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Month: July 2016

Join Us for “A Morning for Anne Goldthwaite”

July 30, 9:00 to 11:30 A.M.

Blog.Goldthwaite3During her summer sojourns from New York City, Alabama-native Anne Goldthwaite captured views of Montgomery, the surrounding countryside, and local inhabitants.  In honor of the painter’s early to mid-twentieth century seasonal visits, the Museum has chosen a summer morning to celebrate one of the South’s most accomplished women artists.  The event will be held on Saturday, July 30, from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M. in the Orientation Circle, with a discussion that will center on Goldthwaite’s extraordinary life and her art in the Museum’s permanent collection. She is currently represented by more than 500 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper in the Museum’s holdings, with a sizeable portion of these representing her Alabama and Southern roots.

 

Blog.Goldthwaite2Participants will enjoy a presentation by writer May Lamar, who is currently at work on a fictional biography of Anne and her family, and will also hear historian Mary Ann Neeley’s insights into the locations depicted in Goldthwaite’s works. Many of her paintings are now on view in the second floor Balcony and Library galleries in the exhibition Going Home: Paintings by Anne Goldthwaite (through November 6).  To conclude the morning, we will visit these galleries to examine and discuss the works together.

 

Blog.Goldthwaite1Please join us on Saturday morning, July 30, for this opportunity to learn more about Goldthwaite and her art.  We’ll have some light refreshments, and the event is FREE!

To make a reservation, call Brandy Morrison at 334.240.4365.  We look forward to seeing you there.

 

Alice Novak, Curator of Education
Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, Curator of Paintings and Sculpture

 

Featured images (top to bottom):

Anne Goldthwaite, Street in Montgomery, n.d., oil on canvas, Gift of Isabel Scriba, in memory of her uncle, Dr. Oscar Martin Teague, 1990.1.3

Anne Goldthwaite, Montgomery Capitol, Halls of Legislature (No. 2), ca. 1931, etching on paper, Gift of Adelyn D. Breeskin, 1982.16.360

Anne Goldthwaite, North Court Street, Montgomery, Alabama, n.d., oil on canvas, Gift of Miss Lucille Goldthwaite, 1946.7

Summer Exhibitions Opening Reception 2016

Summertime is always a welcome season at the Museum—the galleries offer a cool respite from the heat and our staff takes a mini-break from the nonstop activities of the fall and spring. Nevertheless, there’s plenty to see and do at the MMFA, and this coming Thursday, July 14, offers a perfect opportunity for you to join as we celebrate five wonderful exhibitions now on view with a reception from 5:30 to 8:00 P. M..

Four of the shows are rarely seen objects from our own permanent collection—Photorealism, Harmonics: Joe Almyda’s Works on Paper, Taking It to the Streets, and Women’s Work: Prints from the Collection of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.  Our fifth show, Lynn Saville: Dark City, Urban American at Night features the work of a photographer who is also represented in the collection.  We have a number of exciting programs scheduled in conjunction with these shows, including a post-reception talk on Thursday evening beginning at 7:00 P.M. by Professor Kathleen Spies of Birmingham-Southern who is sharing her thoughts on the evolution of women as professionals in the art world.

Dr. Spies’s focus in her talk will be the creative spirit and accomplishments of women in the American art world, inspired by our Women’s Work show. This exhibition showcases forty-seven prints by twenty women artists from the Museum’s works on paper collection. The artists include the Alabamians Anne Goldthwaite and Clara Weaver Parrish from the earliest part of the century, to modern printmakers such as Jennifer Bartlett, Pat Steir, and Lesley Dill.

Below are a few examples of the works on view which you’ll be able to enjoy when you join us Thursday night!

 

Blog.Thomson.SummerOpening2016Laquita Thomson, November 13, 1833, 1990, 1995.12.5.5

Thomson is a member of the faculty at Freed Hardeman University in Clarksville, Tennessee.  While a Masters degree candidate at Auburn, she created a series of lithographs titled Celestial Happenings—Stars Fell on Alabama, in which she documents events such the one here— “the night the stars fell” was a meteor shower that inspired the popular song “Stars Fell on Alabama.”

