Welcome to Your MMFA
Fall has once again reached the Museum and we are bustling with school tours and visitors. Our recent donation of African art from Martha and Dileep Mehta will be on view until mid November and opens a whole new MMFA collecting area for this art produced by some 23 groups in sub-Saharan Africa. Members will be delighted with these objects that offer a glimpse into the people and places from which they originate. We will host a series of events introducing the collection to all ages the weekend of October 23 to 26.
As I hope you already know, we just finished celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Museum’s being in the Blount Cultural Park, and with this in mind, we have two exhibitions up that illustrate the strength of our permanent collection. Into the Light features works on paper by some of our most noted American artists. Due to their fragility, these works are rarely on view so this is a perfect opportunity to reacquaint yourself with watercolors in the collection by artists such as Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper, to name a few. An American Collection showcases the wonderful work by William Glackens, Head of Pauline, ca. 1915, given by Babette Wampold in memory of her husband Charles, as well as 26 other promised works from the couple’s collection of American painting. With these gifts made by the Wampolds to the MMFA collection, Babette and Charles have made significant contributions to the strength of the collection, particularly in the area of early 20th-century painting. Each of these exhibitions showcases the quality of the Museum’s permanent holdings and I hope you will visit this Fall to learn more.
Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined is an exhibition featuring images of Native Americans as they were portrayed after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and before Western Expansion. Engravings and lithographs from this era shaped perceptions of the American West and its Native American inhabitants, some of whom had been relocated from the East by the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Museum has partnered with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to support our programs, and at the opening presentation on November 6 Tribal Historian Robert Thrower will present a Creek perspective on the effects of the doctrine of Manifest Destiny on American Indian nations.
I hope you mark your calendars now for our ever-popular Artist Market on November 21–22 to stock up on holiday gifts from area artists. This year our featured artist will be Elayne Goodman, a talented and inventive artist working in mixed media. Also, don’t miss our family oriented Holiday Open House on December 6 from 1-4 P.M. The activities of the day feature performances by local choirs, hands-on activities in the art studios, and festive carriage rides around the beautiful Blount Cultural Park.
Thank you for your on-going support of your Museum. I hope to see you in the galleries soon.
Mark M. Johnson