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The Nave Museum presents "The Cattle Baron's Daughter and the Artists Who Loved Her" beginning Feb. 3

Jan. 21, 2012 at 9:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 20, 2012 at 7:21 p.m.

A photo by Royston Nave

The Victoria Regional Museum Association will host "The Cattle Baron's Daughter and the Artists Who Loved Her" on Feb. 3.

The work will include two renowned Texas artists, James Ferdinand McCan, 1869-1925, and Royston Nave, 1886-1931.

Although they were contemporaries, colleagues and former friends, their work has never before been exhibited under the same roof.

James Ferdinand McCan was a feisty Irishman, born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1869. Arriving in America at age 17, he eventually wound up in San Antonio and established a studio.

Royston Nave was born in LaGrange, Fayette County, in 1886. Nave and McCan were friends. In fact, Nave completed a self-portrait which he presented to his "dear friend, J. Ferdinand McCan."

Emily divorced McCan and, after a year's wait, married Royston Nave.

The cattle baron James Alfred McFaddin, 1840-1916, came to Victoria County from Beaumont, by way of Refugio County.

He arrived in 1876. He began buying land in the great triangle between the Guadalupe and San Antonio Rivers. This would become one of the great South Texas cattle ranches.

The Cattle Baron's Daughter, Emily, was born in Refugio County in 1876. She was artistically inclined and had a studio in the tower above the center of the McFaddin home in Victoria.

Jim McCan died in San Antonio in 1925. Royston Nave had a heart attack in McAllen in 1931. The cattle baron's daughter passed away in 1943.

Royston Nave's paintings were installed on the walls of the Greek Revival Temple, and the memorial was open to the public.

Today, the Royston Nave Memorial, one of Victoria's architectural masterpieces, is home to the Victoria Regional Museum Association. Paintings of Royston Nave form the bulk of their permanent collection.

"The Cattle Baron's Daughter" marks the first time that both Nave and McCan paintings have been shown under one roof.

The paintings include elements of the things that inspired Emily's love, in turn, for each of them. She was a true patron of the arts, and it was through her patronage that each of them attained a widespread following.

"The Cattle Baron's Daughter" is curated by Gary Dunnam, Julie McCan and Sharon Steen and will be on exhibit at the Nave Museum from Feb. 3 through March 4. with a Member Preview on Feb. 2.

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