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‘Tis the Season…

…for spring fever, weddings, Easter, confirmation, graduation, Mother’s Day… well ’tis ALWAYS the season for SOMETHING, right?  And, although we DO have gifts for all of the above, DON’T wait for a special occasion to come peruse our one-of-a-kind collection here at The Museum Store.  I think we have the best selection of pottery in the city (Christopher Greenman, Randy Shoults, Tena Payne, Margaret Barber, Suzanne Jensen, Anna Bastida, Jo Taylor– to drop a few names), plus paintings, jewelry, glass, and more (so many artists/so little space)… surely something for everyone (including kiddies) and at all price points.

Teena Payne, Earthborn PotteryWe are constantly adding new artists and merchandise to keep things interesting and fresh.  So if you were here two weeks ago or it’s been two years, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find.  More than once, I’ve heard the comment:  “This is one of the best museum stores I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot…” So, what are you waiting for?  I didn’t even mention that we provide free gift wrap and that our sales staff is always happy to offer suggestions, tell you about the artists we represent or just smile and nod– whatever you prefer.

Oh, and quarterly, we feature an Artist in Action where you can meet an artist and watch them at work here in the Museum Store, which is quite entertaining.  The next one is Thursday, April 17th from Noon-2:00– in conjunction with Cafe M’s Divine Lunch.  The artist will be Montgomery’s own, Barbara Binford Davis, painter extraordinaire and you’re all invited.  (Reservations are needed that day at Cafe M but you never need a reservation for the store.)

Do yourself a favor and see for yourself…
Tuesday-Saturday 11:00-4:00 and Sundays Noon-4:00. 334.240.4337

Kay Jacoby, Museum Store

What’s an ADDY?

blog_publicationsIt’s the American Advertising Awards, and we just heard that our catalogue for Material Transformations received the 2014 Best of Show Addy Award for the Montgomery region! The ADDYs recognize creative endeavors in all media and Camille Leonard of STAMP’s inventive design is nothing if not creative. We frequently work with Camille and designers of STAMP, one of Montgomery’s best Ad Agencies. Camille really understood the ideas and works of art featured in the Material Transformations exhibition and captured a wonderful way to portray them in print form. We’re thrilled with her concept and so excited that the American Advertising Awards program acknowledged Camille’s stunning achievement. It works not only as a companion piece to the exhibition but also stands on its own. It was great fun to work with Camille on this project and it’s not the first time the Addys recognized our collaboration with her—our exhibition catalogue Psychedelic Mania: Stephen Rolfe Powell’s Dance with Glass received an award in 2013. Come pick up your own copy! Both of these award-winning catalogues are available in the Museum Store.

Jennifer Jankauskas
Curator of Art

The process behind Creator/Created

Blog_jjOur newest exhibition, Creator/Created: Jerry Siegel Portraits and Artists from the Permanent Collection just opened. This was a particularly fun exhibition to put together.  The idea started through conversations with Jerry who’s been photographing Southern artists for over 15 years.  In looking through his images we realized that the MMFA has many of these artists’ works in our collection and we thought by pairing photo and artwork together we could present a unique view into the works of art, the artists themselves, and their artistic process.  Going through our collection to select which of these artists’ works to feature was a real treat for me. I got to dive in and really begin to understand the breadth and depth of works by regional artists that we own in addition to all the other fantastic pieces in our collection.

Jerry is a wonderfully generous artist and I think his portraits speak to that; he really captures the essence of each of these personalities. When Jerry photographs his subjects, he takes multiple shots and often prints in both black and white and color. For the exhibition, we decided to use only the black and white images to present Jerry’s photographs as a cohesive body of work since we spread them throughout the galleries.  blog_iPadHe and I met several times to look at prints (both working and final) and to choose what worked best in this particular exhibition. Alternate images and color versions, along with interviews with many of the artists, are on I-Pads displayed throughout the galleries. Come take a look!

Jennifer Jankauskas
Curator of Art

Alabama Natives, Alabama Neighbors

PoarchCrk-2The Museum and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians partnered  to present Alabama Natives, Alabama Neighbors, our Native American Family Day celebration on Saturday, March 8th.  1,500 visitors of all ages enjoyed dance and craft demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and story telling.  Many cultural artifacts from Kerretv Cuko (Building of Learning) Poarch Band of Creek Indians Museum in Atmore were on view in the Rotunda. PoarchCrk-1For more information about the tribe, please visit http://pci-nsn.gov/

BTW Word and Image

btw_readingLast night the Museum was proud to host young writers from Booker T. Washington Magnet High for a reading “Word and Image.”  Each work of prose and poetry was composed in response to a work of art on display at the Museum.  Led by Mr. Foster Dickson, the expressions were a result of the annual Ekphrastic writing workshop at the Museum.  Ekphrasis means a literary response to a work of art.

