Robert Lynn Batts Tobin ( 1934 – 2000) The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in dedicated in memory of Robert Lynn Batts Tobin (1934-2000) as a celebration of his lifelong devotion to the arts especially the performing arts – and in honor of his and his family’s historic support for the arts in San Antonio and across the nation. The Tobin Family’s connection to this site began in 1926, when San Antonio Mayor John W. Tobin. Robert’s great uncle, dedicated the newly-constructed Municipal Auditorium in honor of these American soldiers who died in World War I. The Auditorium was largely destroyed by fire in 1979 and, after it was rebuilt, Robert’s mother, Margaret Batts Tobin (1898 – 1989). was honorary co-chair of the Phoenix Ball gala reopening in 1986, while Robert provided the decor from his collection of famous stage settings. in 2008, The City of San Antonio Donated the building and grounds to the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation to be re-purposed as a new performing arts center. Following a %15 Million gift from The Tobin Endowment in 2010, the new facility was given Robert’s name. The Tobin Family was known for it deep ties to San Antonio. Robert Tobin was a descendant of the Canary Islands colonists who arrived in 1731 and settled the area that grew into San Antonio. Robert loved this city as if her had been one of those first San Antontans. His father, Edgar G. Tobin (1896 – 1954). a flying ace in World War I, founded Tobin Aerial Mapping Co. In 1928. Later called Tobin Surveys, the company became the largest aerial mapping firm in the world. Robert and Margaret, who helped to organize the city’s first symphony orchestra in 1939 and establish an opera series, were actively engaged not only in major art philanthropy but also in key civic projects, including HemisFair ’68. Robert was an avid collector of fine art and shared his energy and leadership with the Boards of the McNay Art Museum of San Antonio and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Above all, Robert had a special love for theater and, in particular, opera. He was a member of the Board of Directors of The Metropolitan Opera in New York and helped found The Santo Fe Opera. He was always generous in his support for opera in San Antonio and his enthusiasm was reflected by far more than philanthropy. In fact, Robert had an abiding interest om staging, set design and costume, and spent many hundreds of happy hours – beginning at age 16 – as a stagehand for opera productions om San Antonio. He knew and respected everyone who worked in “the back of the house.” That friendship was reciprocated backstage after a performance of “Faust” at the Municipal Auditorium in 1965 when the members of the local stagehand union surprised him with a gold union membership card – a moment that Robert would carry with him the rest of his life. Robert’s interest in opera, theatre and staging led him to begin assembling a world -renowned collection of scenery designs and costumes which grew to more that 10,000 objects, raging from small set models to costume and set drawings to full-sized scenery backdrops. During his lifetime, Robert began giving his collection to the McNay Art Museum and, upon his death the entire collection was transferred to the McNay, where it is housed today as The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts. Robert L. V. Tobin was a man of many interests – growing the Tobin Surveys business, medical care for the less fortunate, architecture, book collecting, historic preservation. philanthropy and more. But always in his mind and heart were art, theatre, and opera. So upon its opening on September 4, 2014, it is fitting that visitors to The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, pass through the original façade of the Municipal Auditorium, dedicated in 1926 by Mayor Tobin, and then encounter an extraordinary, world-class cultural center with state-of-the-art acoustics where, with each inspiring and enriching performance, Robert Tobin’s legacy and love of the arts lives on in his hometown.