May 4, 2020—The Dallas Museum of Art is deeply saddened by the passing of S. Roger Horchow, the world-renowned retail entrepreneur, award-winning Broadway producer, author, and longtime trustee and benefactor of the Dallas Museum of Art. A debonair and leading patron of the arts, he was a beloved friend, inspiring leader, and dedicated advocate of the Museum for over 45 years.
The Museum’s long history with Roger Horchow began in 1974, when he first joined the Board of Trustees and its Membership Committee followed by his service on the Trustee and Development Committee the following year. Throughout his long relationship with the Museum, Horchow served as Vice President of the Board for five years, Chair of the Marketing & Development Committee and as a member of the Committee on Collections, Development Committee, Marketing Committee, and Search Committee that hired Richard R. Brettell as DMA Director.
Roger Horchow’s deep engagement with the Museum was largely defined by his support of its public programming, which began upon the DMA’s move to the downtown Dallas Arts District in 1984. He, along with his late wife, Carolyn, established the Richard R. Brettell Lecture Series in 1993, in which well-known scholars of 19th- and 20th-century European art offer new research and fresh interpretations of the Museum’s modern masterworks. They contributed to the operations of the Museum’s Mildred R. and Frederick M. Mayer Library. Perhaps most notably, Horchow and his wife provided funding for the building of the Museum’s Horchow Auditorium, the state-of-the-art theater that opened in 1993 as part of the Nancy and Jake L. Hamon Building. It has become an integral part of the cultural life of the city of Dallas.
Other significant gifts of the Horchows to the Museum are the Carolyn P. and S. Roger Horchow Fund in support of the Family Fund Initiative in the Second Century Campaign, and support of the Texas Art Endowment Fund. They have given or contributed to the acquisition of 16 works of art to the Museum, including: several pieces of Chinese porcelain, American ceramics and textiles, African textiles and objects, Roger Winter’s contemporary work El Paso, and most recently Hans Hofmann’s Yellow Vase on Red.
Mr. Horchow was a longtime and generous donor throughout the Dallas arts community through involvement with KERA Public Radio and the Dallas Theater Center. He has served on the Boards of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery. He and his Family have also donated significantly to UT Southwestern and the Southwestern Medical Foundation. His prolific support and leadership in the performing arts has included his role as a Broadway producer earning Tony Awards for Best Musical of Crazy for You and the Best-Revival of Kiss Me, Kate.
“Roger was incredibly passionate, generous, and community-minded. His theatrical charm and giving personality have inspired all of us at the DMA for decades and certainly me since I joined the Museum. While his support for our building, special exhibitions, the collections, and public programming were immense, he never lost his passion for retail, and he constantly found ways to use it in service to the Museum. Whenever Roger said he was coming by, I knew the first place I would find him was in the DMA Store, fiddling with everything from the window dressing to the white lights, and making sure visitors could find something to buy. His leadership and support of the DMA has played an important role in making our Museum the dynamic place it is today. I am thankful I had the opportunity to know Roger and offer my condolences to his family, including his daughters Regen, Lizzie, and Sally. We will miss his wink, his sly humor, his critical thinking, and his smile. We will mourn him.” —Agustín Arteaga, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art.