Selections from the student work include:

1995.7.2.blogFrom “Descending Night” by Somer Marshall
She was more than she could understand.
She was capable of more than her untrusting heart
Allowed her, she was beyond compare.


Adolph Alexander Weinman, Descending Night
1995.7.2

1935.12_blogFrom “Cotton Gin” by Ke’Veonia Hall
This cotton gin can satisfy plenty
And also avoid a lot of mayhem
Keeping Whitney from turning over in his grave

John Kelly Fitzpatrick, Cotton Gin
Gift of Works Progress Administration, 1935.12

 

 

2008.5_blogFrom “Thoughts Inside a Cocoon of Bones” by Keandra Pope
I turned into a cave of myself
Amber-colored walls kept up to keep out
Each limb turned into a lock

Rick Beck, Self Portrait
Gift of MMFA Patrons*, 2008.5

 

Alice Novak
Assistant Curator of Education

* Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, Bowen and Carol Ballard, Jim and Jane Barganier, John and Joyce Caddell, Dorothy Cameron, Ben and Virginia Cumbus, Elizabeth Emmet, Bonner and Virginia Engelhardt, Bob and Susan Geddie, Barrie and Laura Harmon, Camille Elebash-Hill and Inge Hill, Paul and Anne Hubbert, Charles and Donna Ingalls, Michael and Allison Ingram, Mike and Kent Jenkins, Mark and Amy Johnson, Joan and James Loeb, James and Margaret Lowder, Michael and Laura Luckett, Alfred Newman, Phillip and Gloria Rawlings, Bruce and Emilie Reid, Adam and Dawn Schloss, James E. Sellars, Charles and Winifred Stakely, Andy and Lisa Weil, Jean Weil, Barry and Corinna Wilson, Drs. Tommy Wool and Laurie Weil and Anonymous Donor

Art Auction was such fun!

auction_MerLynchauction4

Thank you all who worked to make it possible, especially Auction chair Emilie Reid and co-chair Lisa Capell and Art Selection chair Ginny Cumbus and co-chair Mary Dunn. Thanks also to our long standing Auction sponsor, Merrill Lynch.

auction3

The 2014 Art Auction was chaired by Emilie Reid and co-chaired by Lisa Capell. Committee members included Jean Belt, Lu Ann Cobb, Ginny Cumbus, Suzanne Davidson, Mary Dunn, Benita Froemming, Jason Goodson, Don Groesser, Brenda Hellums, Debbie Hobbs, Gage LeQuire, Lucy LuQuire, Cathy Martin, Tammy McCorkle, Lisa Newcomb, Caroline Rosen, Gloria Simons, Melissa Tubbs, Florence Tyson, Ashley White, Cindy Wilson, and Kelli Wise.

Ginny Cumbus chaired this year Art Selection Committee along with co-chair Mary Dunn. Other members of the Art Selection Committee included Jane Barganier, Camille Elebash-Hill, Bonner Engelhardt, Susan Geddie, Katharine Harris, Allison Ingram, Lucy Jackson, Gage LeQuire, Winston Wilson Reese, Bruce Reid, Emilie Reid, Laurie Weil.

auction2We had over 50 additional volunteers at the events that led up to and included the Auction. We could not have done it with out you!   The entire Museum staff is involved in this, our biggest fundraiser.  A big thanks to everyone – artists, galleries, workers, bidders and buyers!

Jill Barry
Deputy Director

An Expressive Evening and ARTWORKS Corridor Student Recognition

Expressive Evening 5 Expressive Evening 6 Expressive Evening 4 Expressive Evening 3 Expressive Evening 2 Expressive Evening 1On Tuesday night, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts was rich with vivid colors and sounds and truly felt like the home of the Muses.  The Museum’s teen council – the MUSES –  did a fantastic job organizing “An Expressive Evening”, featuring student singers, dancers, musicians, and visual artists.  Following inspiring performances in the auditorium and rotunda, student artists from kindergarten to 12th grade were recognized for their works on view in the juried ARTWORKS Corridor exhibition Inspired by Nature.  The student exhibition is based on Nature Distilled, on view in the Weil Print Room.

