the time I acquired my first Queen Anne armchair in 1920, I had
an unaccountable compulsion to make an American collection for
some Texas museum."
In 1920, while
sitting for a portrait in the New York studio of Wayman Adams,
Miss Hogg admired a simple armchair belonging to the artist. Surprised
to learn that it was made in colonial America, she soon obtained
a similar Queen Anne chair for herself. Miss Hogg's lifetime of
collecting had begun. Almost half a century later, the tenacious
collector acquired the very same chair that she had first seen
in Adam's studio.
When she began
building her collection, Miss Hogg was at the very forefront of
an interest in American antiques that would soon become a national
pastime. There was no permanent museum display of American furniture
until 1924, when the American wing of the Metropolitan Museum
opened in New York. And, with her characteristic foresight, Miss
Hogg was building a decorative arts collection for a Texas museum
at a time when there was no art museum in Texas. Miss Hogg's "unaccountable
compulsion" eventually resulted in one of the nation's finest
collections of American decorative arts from the period 1640 to
1870. The Bayou Bend Collection offers a rich overview of the
history of American decorative arts, but it is also a reflection
of Miss Hogg's own impeccable style.
collecting impulse was not limited to American antiques. In 1929
she began building the first major art collection in Houston.
She acquired works on paper by German Expressionists and other
twentieth-century masters, including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso,
and Paul Klee; works by Russian avant-garde artists of the twentieth
century; and pottery and artifacts made by the Native American
tribes of the Southwest. Miss Hogg donated all of these collections-along
with her brother Will's extensive collection of works by the Western
painter Frederic Remington- to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.