 

Blog.Harshman.SummerOpening2016Melissa Harshman, 2nd Place, 2004, 2005.4

Prior to the twentieth century, the traditional roles of women and girls centered on the home and the domestic duties associated with homemaking.  In this screen print Harshman copies images from popular periodicals of the early twentieth century to illustrate how these roles were taken for granted, insuring that professionally many women were relegated to 2nd place.

 

Blog.Hartigan.SummerOpening2016Grace Hartigan, On a Tar Roof, 1960-1961, 1995.2.3.2

Grace Hartigan is recognized internationally as a leader in the second generation of Abstract Expressionists.  Hartigan broke away from the constraints of expressionism to explore not her personal emotions, but those derived from an outside sources such as poetry, in this case a work by the poet James Schuyler titled Salute.

 

Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, curator of Art
and
Sarah Graves, collections information specialist

Photorealism

Blog.PhotorealismgalleryThe first thing you notice about the new Photorealism exhibition is the big, bold, colorful images of planes and motorcycles, movie marquees, and cityscapes. The show includes only 20 items and fills only two galleries, but it is an eyeful. Indeed, there is more than meets the eye’s initial inspection. Each image invites close looking.

Some viewers may marvel at the images’ high degree of mimesis—the fidelity with which they mimic their subject. The vivid array of reflections in the cowl of a motorcycle, the nuanced shades of grey enveloping the fuselage of a P-51 Mustang sitting under an overcast sky, the glittering gold and patriotic colors of a Fourth of July still-life composition impress viewers with their detailed representation of reality. But it is not immediately apparent that these pictures do not mimic three-dimensional reality. These are pictures of photographs—primarily photos of motorcycles, airplanes, movie marquees, and other urban imagery—hence the exhibition title, Photorealism, and the name of the style that took root in 1960s Pop Art.

Blog.Empire.PhotorealismThat’s right. Photorealist artists paint pictures of photographs. First they photograph places like banal urban views and things like cars, trucks, and other macho machines. Then they project those images onto canvas or paper, trace the forms, and fill in the colors, often with airbrushes that capture the fuzzy effects of soft-focus lenses and out of focus photos. Photorealists often crop their images to make the most of abstract design compositions, but the results always look realistic, even if artists like Robert Cottingham take some creative license with the isolation or modification of their images as he does with movie marquees like that of the now demolished Empire Theatre that once stood in downtown Montgomery (fig. 2, above). Still, the subject of the photograph remains recognizable in every Photorealist painting or print.

Photorealist prints are much more common than Photorealist paintings, which typically require many months to complete. However, Photorealist prints are similarly time-consuming to create because each usually involves a dozen or more individual screens—one for each color. One print by Tom Blackwell (whose Triumph Trumpet and 451 are in this show) required 86 separate screens and took 15 months to make. That print, Shatzi (1979), depicts a World War II aircraft and was printed on Masonite (as is Ron Kleeman’s Mustang Sally in this exhibition) because of its great scale (4 x 6 feet). It was printed by Norman Lassiter, a master printer who partnered with Louis Meisel, a New York gallery owner, to publish Photorealist prints under the aegis of Editions Lassiter-Meisel.

Editions Lassiter-Meisel also published the ten silkscreens in the City-ScapBlog.CityscapesPortfolioes Portfolio (fig. 3, to the right) that are on view in the current exhibition. Most are signed and numbered A.P. 21/30, indicating that they were the 21st of 30 artist proofs pulled in addition to 25 publisher’s proofs plus the full edition of 250. Signed and numbered print editions of this scale enabled Photorealists to sell images of their paintings for substantially less than the original paintings cost. Relatively large editions like this one also enabled Meisel to donate a few of the portfolios to museums—as he did for our museum.

So, when you go to see the new Photorealist show, don’t get blown away by the big, bold, colorful images. Take time to look closely at these prints. It’s a little like a summer “staycation,” enjoying the everyday sights without leaving the air-conditioned comfort of your hometown museum.

Michael Panhorst
Curator of Art

 

Image Credits
Figure 2: Robert Cottingham, Empire, 2009, screen print on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of the artist, 2009.12

Figure 3: Colophon and Preface, from the portfolio, City-Scapes, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Louis K. and Susan P. Meisel, 2014.5.8

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