LaVerne Nelson Black
The Trading Post
The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is pleased to announce the acquisition of the extraordinary Thams Collection, given by William H. Thams of Midland, Texas, in memory of his wife, Roxanne P. Thams, who died in 2002.
The Thamses both graduated from the University of Oklahoma, where they met as students and married. After graduation, Mrs. Thams, who had majored in journalism, worked in advertising, while Mr. Thams, who had majored in geology, worked for Phillips Petroleum. Phillips transferred the couple to various locations, including, eventually, Midland, where Mr. Thams became an independent oil and gas producer in 1951.
Long interested in art, the Thamses began to collect seriously in 1966. Their collection of Southwestern art was formed between 1974, when they purchased Joseph Henry Sharp's Fine Bull, and 1992. Acquired mostly from dealers in Santa Fe and Texas, the collection--remarkable for its consistently superb quality--focuses on painters of the Taos Society of Artists but also features work by other artists who worked in New Mexico.
The Thams's legacy will inspire and educate generations of students, Oklahomans, and visitors to the Museum. For this, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art will remain ever grateful.