See details about the exhibit of John Fairey’s donated art.
Fanciful depictions of Garden of Eden imagery in Mexican folk art pieces collected by John Fairey, Texas A&M architecture professor emeritus, are on display through Sept. 2, 2018 at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, 500 Main St. in Beaumont.
The exhibit, Paraiso y Presa (Paradise and Prey), focuses on representations of creation images and biblical characters on textiles, baskets and ceramics that are part of a wide-ranging, 500-piece Mexican art collection Fairey donated to the museum in memory of his parents, Philip and Isabel Fairey.
The collection also includes wooden and clay figures and vignettes by several renowned artists, including Carlomagno Pedro Martínez and Angélica Vasquez Cruz, as well as many works by lesser-known creators. Many of the pieces depict elaborate, symbolic narratives about Mexico’s history and cultural traditions.
Before its donation to the museum, the art trove was housed in a gallery adjacent to Peckerwood Gardens, a Fairey-curated, 39-acre living repository of rare and unusual plants from the southern United States and Mexico. The gardens are located near Hempstead, approximately 50 miles south of the Texas A&M campus.
As Fairey traveled to Mexico to hunt for garden specimens, he also secured pieces for his art collection, sometimes journeying to remote areas deep in the nation’s interior to obtain pieces created by obscure artists.