs in AMSET’s foyer, are both incredibly amazing pieces by these accomplished artists.
Keith Carter, Sleeping Swan, 1995, gelatin silver print, 15x15 inches
Other highlights of the permanent collection currently include I Fled Him Down the Days and Down the Nights by Mary McCleary, which features an assortment of interesting media in collage; Ratoo Barada Nictoe by Al Souza, a large circle collage of puzzle parts; Low Tide by David Bates, an oil painting of a bird eating a fish with the ocean in the background; and X-Log by Helen Altman, a, X-shaped, lighted log sculpture which currently hangs in the Quinn Lecture Hall.
Dale Chihuly, Yale Blue Macchia with Whitle Yellow Lip Wrap, 1993, glass, 19 x 27 x 26 inches.