After spending some 50 years in storage, a large cache of paintings by Houstonian Emma Richardson Cherry will go on display at the William Reaves Fine Art gallery. A leading figure in Texas art from the time she moved to Houston in the early 1890s until her death in 1954, Cherry is considered Houston’s first professional artist. The exhibit, ''Broadening the Texas Perspective: Rediscovered Paintings of Emma Richardson Cherry,'' includes some of her most important and beautiful work. There are a few portraits, such as her paintings of her daughter Dorothy and son-in-law Colonel Walter H. Reid. (The portrait of Reid was her contribution to the Texas Centennial Exhibition in 1936.) While she preferred to paint portraits, Cherry disliked having to paint her subjects as ''they think they should look'' rather than as she saw them. She often turned to still lifes and landscapes instead. (''With flowers, it is different...No artist could improve on their beauty,'' Cherry reportedly told a Houston newspaper in 1937.) Among the works on exhibit is the small oil painting Shadow Patterns, which shows an empty lane lined by simple whitewashed buildings awash in colorful shadows.
Fridays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: Dec. 7. Continues through Jan. 12, 2012