Collecting Conversations – Stark Museum of Art

Guests will see three beautifully restored automobiles: a 1922 Ford Model T Runa

One family, three generations, timeless treasures. The Stark Museum of Art presents a new exhibit titled Collecting Conversations opening Saturday, Aug. 6, at 9 a.m.

Everyone collects something. People buy keepsakes to remind them of their travels. They keep treasures to pass down through their families. Some seek objects that can teach them about the world. Others collect items that are valuable, beautiful, rare or quirky. Such “stuff” tells stories, sometimes about the objects, sometimes about the collector and often about both.

The Starks and the Lutchers of Orange collected “stuff” just like other families, obtaining many types of objects for a variety of reasons. Although known for collecting fine art and rare books, they also collected objects that reflected who they were as people. Collecting Conversations explores objects the family collected for beauty, history, knowledge, and simply, self-expression. This exhibition encourages Museum guests to follow the collecting styles of three generations of one family and allow this experience to prompt them to think about what they collect and why they collect it. The public is invited to “join the conversation” and consider what stories their “stuff” tells.

Guests will see three beautifully restored automobiles: a 1922 Ford Model T Runabout Truck, and a 1911 Hupp Motor Car Company Roadster, or Hupmobile, both used by the Stark family on their ranch in Colorado, as well as a 1950 Crosley Super Sport, owned by H.J. Lutcher Stark.

The exhibition includes items collected by Frances Ann Robinson Lutcher, (1841-1924) Miriam Melissa Lutcher Stark, (1859-1936) and Henry Jacob Lutcher Stark (1887-1965). Included are a silver pitcher, a bronze sculpture, brilliant cut glass, china, pottery, Navajo weavings, jewelry, paintings, and rare books.

A closer look reveals insight into H.J. Lutcher Stark’s collecting methods through a group of Hennings paintings, and Miriam’s interest in lace, as well as brilliant cut glass by T.G. Hawkes and Pairpoint Manufacturing.

Also on view are rare books of historic and intellectual importance by John Milton, Charlotte Bronte and John James Audubon. And guests may enjoy getting to know the “purse-onality” of the female family members with a look at their beautiful and decorative purses and all are likely to appreciate the display of 134 fun and quirky blown eggs, decorated to resemble famous historical figures!

Also included are items from Lutch’s Boys, Bengal Lancers, and the Bengal Guards, all student organizations founded by Mr. Stark. Family Bibles, travel souvenirs, postcards, automotive items, University of Texas memorabilia and memories of Miriam Stark’s participation in the area Shakespeare Club fill the hallway cases. Lutcher’s grandfather, John T. Stark carried a diary notebook as a Civil War soldier and this, along with his father’s pistols, are featured in the hallway as well.

The Start Museum of Art is at 712 Green Ave. in Orange. For more information, view or call (409) 886-2787.