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Past Exhibition

James Ferdinand McCan: A Texas Artist Rediscovered

Exhibition Closed – This is a past exhibition that is no longer at the Witte Museum.

Explore Texas at the beginning of the 20th century—when Texans lived on vast ranches and in small towns, animals roamed and rivers rushed by—in the first solo exhibition devoted to James Ferdinand McCan. His paintings capture Texas’ wild and vivid lands and the people and animals that inhabited them at a pivotal moment in time.

As an Irish immigrant, McCan marveled at Texas’ color and vastness; a stranger in a strange land. Over the decades, McCan’s vision and what he observed remained largely forgotten—until now. The exhibition showcasing this trailblazing and influential believer in the power of Texas art begins with the portraits McCan painted of prominent Texans of his time, followed by a gallery displaying his works that captured the incredible change in animals and landscapes that occurred in the 30 short years (between 1895-1925) he was painting in Texas.

James Ferdinand McCan: A Texas Artist Rediscovered features more than fifty of McCan’s paintings—most of which are rarely displayed to the public—from the McCan Cannon Collection, King Ranch and many other private and institutional collectors. Also included are studies (painted sketches that reveal his artistic process) on exhibition for the first time ever.

Accompanied by the catalog James Ferdinand McCan: Painting A Historical Portrait of Texas, 1895-1925. 

Special Thanks

James Ferdinand McCan: A Texas Artist Rediscovered is generously supported by the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, O’Connor and Hewitt Foundation, the McCan Cannon Families and Summerlee Foundation.

Exhibition Highlights

Find Out More

Photograph of catalog James Ferdinand McCan by M.M. McAllen. Cover features painting of Turkey in the Brush, 1900. Oil on canvas.

Exhibition Catalog

James Ferdinand McCan: Painting a Historical Portrait of Texas, 1895-1925 – by M.M. McAllen – In connection with this exhibition, the Witte has published the first catalog focused on James Ferdinand McCan’s paintings of South Texas. Buy Online or at the Witte’s Bolner Family Museum Store.

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