Open Today 10am-5pm

Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

Open Today 10am-5pm
01

Category: General

Looking at the MMFA Through the Eyes of an Intern

Lakendrick-blogAs much as I tried to hide it, I was a nervous wreck my first day as a graphic design intern here at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Imagine me, a young lad out of my small hometown of Forkland, Alabama, working in such a prestigious environment. “Get it together Ken. Don’t mess this up,” was the thought that rattled around in my head for days. I wanted to do no less than a great job here at the Museum. After a couple of weeks and a couple of projects completed, the bashfulness slowly but surely dissolved and my confidence grew as I built new, stronger connections with the Museum staff.

Working here independently has helped me grow both personally and professionally. Other than the summer gigs I would do with my uncle back home, I’ve never had the opportunity to really work in a professional environment. More than anything, I am thankful for the projects that forced me to step out of my comfort zone. I remember the first project that allowed me to utilize my basic photography skills. There was a costume contest along with a jazzMetal Sculptures 2-blog event and it was my job to get pictures of all of the festivities. This was my first time shooting an event and the very thought of moving around so many people put butterflies in my stomach. Regardless, I completed the task given to me. In retrospect, there were things I could have done better, but I did learn things from that experience that I can apply in the future.

In a nutshell, being an intern for the MMFA has been a great learning experience. It feels as though I’ve become a part of the family here. I give so much thanks to my wonderful internship supervisor, Cynthia Milledge, Public Relations Director, for giving me this opportunity.

Park Sculpture1-blogLeKendrick Taylor
MMFA Intern

Note: The staff at the MMFA are so proud of LeKendrick and all of his contributions during his 13 week internship. He is an outstanding young man with a bright future in the graphic arts field.

 

 

 

 

Docent Road Trip to Birmingham

2015docenttrip1.blogDespite a foggy start, 20 docents and MMFA staff headed to the Birmingham Museum of Art on Friday morning, March 20. We were greeted by Dr. Robert Schindler, Curator of European Art, who led a fascinating tour of Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries, an exhibition of small-format 17th-century paintings from the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age. The group discovered information about each work in the exhibition, the time frame in which they were created, and about the installation process itself. One of the highlights of the exhibition is Vermeer’s Girl with the Red Hat. As one of only three-dozen works created by Vermeer, this work is both incredibly rare and a perfect example of Vermeer and his craft. Dr. Schindler recounted how x-ray and neutron reflectography revealed that underneath Vermeer’s image lies a bust length portrait of a man with a wide brimmed hat. Before painting directly on the old portrait, Vermeer turned it upside down to avoid being excessively influenced by the image.

After the tour we had a delicious lunch at Oscar’s at the Museum with several of the BMA’s docents and educators, setting the stage for some great conversation.

Jumping back into our cars, the docents headed a few miles down the road to the new Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This impressive zinc & glass building opened in 2014 and houses the Department of Art & Art History as well as gallery space.  Registrar, Christina McClellan gave the docents insight into the two exhibitions currently there. Works of cut and painted paper by Michael Velliquette provided an atmosphere of color and whimsy. Mr. Velliquette was also the juror for the student exhibition in the next gallery space. The 39th Annual Student Juried Exhibition contains 55 works by student artists. It was great to see the talent, diversity, and imagination of these up and coming young artists!

All agreed it was a great day!

Gloria Simons
MMFA Volunteer Coordinator and Docent

 

The MMFA Becomes a Classroom for Students Learning About the Civil Rights Era

Speaker_221-blog

History came to life recently for some area middle and high-school students. On Saturday, March 14, Jaida Boardley and nearly 80 others came to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts to take part in Remembering the March, an arts event and teen essay contest.

As she walked in the Museum she turned in an essay (which was required for admission to the event) and entered the Wilson auditorium. Minutes later, the Baldwin Middle Magnet student, and others came face to face with Sheyann Webb-Christburg. Christburg participated in the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 when she was only eight years old.

The now author and Civil Rights activist introduced the Disney movie, Selma, Lord, Selma, based on the book she co-authored and that bears the same name. Christburg told the crowd, “This movie has struck a chord with children across the country. You need to know young people were also involved in the March. ”

12 year-old Jaida admitted she had seen the movie before, but hearing it was based on the life of the woman now standing in her presence gave it a new meaning. Jaida said, “I was excited to see her.”DSC_0217-blog

After screening the movie, singer Eric Nettles performed the song So Amazing, and further set the stage for Christburg’s presentation. Christburg said to the youngsters, “You need to know you matter in the world. Be the best you can be and get a good education. I tell you this because that’s how Dr. King spoke to me. Develop a strong character. Let it be deeply embedded in you. ”

IMG_1667_blogIMG_1672_blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following a question-and-answer session, the young people walked into the MMFA’s galleries to view the exhibition History Refused to Die: Alabama’s African-American Self-Taught Artists in Context. There they received another kind of history lesson. Lonnie Holley, one of 15 artists featured in the exhibition, spoke with them about the sources of his painting, Carrying the Lighter Child, encouraging them to follow their dreams as he had his.

IMG_1677_blogRemembering the March is just one of the FREE programs being held at the Museum commemorating key events of the Civil Rights era. Thursday, April 3 at 6 P.M., the pubic is invited to attend a presentation by Montgomery businessman Loyd Howard. He will focus on his experiences during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in anticipation of the 60th anniversary later this year. Also, on Thursday, April 23 at 6 P.M., writer and editor Randall Williams, will explore the larger social and political context of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama.

