Without the patronage of billionaire LD Brinkman, it’s doubtful Kerrville’s Museum of Western Art would have ever gotten off the ground in the 1980s. On Friday, the museum announced that the Brinkman Foundation would loan the late entrepreneur’s collection of 130 paintings and sculptures.
“The works in this collection were in Mr. Brinkman’s foundation,” said Dr. Darrell Beauchamp, Executive Director of the Museum. “The works will be made available for the enjoyment of the public.”
After Brinkman died in 2015, a portion of his 600-piece collection was auctioned off as part of a lawsuit between his heirs. The collection toured the country before being auctioned by Bonhams in February. The collection of works sold for more than $8 million.
The remnants of the collection were housed in the Brinkman Foundation, which was in the care of his daughter Pam Brinkman Stone, and son L.D. ‘Don’ Brinkman, both of whom are the directors of the foundation.
“We’re pleased to bring home what is left of our fathers 600 plus piece collection for public viewing in the town he loved and the museum he worked so hard to get built,” Don Brinkman said. “The Museum of Western Art, of which my father was a co-founder, was the obvious choice to house this important collection.”
The collection features the works of E.I. Couse, G. Harvey, John Clymer, Edouard Cortes, Henry Farney James Frazier, Harry Jackson, Grant Speed, and Olaf Seltzer. The works of Couse and Seltzer are among the oldest in the collection, and some of the most important. Seltzer was a friend of contemporary of noted Western painter and illustrator Charles Russell.
“When this body of work goes on display later this fall, it will be a chance to see some of the most beloved works from Mr. Brinkman’s collection,” Beauchamp noted. “We are thrilled and honored to be given the opportunity to protect and make available to the public this most cherished of collections.”
Brinkman was instrumental in the founding of the museum.
Beauchamp said the Museum will need to assess, curate, and document the items in the collection, but that once that work is done, items will be moved into the Museum’s galleries for public viewing.
“This collection, which was an important part of Mr. Brinkman’s art at his Kerrville Office, has now returned home, to the Museum he helped found and loved so very much,” Beauchamp added. A showing of selected works will begin in November of 2019. The museum will host a major opening of all 134 works in the collection sometime in early 2020.