Beaumont, Texas
Street Address
500 Main Street
Beaumont, TX 77701
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 3703
Beaumont, TX 77704
phone: 409-832-3432
fax: 409-832-8508
e-mail: info@amset.org
web: www.amset.org
Hours
Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Cafe open:
Monday - Friday 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Admissions
Free
Museum Type(s)
Art
Staff
Lynn P. Castle, Executive Director
Ray Daniel, Curator of Exhibitions & Collections
Sandra Laurette, Curator of Education
Andy Gardner, Assistant Curator of Education
Janet Dugas, Administrator of Finance and Personnel
Liz Gorris, Assistant to the Director
Kathy Boudreaux, Guest Services/Facilities Rental
Janna Fulbright, Public Relations
Clint Ray, Building & Grounds Supervisor
Description

The Mission of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET) is to provide education, inspiration and creative vision to the people of our culturally diverse region through our collections, exhibitions, public programs, and outreach in the visual arts. Education and public accessibility to art are extremely important to the staff and Board of Trustees. Consequently, AMSET's staff strives to make the art experience as welcoming and comfortable as possible for visitors. The curatorial staff strives to present a schedule of exhibitions that cover a wide range of tastes: from traditional painting to folk art, contemporary sculpture, photography, etc. AMSET offers free programming to a service area that extends in an 80-mile radius from its facility.

Education programs are offered regularly to different segments of the community ranging from Head Start children to "at risk" high school students to senior citizens.

Programs include storytellers from various ethnic backgrounds, free family events, summer art camp and outreach programs to schools and community groups. An interactive education gallery indroduces visitors to the exhibitions, collections, art terminology and hands-on art activities. Each quarterly Free Family Arts Day serves 500-2100 visitors. Art-To-Go, a free mobile outreach program, serves housing complexes, churches and schools in an 80-mile radius around AMSET's Beaumont location. Black Artists Through History lecture series is offered free of charge to any group requesting the program. Each October, AMSET creates a Dia de los Muertos presentation (ofrenda) that educates the public about this Hispanic tradition. With the exception of Summer ArtVentures camp, all AMSET educational programs are free of charge.

Scholars and artists are invited to give lectures, conduct workshops, and create site-specific works.

History

The Art Museum of Southeast Texas, formerly the Beaumont Art Museum, was incorporated in the State of Texas on September 14, 1950. It opened to the public in a rented house on the edge of the downtown business district. The Art Museum was charged with the responsibility of contributing significantly to the education, cultural enrichment, and aesthetic enjoyment of this area. In 1956, a 2,000 square foot museum building was constructed on the Fairgrounds. In 1969, the J. Crooke Wilson family donated their estate, located on five acres of landscaped property in the Old Town district of Beaumont, to the City of Beaumont with the stipulation that an art museum with professional direction and a serious education program be developed. After renovation this 7,000 square foot building opened to the public in 1970. After completing a 4.2 million dollar capital drive, the Beaumont Art Museum built a new 24,000 square foot facility in downtown Beaumont. The Art Museum of Southeast Texas opened its doors to the public on September 10, 1987. This facility includes three galleries, a lecture hall, an art library, restaurant, and Museum Shop.

Artifact Collections

The Museum's permanent collection is currently comprised of a group of 915 objects. Much of the collection is donated by residents of the area and is reflective of the cultural heritage that makes up the region. Beginning in 2005, one-half of the main galleries were dedicated to displaying permanent collection artwork. The Museum's permanent collection is primarily comprised of modern and contemporary American art, with a recent focus on the Texas region. Painting, prints, photography and sculpture includes contemporary regional folk art along with a core collection of earlier 19th and 20th century works that can provide context in which to view later work. The Museum’s Texas collection is made up of such noted contemporary Texas artists as John Alexander, Jesus Moroles, Luis Jimenez, David Bates, Paul Manes, Mary McCleary, Paul Booker, Vernon Fisher, Charlotte Smith, Keith Carter, Paul Caponigro, Kathy Vargas and Ann Stautberg. Supporting this contemporary Texas collection are some of the pioneers of early Texas art including: Julian Onderdonk, Frank Reaugh, Eanger I. Couse, E.G. Eisenlohr and Everrett Spruce. The contemporary folk art collection includes local artists such as Felix “Fox” Harris and Xmeah ShaEla’ReEl as well as nationally acclaimed regional folk artists Bill Tabor, Doy Lee Harvey, Floyd Clark, Fred Weber, Mamie Deschillie, Loy Bowlin, Mose Tolliver, Mary T. Smith, Leroy Archuleta and “Son” Ford Thomas. The Museum is also strong in its collection of modern American art with such notables as James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Morris Graves, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Sultan, Arnold Newman, Claes Oldenburg and Dale Chihuly. The Museum collection also includes a modest collection of international decorative art including works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, Steuben, Boehm Studio and Josiah Wedgwood. The permanent collection is exhibited regularly in the Main Galleries, West Hall and in the Lecture Hall. The Museum’s

Research Collections

Archival materials include critical and scholarly reviews, exhibition essays, artist biographies, newspaper articles, and exhibition announcements related to the collections.

The archival collection is housed in Collections and is available for research by appointment with the museum registrar.

