The oldest art museum in the crossroads area, The Nave Museum features five to six diverse and compelling exhibits each year, both classical and modern. 

     The building, a majestic Greek revival temple designed by San Antonio architect Atlee Ayers, opened in 1932 to house Royston Nave's paintings and contain the library of the Victoria Bronte Study Club. In 1976, Mrs. Nave's heirs, The McCan Family, deeded the building to the city to be used as an art museum for the region. The city in turn rented the building to the newly created Victoria Regional Museum Association to operate as a Visual Arts Center. 

VRMA: The Nave Museum is Proud to Present:

The Paintings of

Royston Nave

June 19 - October 11

The Nave Museum is proud to present “The Paintings of Royston Nave,” featuring oil paintings and drawings by Mr. Nave.  The majority of the exhibit is from the permanent collection of the Victoria Regional Museum Association.  We are also pleased to display six paintings from the collection of Mrs. Mary Carroll McCan, and one owned by Lee Allison.   


Royston Nave was born in La Grange, Texas on November 5, 1886, and enjoyed a prolific and successful painting career in both Texas and New York.  He traveled widely, painting and sketching as he went.  His primary interests were portraits and landscapes, but also created still life images.  In 1931, he suffered a fatal heart attack while visiting his brother in Harlingen.  He was only 45 years old. 


His wife, Emily (Emma) McFaddin McCan Nave was devastated at his death, and had the Nave Museum built to honor his memory in 1932.  For the first few years, his paintings were on display for anyone to see, and later, when the Nave became the first library in Victoria, the portraits continued to grace the walls.  When the Victoria Public Library on Main Street was built in 1976, Mrs. Nave’s heirs, the McCan family, deeded the building to the city to be used as an art museum for the region, along with the collection of paintings.  The city rented the building to the newly created Victoria Regional Museum Association (VRMA), and in December of 2003 the city deeded the property to the VRMA.


The paintings traveled to other museums for exhibits over the years, and as a result, got a little travel-worn.  For the past three years, the VRMA has been having the paintings from the permanent collection and frames professionally restored.


The exhibit opens to the public on Friday, June 19, and runs through Sunday, October 10.  The Nave is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 pm, and is closed on Mondays.  Admission to the Nave is always free!  Everyone is encouraged to come see this exhibit and experience this wonderful history of Victoria.  Memberships are available and enable art lovers to attend the Opening Night Preview Shows.  Call 361-575-8228 to find out how to join. 


The Nave Museum will be enforcing social distancing, and we will be frequently cleaning door handles and restroom surfaces.  Hand sanitizer will also be available to keep our visitors safe.

Face coverings are suggested, but not required at this time. 


Visit us on our website at www.navemuseum.com, or follow us on Facebook to learn more.

Upcoming Exhibits

Past Exhibits


Woodworking Exhibit

An exhibit featuring works from 6 local artists. Long before paper canvas and metal were used wood was one of mans first art materials. This show feature wood are including furniture and sculptures of both artistic and whimsical nature.      


An exhibit featuring works from over 80 women artists who are members of the Gentileschi Aegis Gallery Association (GAGA).  This Association, which was formed in 2010, was founded to help promote, educate and advance women artists in South Texas.   Each participating member artist has chosen a color from a color palette, and created two 12 x 12 inch canvases which feature the color chosen.

The Natural Artistry of Madeline O'Connor

She was a naturalist, conservationist, and artist whose work reflected her love and concern for the world around her. Madeline O’Connor’s work has been noted in Art in America, and fifty photographs of her art and papers are archived in the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. Pieces of her art work are in permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi, and in the renowned modern minimalist collection of Giuseppi Panza in Milan, Italy. She was among twelve women chosen to be part of “Texas Women” art exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. that had then President-elect George Bush and Mrs. Bush serving as honorary chairmen.

Patricia Compton: u n d e r d o g

The Nave Museum proudly presents u n d e r d o g By: Patricia Compton. 

     Born in Refugio, Texas, raised in Goliad, Texas:Patricia Compton has been painting since receiving her first art award from the Texas Department of Culture, Austin, at the age of 12. Compton graduated from the University of North Texas with a BFA in Design. Upon graduation she won an international design 

competition which awarded her the funding to move to NYC.

     Her art career began with numerous group shows in Manhattan and Washington D.C., including The Pace Collection, Washington. She also has had solo shows in East Hampton, NY as well as various galleries in Austin, San Antonio, and Alamo Heights, Texas. The Nave Museum will be her first Museum show.

     Upon publication in David Carson’s “Speak” she decided to make the move out of NYC and “hole up” somewhere to paint a large new body of work. Goliad seemed like a good choice so Patricia came back home. Her painting career literally went to the dogs upon picking up her first stray, mangy dog off the steps of the Presidio La Bahia in Goliad and turned into 20 years of rescue, rehabilitation, and the adopting out of hundreds upon hundred of puppies and dogs to loving and deserving homes.

     She believes her gift for rescue is as much a God given gift as the ability to paint. She is now beginning a new body of commissioned work and determined, with the help of her visionary friends and supporters in rescue to get something built in Goliad reflective of art, dogs, rescue, and education on both subjects.

Kayla Koenig: The Study of Tranquility: The Immoderate Collaboration

Kayla is a Victoria native artist that focus on abstract art. This body of work is a modest expression of other forms of art: the personification of the overall aesthetic coupled with a vernal freshness that flourished following the change in seasons. With the arrival of Spring, our waking hours are filled with sunlight; there is a positive association between more sunshine and happier, more hopeful feelings. This shift made allowances for an imaginative awakening expressed in a simple and clean design. Making that connection allowed her to expand her mind, permitting room for interpretation which resulted in an inordinate relationship between mind and body in a manifestation of unrestrained tranquility. 

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The Nave Museum
  • FREE admission

  • Donation based

  • Street/Church parking

  • Self toured

  • Call for school/group tours

  • Wheel chair accessible

  • No pets allowed unless for medical reason

Sculptors by artist Mac Whitney

The Nave Museum

306 W. Commercial St.

Victoria, TX 77901



Tue. - Fri. 12-5pm

Sat. & Sun. 12-4pm


Mailing Address:

PO Box 1776

Victoria, TX 77902