SAN ANGELO, Texas — After 38 years San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts founding Director, Howard Taylor, will step back from his position as president.
Taylor will continue as president emeritus next year helping the new director to get settled. Over the decades, Taylor has helped San Angelo residents feel a sense of community as a part of their art museum.
“I stop here because our ceramics collection has become famous. It put San Angelo on the map,” said Taylor who played a big role in that.
After arriving in San Angelo almost 40 years ago, Taylor became director of the San Angelo Fine Arts Museum. The first exhibit opened in 1985 in a building at Fort Concho and ten years later he led the campaign to build a multi-million dollar museum building along the Concho river which has been internationally recognized for its design.
“Our building is ancient, I always say someday it will make a great ruin like a ruined castle because it’s made of massive blocks of limestone that were quarried in Garden City, Texas right here in Texas,” said Taylor.
San Angelo’s museum is known for its national ceramic competition and through the years many of the show’s winners have ended up in the visible collection storage room. The museum collection also includes artwork from West Texas artists like dentist turned jewelry maker Bart Mann.
“He was one of the most inventive people in the world these things are solid gold, they’re just amazing, ” said Taylor about Mann.
Taylor is proud of the museum’s education program and says 33-thousand children a year engage in active programs…not just peeking around and looking but doing things. His assessment of the art world today is it’s all happening at once.
“So, there’s never been a time in the history of the art that’s been more diverse and you can’t just say this is what’s happening…because everything is happening.”
Taylor has always felt a sense of community with the San Angelo Fine Arts Museum and the idea that it should reflect what’s happening around it.
“I mean what are people learning, how are we making a better world and so the rest of our saying is we’re not just about art on the walls but the community is the greatest work of art,” said Taylor.