Born in Vidalia, Georgia, Algur Hurtle Meadows (1899-1978) was the founder of the General American Oil Company. Meadows travelled to Spain for business reasons in the 1950s, spending lengthy periods in Madrid. As a result of his numerous visits to the Museo del Prado, which was just near his hotel, and the enormous interest which he developed in seventeenth-century Spanish painting, Meadows decided to build up his own collection of Spanish art. His first acquisitions were of works from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: later he broadened the chronological scope of the collection to include works from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries. The new museum, founded in memory of his first wife, Virginia Garrison Stuart (1901-1961), reflected Meadows’s desire to establish a museum of Spanish art in Texas. In 1967, with the help of William B. Jordan, the collection was revised and refined while new works of indisputable quality were added to it. Algur H. Meadows took an active part in this process of revision and acquisition which still continues today.