Educational Programs

Education is a major focus at AMSET.
School programs are designed to make AMSET's exhibitions come alive for students while offering an opportunity for them to appreciate the richness of their cultural heritage. Education programs are offered at all levels, from pre-school through high school. With the exception of the children's summer camp, all educational programs are free of charge. AMSET offers daily children's hands-on art activities to visitors in its Conn Take pART education gallery. The activities change on a daily basis and are designed to reflect the main gallery exhibits. Activities have included Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls, dreidels and edible sculptures. AMSET offers tours to groups of nearly any size, free of charge. Reservations are necessary for most tours, so that the eduction department can gear each tour to the age and/or educational level of your group. Tours are free. Free Family Arts Days are major events at the museum, combining exploration of the exhibit on display, hands-on activities for families, and storytelling. Increasingly multicultural and intergenerational, Families Arts Days serve a very wide audience. Family Days are planned quarterly, in conjunction with major exhibitions. AMSET makes every effort to make the program as multicultural as possible: past guests have included a rabbi, Hispanic folk dancers and storytellers from varied ethnic backgrounds. This four-hour event serves 500-2100 visitors each quarter. The Conn Take pART Gallery invites exploration of art through a series of activity stations for children. The gallery and its focus change frequently throughout the year, and usually attempt to make AMSET's Main Gallery exhibitions more accessible to younger visitors. C-Space computer lab offers educational software and filtered Internet access free of charge during museum hours. Each holdiay season, AMSET selects middle school students to attend a special workshop as part of its Holiday Gift of Art program. The workshop is taught each year by a different artist. Mediums range from watercolor to sculpture to computer art. The program is supported by $50 donations made by individuals in the community. For each $50 Gift of Art receives, one more student is added to the class roster. The Odom Junior Docents program gives extensive art and tour training to 8th grade students from Beaumont's Odom Academy, an arts magnet school. Following multi-visit training, the students conduct two days of constant touring for the 6th grade students at their school. Art-to-Go (ATG) is AMSET's primary outreach program. This mobile program brings the love of art to classrooms, libraries, senior centers, and a variety of community centers throughout a 80-mile, multi-county region. At each ATG visit, AMSET staff brings a van stocked with art supplies and PowerPoint presentations designed to introduce children and adults to:
• What a museum is
• How a museum functions
• Basic art terms
• The joy of creating art
Black Artists Through History is a popular AMSET traveling lecture that takes a look at the past, present and future through the eyes of African-American artists. Featured artists range through 200 years and many different mediums, starting with a slavery-era potter known only as “Dave” and ending with contemporary artists such as ceramicist James C. Watkins and to Jacob Lawrence, Michael Ray Charles and James VanDerZee. The program is available to travel to groups in an 80-mile radius from AMSET's Beaumont location. For the past 20 years, talented high school seniors in a six county region have entered the Protege High School Art Competition and Exhibition, which is jurored each year by an artist, educator or gallery owner. Winners receive scholarships to the Art Department at Lamar University. Past winners have gone on to become successful artists, and one has had a solo exhibition at AMSET. Art After School is a program that provides late afternoon art/musuem training for children of working parents who would otherwise spend unsupervised hours at home each afternoon. The program targets several Title I schools in Beaumont, Texas. In addition to art training, the program also works to ensure the well-being of the students: each child receives a light snack and transportation home from each Art After School class. Art After School is one of AMSET's most successful programs, growing in scope and number of participating schools each year. The only AMSET educational program with a fee attached to it is Summer ArtVentures Creative Kids' Camp. Each summer, AMSET develops a series of one-week classes that fire children's imaginations and creativity. Children ages 4-6 or ages 6-12 learn and work alongside working artists in a variety of media.

Library

Access: Members

Appointment required: No

Publications

Quarterly newsletter, 500 Main with brief overviews of upcoming exhibits for the quarter, quarterly calendar, acknowledgments. AMSET publishes exhibition catalogues about once a year. Previous catalogues include: Chihuly alla Macchia, Holly Lane, Larry Leach, Oil Patch Dreams: Images of the Petroleum Industry.

  • Natural Histories: Photographs by Keith Carter
  • John Alexander: 35 Years of Works on Paper
  • TWANG: Contemporary Sculpture From Texas
  • The Art of Cue: Richard Black
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    MUSEUM CONFERENCES
    Wednesday, August 4 - Friday, August 6, 2021 — Virtual
    2021 Annual Association of African American Museums (AAAM) Conference
    Monday, August 23 - Thursday, August 26, 2021 — Virtual
    2021 Association of Nature Center Administrators Summit
    Wednesday, September 1 - Thursday, September 30, 2021 — Virtual
    CANCELLED: Florida Association of Museums 2021 Annual Conference
    Monday, September 20 - Sunday, September 26, 2021 — Virtual
    American Craft Council (ACC) Atlanta Southeast Craft Week
    Wednesday, September 22 - Saturday, September 25, 2021 — Virtual
    American Association for State and Local History/AMA 2021 Annual Meeting
    Wednesday, October 6 - Friday, October 8, 2021 — Virginia City, Nevada
    Nevada Museum Association 2021 Annual Conference
    Virginia City, Nevada
    Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
    2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
    Washington, District of Columbia
    Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
    2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
    St. Louis, Missouri