"No Man's Land"

  • Biography

    Royston Nave 1886-1931

    Born in La Grange, Nave spent part of his youth in San Antonio where he studied under Pompeo Coppini.  From 1910 until 1916 and again in 1920, Nave gave Fort Worth as his residence.  He studied in New York with Walter Kuhn, Lawton S. Parker, Irving Ramsey Wiles, and Robert Henri before traveling on a prolonged painting journey through the western United States.  Nave served two years as an artillery officer in World War I, returning afterward to New York, then to Victoria after his marriage to Emma McFaddin McCan, former wife of painter James Ferdinand McCan.  During the 1920s Nave painted and resided in the Victoria area.  He died suddenly of a heart attack while visiting his brother in Harlingen and was buried in Victoria.  His widow erected the Royston Nave Museum to house his works, a structure designed by Atlee B. Ayers and Robert M. Ayers.  The museum is presently owned by the City of Victoria and leased to the Victoria Regional Museum Association.  Nave's works are exhibited regularly in the museum.
    Born in LaGrange, Texas, Royston Nave was a portrait painter who settled
    in Victoria, Texas. He studied with Robert Henri, Walt Kuhn, and Lawton
    Parker and exhibited with the Society of Independent Artists, the
    National Academy of Design (1921), the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
    (1921), the St. Louis Museum and the Carnegie Institute. He was a
    member of the Salmagundi Club.

    His work is in the Nave of the Texas State Capitol building in Austin.

    Michael Grauer, "Dictionary of Texas Artists"
    Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"
    Anonymous note:
    Nave was the son of a well known painter of Texas, Lou Scott Royston.
    He studied under well known and diverse mentors, and he became renowned
    in New York, served in WW1, and had exhibitions in a list of the best
    galleries. His portrait of Rebecca Fisher, the "Mother of Texas," is in
    the collection of the State of Texas in Austin.

    He died of a
    heart attack at age 44. His widow, Emma McFaddin McCan Nave,
    commissioned the Nave Museum in Victoria, Texas in the early 1930s, to
    house the paintings of her husband. He did a sculptor bust for his
    mother's grave in La Grange, Texas, that is quite famous.

    I am
    not of the art community, and had not even heard of this man before
    coming across his name on the genealogy search. I share the same
    surname, and it seems that I may be related. Anyway, what I have learned
    about this man makes me wonder why he is not more recognized in 20th
    century American art.