The John and Mary Lou Paxton Collection
A Gift for the Nevada Museum of Art

The John and Mary Lou Paxton Collection spans over sixty years of art making and collecting. Growing up in Missouri in the 1940s, John Paxton became fascinated with art when the famous American Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton moved in next door. That introduction started John’s life-long passion for collecting fine art.

In the 1950s, John and Mary Lou moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where John joined the board of the Fort Worth Art Museum and began to build his personal collection of contemporary art.  The collection includes important pieces by artists ranging from minimalist compositions and quiet landscapes, to Native American art of the Southwest. After moving to the San Diego area in 1980, John continued to visit galleries, often meeting and becoming friends with the artists whose works he collected.

In 2006, the Nevada Museum of Art mounted an exhibition of highlights from the Paxton Collection and announced the couple’s intention to donate their artworks to the Museum upon their passing. While we mourn the loss of this lovely couple, we celebrate their thoughtful and generous gift to the Nevada Museum of Art and our community.

Fritz Scholder, Winter Hills, 1979, Oil on canvas. Collection of the Nevada Museum of Art, Bequest of John and Mary Lou Paxton.

Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Wallowna Water Hole #6, 1983, Pastel on paper. Collection of Nevada Museum of Art, Bequest of John and Mary Lou Paxton



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