– Museum Educators

MMFA Short Course: Art of the 18th Century (Tuesdays at noon)

Amidst the sun and snow of recent weeks, the latest Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts short course has been exploring the art of the 18th century.  A lecture series that began with scenes of French ladies and gentlemen in lush garden scenes ended with an image of sword wielding men swearing allegiance to the state (while the women weeped.)

Now we are spending time in our galleries, making connections across American paintings, Old Master prints, and decorative arts.  So how does the world we live in compare to that of several hundred years ago?

Since the eighteenth century, haunting images and stories have provided popular entertainment, from this Piranesi print of an imaginary prison to American Horror Story.

Piranesi_series
Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian 1720–1778), Title Plate, From the series, Carceri di Invenzione, ca. 1760,
etching on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr.
in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr., 1974.19

Wigs on men however are no longer as in vogue.

 Copley2
John Singleton Copley (American, 1738–1815), Joseph Henshaw, ca. 1770-1774, oil on canvas,
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, The Blount Collection, 1989.2.6

Interestingly, the sitter in the portrait above was a member of the Sons of Liberty, while the painter’s father in law owned the tea that was dumped into Boston Harbor.  But before we get too carried away with politics, sometimes it’s important to go back to where we began and remember that everyone likes to frolic in the garden,

Fragonard_danseJean Honore Fragonard (French, 1732–1806), Danse de satyres, 1763, etching on paper,
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr.
in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr., 1992.5

that classical never goes out of style

FAC.int.1988.1w

and there is always time for a nice cup of tea.

teacupWorcester Porcelain Factory (English, Founded 1751), Teacup, ca. 1765-1768,
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Lucien Loeb, 1993.3.1.1

Alice Novak, Assistant Curator of Education

Ekphrasis: A Book Club for the 21st Century

EV1_BookClub

The Ekphrasis book club is an exciting monthly program hosted by the Education Department that explores various topics related to art and art history as they are interpreted by historical or contemporary literature. I borrowed the term “Ekphrasis” from Susan Vreeland (an author we have featured several times) who used the term broadly to address how works of art are interpreted through other mediums (media?). The use of the term in this context is a departure from its traditional usage, but I find Vreeland’s adaptation appealing because it opens up the door for multi-faceted approaches to analysis, allowing us to explore the intersection of art with literature, film, and photography.

With art as the central focus, and our chosen books (fiction and nonfiction) as the main vehicle, we supplement our discussions with multimedia presentations that include visual and digital imagery, audio, and video used to expand our understanding of the topics addressed. For example, a book about the painter Caravaggio was supplemented by a slideshow of his paintings and selected clips from a video documentary as visual references.

On several occasions, featured authors have called in to answer questions via Skype, including (of course), Susan Vreeland (Clara and Mr. Tiffany, Life Studies: Stories, Passion of Artemisia), Jack Flam (Matisse and Picasso: The Story of Their Rivalry and Friendship), and Harriet Chessman (Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper). We have also invited authors to visit the Museum and address the club in person, including, Nancy Robards Thompson (a.k.a. Elizabeth Robards), author of With Violets, and Nancy G. Heller, author of Why a Painting is Like a Pizza.

The next book club meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 12 p.m. Jennifer Jankauskas, Curator of Art, will offer a presentation on the Los Angeles art scene and lead a discussion about the featured book Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp.

I hope you will join us at the next book club meeting!

Tim Brown, Curator of Education

 

Welcome to the blog at the new MMFA website!

As project coordinator on the Museum side, I can say with certainty, it took a lot of hard work and effort to make this happen. A year ago the Museum team began researching in earnest what functionality a modern museum website needed to have as a base line and then started its wouldn’t it be nice list.  In February 2013 we sent out a national Request for Proposal and in March decided to partner with Cuberis out of Durham, North Carolina. You are seeing months of work come to fruition before you.

 We still have a few items on our to-do list, but are thrilled to be presenting what you see here today.  I would like to thank Mark Johnson for his leadership in approving and finding the funding for the new site. The web working group consisted of Margaret Lynne Ausfeld,  Tim Brown, Amy Johnson, Sarah Puckitt, and Tisha Rhodes. Countless other staff came in and out of the workgroup as needed or requested and everyone remembered our  flexibility and sense of humor mantra. Let me know what you think of the site. Do you have suggestions for improvements or ideas for us to implement?  It’s still a work in progress, so let me know your thoughts.

Thank you,

Jill Barry
Deputy Director for Development

jbarry@mmfa.org

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