Gifts Help the Briscoe Highlight the Contributions of Texas Ranching Culture and the Legacy of the American West
The Briscoe Western Art Museum announced on October 11 recent significant gifts it has received from several South Texas ranching families, including Wyatt Ranches, San Vicente Ranch LTD, the “Tex” Elliott family, and the Kate Marmion Charitable Foundation.
“The Briscoe Museum is deeply grateful for these generous gifts from some of South Texas’s most revered ranching families,” said Michael Duchemin, President & CEO of the Briscoe Museum. “The legacy and impact of Texas ranching culture is indelibly tied to the mission of the Briscoe in preserving the history and heritage of the American West.”
The pergola/stage area in the Briscoe’s McNutt Sculpture Garden, a lush outdoor public space and courtyard featuring bronze sculptures by leading Western artists, will now be known as the “Wyatt Ranches Stage,” thanks to the benevolent contribution of Wyatt Ranches. This is the first gift to the Museum from Wyatt Ranches, whose administrator, Bradford Wyatt, has served on the Briscoe Museum’s board of directors since January 2017. Established in 1965 and headquartered in Texas, Wyatt Ranches operates an assimilation of cattle ranching divisions in Colorado, Tamaulipas (Mexico), South Texas, and West Texas. Mr. Wyatt lives in Realitos, Texas. His mother, Lynn Wyatt, is a well-known philanthropist and matriarch of the Wyatt family.
Two of the most significant pieces on display in the Briscoe Museum galleries have been generously donated to the Museum by San Vicente Ranch, LTD (Linn, Texas) and the Guerra family. The ornate gold and steel ceremonial sword and leather scabbard, dated 1852, that once belonged to Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna and a Silk-Embroidered Spanish Viceroy Saddle from the mid-1700s, are now a part of the Briscoe’s permanent collection. On the third floor of the Museum is a gallery named for the Guerra family that includes rare artifacts, saddles, and relics from their extensive private collection. Che Guerra is the incoming 2018 Briscoe Board Chair, and Kiko Guerra is a featured artist in Briscoe’s McNutt Sculpture Garden with his bronze masterpiece “El Caporal” that pays homage to the Mexican Vaqueros that once led cattle through this region.
Since December 2016, several members of the “Tex” Elliott family have committed three-year pledges to the Briscoe Western Art Museum. The family patriarch was lifelong rancher Albert Sager “Tex” Elliott, who passed away in 2013. The Elliott family has holdings in El Bigote Cattle Co. LLC, Gates Mineral Company, Gates Espejo Ranch and Alamo Ranch in New Mexico, after which the A Bar Gallery at the Briscoe is named. Elliott’s wife of 46 years, Jannifer Elliott, is a proud member of the museum’s first docent class, and his daughter, Jessica Erin Elliott, has served as Briscoe Board Chair for the past two years and David B. Elliott, “Tex’s” brother is also a major contributor to the Museum. Other members of the “Tex” Elliott family who have given to the Briscoe include Caleb Gates Elliott and late wife, Kelley, of Lubbock; Jason Sager Elliott and wife, Robin, of Oak Point; Benjamin Galbraith Elliott and wife, Stefani, of Uvalde; Stephen Elliott and wife, Weslie, of Georgetown; and Rebecca Elliott Ruthardt and husband, Tate, of Lubbock.
The Kate Marmion Charitable Foundation, based in Uvalde, gifted the Briscoe Museum with major operating grants in 2016 and 2017, and sponsored a gallery during the Museum’s capital campaign. The Foundation was named for the late Janey Katherine “Kate” Marmion, daughter of Janey Briscoe Marmion and James R. Marmion, and granddaughter of the late former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe, Jr. Additional support is received annually from Governor Briscoe’s children: Jill and Dolph “Chip” Briscoe, III, Janey Briscoe Marmion, and Cele and John Carpenter.
“Each member of these notable South Texas ranching families embodies the core values of the late Governor Briscoe and his wife, Janey,” said Duchemin. “Their continued philanthropy has been a cornerstone in establishing the Briscoe as one of the premier Western Art Museums in the region.”