The International Museum of Art & Science last week announced a gift of 113 objects of Mexican folk art from Carolyn Warmbold, a long-time resident of San Antonio, who now lives in Florida.
Mrs. Warmbold first donated to IMAS in 1990 after the death of her husband Ted. He and Carolyn became prominent collectors of Mexican and Central American folk art after living in San Antonio where Ted, former editor of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, was an editor for the San Antonio Light. Starting in the early 1980s and up until his death, Ted would travel to Mexico and Central America purchasing folk art directly from artists. At home in San Antonio, Ted also helped establish the Austin Friends of Folk Art, after being president of the San Antonio Friends of Folk Art, a well-established organization that serves as a fund-raising arm of the San Antonio Museum of Art.
In 1990, at the bequest of the Estate of Ted Warmbold, the majority of his collection was divided between the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, and IMAS. Of the 411 pieces of folk art given to IMAS were Mexican masks, textiles, costume pieces, sculptures, ceramics, and figurines.
In late 2016, Carolyn Warmbold proposed a second gift to IMAS as she was prepared for retirement. The 113 items newly acquired by IMAS complement the previous donation, filling gaps in the collection and rounding out areas by major Mexican folk artists such as the Oaxcan ceramicists in the Aguilar family and the wood carver Manual Jimenez along with papier-mâché works by David Linares of Mexico City. The vibrant papier-mâché sculpture in the accompanying picture, in Spanish called an alebrije, was made by the grandson of the most famous of the alebrije artists, Pedro Linares. This baby chameleon was purchased by Ted Warmbold from Felipe Linares in 1987, and Ted believed that he was the subject of the work.
The objects most recently donated by Carolyn Warmbold include textiles, ceramics, figurines, sculptures, masks, and some religious objects. As part of the process of documenting incoming works to the permanent collection, objects are cataloged and photographed and assigned a permanent location in the vault. The IMAS folk art collection, now reaching over 1,000 objects, has from its founding has been one of the museum’s strongest assets and continues to grow.
The International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) is fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is a Smithsonian Affiliated Museum. The mission of the International Museum of Art & Science is to create an environment that inspires, educates and entertains the public through the arts and sciences.
The museum is located at the intersection of Bicentennial Way and Nolana Avenue at 1900 W. Nolana in McAllen, Texas. Hours of operation are: Closed Mondays, Tuesday to Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Friday: 9:00 am to 5 pm; Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. On the first Thursday of each month, IMAS is open until 8 pm. Log onto http://www.theimasonline.org or call (956) 681-2800 for more information.