On the eve of President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy's visit to Dallas in 1963 a group of Fort Worth collectors gathered sixteen masterworks of European and American art and installed them in the presidential suite in the Hotel Texas.
At some point during the 1800s, when nobody was looking, an institution passed away that for centuries had been a fixture of the visual arts: the artistic dynasty, the family of painters who, across several generations, maintained a consistent aesthetic profile.
"I really got a sense of what was going on. What impressed me most, truthfully, was the passionate engagement of students and professors. The museum's director at the time, Hugh J. Gourley III, drew us all in. He had an eye for art and a talent for developing friendships," Paula Lunder says.
The story of Marica and Jan Vilcek is the story of one couple's long pilgrimage into the cultural heart of this country. It begins during the mid-1960s in the wake of the Kennedy assassination and just when the most volatile decade of the American century was coming to a boil. In some ways it is the story of the survival of the American dream in those years, but it is significantly more than that.