The East Texas Oil Museum’s latest exhibit focuses on the sophisticated caricatures of Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias.
The traveling exhibit, “Miguel Covarrubias: Caricaturist,” opened Saturday and continues through Feb. 20. Covarrubias made contributions in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, theater and dance and also created popular caricatures for Vanity Fair and the New Yorker magazines.
Museum manager Olivia Moore said they first learned of the artist’s work while researching traveling exhibits to bring to the facility.
“He was born in 1904 and passed away in 1957, and most of the work represented in the exhibit are from the 1920s into the 1930s,” Moore said. “Our oil museum focuses on the 1930s, so it’s kind of a glimpse of what else was going on during that period in America.”
Moore said it was fitting for the exhibit to be displayed in the museum.
“In looking at his art and the time he was creating, we felt that the community would enjoy viewing it because it was during the same time as the oil boom in East Texas,” she said.
The exhibit was created in cooperation with the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin and a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The traveling exhibit boasts more than 40 works by the artist, whose style, Moore said, is a sophisticated take on caricature art.
“It consists of very stylistic portraits where it embellishes different aspects of facial or body features,” she said.
Moore said although museum traffic has been reduced because of COVID-19 and social distancing, many local patrons still make regular visits to the museum.
“Our out-of-town visitors and school tours have been reduced, but our local community has been really supportive of this museum and kind of rediscovering what the East Texas oil boom was all about,” she said.
Moore said they also are looking forward to the museum’s next exhibit.
“Our next exhibit is ‘Changing the Face of Power: Women in the U.S. Senate,’ ” she said. “That one will open Feb. 27.”