Who was Ida Belle Young and how did her generous contributions impact the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts? These questions will be answered through a docent-led short course, which began on January 26, 2016, and will continue each Tuesday (at noon) through February 23, 2016.
I began the first session by highlighting Young’s life, work, and legacy. Regarded as an astute businesswoman, active civic person, and a philanthropist, Young provided the endowment for the Ida Belle Young Art Acquisition Fund, which has enabled the Museum to expand and enrich its American art holdings. Following this presentation, attendees proceeded to the galleries, where Dr. Alma Freeman led an in-depth and captivating discussion on the first painting purchased through Young’s art fund, Francoise in Green, Sewing, 1908-1909, created in France by Mary Cassatt. Participants enthusiastically offered their interpretations of the painting.On Tuesday, February 2, Session II of the course featured presentations by Mary Lil Owens (William Sydney Mount’s Any Fish Today?, 1857) and Lou Scott (Severin Roesen’s Still Life with Mixed Flowers and Bird’s Nest, ca. 1851-1859).
We look forward to more interesting and innovative discussions and your insightful interpretations of these fascinating works of art made possible through Young’s bequest. Additional sessions are scheduled as follows:
2/9 George Henry Durrie’s Holidays in the Country, The Cider Party, 1853 (Beverly Bennett)
Edmonia Lewis’ Hiawatha’s Marriage, 1868 (Pam Moulton)
2/16 George Inness’ Medfield, 1877 (Jiyeon Suh)
Eastman Johnson’s Girl in Landscape with Two Lambs, 1875 (George Jacobsen)
2/23 Thomas Hart Benton’s Ozark Autumn, 1949 (Pat Wanglie)
Max Weber’s View of Roslyn, New York, ca 1922-1925 – (Gloria Simons)
Museum Docent and Docent Council Secretary