Mother-of-pearl buttons, lead, and embroidery hoops are some of the wide-ranging materials Marilyn Lanfear uses to tell her stories. Motivated by personal family history and the urge to preserve memories, Lanfear’s body of work is a testament to her rich Texas heritage and her industrious spirit. Whether by assembling a collection of carved wooden shelves or soldering a blouse made of lead, Lanfear demonstrates a dedication to the process of art making, techniques, and materials. She elevates the everyday to speak to a common, shared experience both through the presence of objects and through what, or whom, is missing.
Lanfear was born in Waco, Texas, in 1930 and raised in Corpus Christi. After completing her MFA at UTSA in 1978, she moved to New York and then Seattle, before returning home to San Antonio.
This fall, the Museum will present a selection of the artist’s works spanning over three decades, curated by Curatorial Associate Lana Meador. While her family’s narratives are the point of departure, Lanfear’s symbolic use of imagery and materials calls forth universal themes—such as identity, the importance of place, and memory—which resonate with all of us.