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A Feeling of Humanity: The Ken Ratner Collection

Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine, TX

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


A Feeling of Humanity: The Ken Ratner Collection
Museum of the Big Bend, Apline, Texas
September 16, 2016 - March 26, 2017

After twenty years of collecting on the Ashcan School artists and their circle, Ratner felt the need to support the artists of today. In 2008, he attended a Sotheby's preview of important American paintings. There he came across two paintings by Gary Ernest Smith of western agrarian scenes that floored him. When he later learned of Smith's comment that "art is a way of addressing humanity," it heightened his interest in Smith and other western painters who had a humane response to their environment.

Ratner has been an avid fan and collector of the works of Erin Hanson for several years. We are honored that several of her works are included in this upcoming exhibition.

A Feeling of Humanity is the result of Ratner’s focused collecting of contemporary western artists. His collection features thirty-seven artists and sixty-three works of art. The exhibit will open Friday, September 16, at the Museum of the Big Bend, with an opening reception from 6-8 pm. All are welcome to attend.

On Saturday, September 17, Ratner will speak about his collecting practices and his collection. That same day, the museum will host the third annual Heritage Dinner, honoring those who have made significant contributions to the Big Bend country and the Museum of the Big Bend.



ERIN HANSON is a life-long painter, beginning her study of oils as a young child.  Her passion for natural beauty is seen in her work as she transforms vistas familiar and rare into stunning interpretations of bold color, playful rhythms, and raw emotional impact. Her frequent forays into National Parks and other havens of nature include backpacking expeditions, rock climbing, and photo safaris.  Hanson's unique painting style has become known as Open Impressionism, which is now taught in art schools around the world. With thousands of collectors eagerly anticipating her work and millions of followers online, Hanson has become an iconic, driving force in the rebirth of contemporary impressionism, and she is quickly recognized as a prolific, modern master.

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