In 1949, TWS was founded by Margaret Pace Willson
and Amy Freeman Lee with the mission to advance the art of painting in watercolors, and hold annual exhibitions
of watercolor paintings.” In the beginning the exhibit was selected by nationally recognized jurors and limited to artists residing
Today, more than 50 years later, TWS continues to
promote the high standards set by its founders. Thus, as a national exhibit, TWS proudly takes its place among the elite watercolor
organizations in the nation.
The exhibitions were held at the Witte Memorial
Museum 1950 until 1970. In
1950, the first exhibit had 49 paintings and 15 awards with $100 for the
The 25th Exhibit offered $25,000, the most prize
money in the history of
watercolor exhibitions in this country: 72 awards for 110 paintings,
from 600 entries. There were two traveling circuit exhibitions in Texas,
Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana. By 1979, 2,465 paintings had been
exhibited with 10,150 paintings submitted.
42nd Exhibit: TWS became a national show awarding
$2000 for Best of Show,
with membership throughout the nation.
In 1999 we celebrated our 50th Anniversary
Exhibit of the Texas Watercolor Society
at the San Antonio Museum of Art with the first all color catalog
including photos of all of the paintings and a special $1000 Award for
Artists. The exhibition honored our two living founders: Amy Freeman Lee
and Margaret Pace Willson. The exhibit was the headliner of San
fourth Watercolor Month. The book, Texas Watercolor Society, Fifty Years
Excellence, featured 125 of our 356 members, debuted. Show entries reached
an all time high of 865.
Today, TWS continues to exhibit and promo
some of the of the best artists working in that unique and vibrant
medium -- watercolor.