Cynthia Milledge
Director of Marketing and Public Relations

 

 

 

 

 

History Marches On in Montgomery

EX.HRD-pano.blog

On Thursday, March 19, the Museum hosted an opening reception and lecture for our current exhibition History Refused to Die: Alabama’s African-American Self-Taught Artists in Context.  The exhibition was organized by the MMFA in collaboration with the Alabama Center for Contemporary Art in Mobile, the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, and Tinwood, LLC, in Atlanta, Georgia.   

HRD-3artsts.blogThe artists featured in this exhibition all worked in Alabama in the mid to late- twentieth century, and, with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March, it seemed there would never be a more appropriate time to present these works for Alabama audiences. A book published by Tinwood, LLC, also entitled History Refused to Die, documents the works and the theme of the project as a whole: an examination of the history of African-Americans in the state as seen through the eyes of these extraordinary artists.  (Pictured at left: Louisiana Bendolph, collector Bill Arnett, Thornton Dial, Sr. and Richard Dial) HRD-Minter.blog

Guests at the opening on Thursday evening had the rare pleasure of greeting six of the fifteen artists whose works are on view. They included Thornton Dial, Sr., his son Richard Dial, Charlie Lucas, Lonnie Holly, Joe Minter (at right), and quilt maker Louisiana Bendolph. It was a poignant moment in the history of Alabama art, since many of these artists are advanced in years, and, while their artwork has previously been exhibited in museums around the United States and overseas, they had never seen their art installed in an Alabama museum. This powerful and moving art reflects the larger context of the history of African-American culture in Alabama and the South, from slavery in the nineteenth century, to the migration from rural to urban centers in the twentieth century.  Using non-traditional materials such as metals, plastics, organic or plant-based material, these works bridge the gap between daily life and the world of art—demonstrating a profound respect for the process we today call “recycling,” but that the  artists see as a means to   link the present with a vibrant past.

HRD_Charlie2-blogHRD-Lonnie.blogThe Museum will be hosting a number of programs in conjunction with this exhibition including talks by Loyd Howard on Thursday, April 2, and a special audio-visual presentation by Randall Williams on Thursday, April 23.  We invite you to review all the programs listed in the calendar on the website, or call 244-4333 for more information.  Don’t miss this outstanding exhibition, and all the thought-provoking programs associated with it. (Shown above: Curator Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, Charlie Lucas, and Museum Director Mark Johnson; Lonnie Holley talking with Joe Minter.)

Margaret Lynne Ausfeld
Curator of Art

Bazaar d’Art 2015 was a record-breaking success! 

Bazaar-Lapsleys_blog   Bazaar1_blog

Ten days ago we held our biennial silent auction of pre-loved art and decor objects from some of the finest homes in Montgomery.  Three hundred twelve art items were donated from all over the River Region. The donation of 10 works by Selma artist John Lapsley certainly garnered the attention of southern art collectors.

The panoply of works of art was supplemented with sixteen unique experience packages. From being able to throw out the first pitch at a Biscuits game to hanging out with Ariel at Alabama Shakespeare’s Little Mermaid performance. We had once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at every bid card!

The committee, chaired by Courtney Kershaw worked hard to get the best donations ever, and with a 92% sales rate, we think she was wildly successful! The event ran smoothly with Lisa Capell chairing the logistics of the event with past chair Ashley White, fellow board member Gloria Simons and docent Lisa Newcomb.

Bazaar2_blogThe event raised in excess of $52,000 – our best ever. A heartfelt thank you to the committee for all their dedication to making Bazaar d’Art 2015 a smashing success.

Courtney Kershaw, Chair, Beth Acker, Lisa Capell, Ginny Cumbus, Mary Dunn, Bonner Engelhardt, Katharine Harris, Ann Hubbert, Lucy Jackson, Mahaley McInnes, Lisa Newcomb, Caroline Rosen, Gloria Simons, Melissa Tubbs, Malin Ulmer, Janet Waller, Heather Whitley, Laurie Weil, Ashley White, and Kelli Wise.

Jill Barry
Deputy Director

Bazaar d’Art will feature ten works by Selma painter John Lapsley

Lapsley_Flower_Market_BLOGFor those interested in collecting work by Southern artists, this year’s Bazaar d’Art will present a very rare opportunity to acquire paintings by the Selma artist John Lapsley (1915–2005). Lapsley was an important Alabama painter/printmaker whose works date from the 1930s into the early part of the twenty-first century. The works being offered in the MMFA’s biennial silent auction reflect his passionate interest in the style of the French Post-Impressionists such as Edouard Vuillard (French, 1868–1940), Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867–1947), and the great French modernist Henri Matisse (1869–1944). His bright, colorful, and light-filled compositions were inspired by the style of these artists, however his subject matter was typically taken from his hometown in Selma, or the landscape and cultural environment of the American South.

Paintings by John Lapsley have graced the walls of central Alabama homes for many years; he was a prolific artist who exhibited widely during his later career. However, it is very unusual for ten works of this quality to be offered at one time. This opportunity has been made possible by a very generous donation from the Estate of Betty Baldwin, and by Nancy Buzard, both long-time Museum supporters. Betty’s nieces—Marcia Weese, Shirley Weese Young, and Kate Weese—joined with Nancy to make this wonderful gesture in support of the Lapsley_Sailboats_blogMuseum’s programs and mission in memory of their aunt, who passed away last year. Betty and Nancy were friends of the artist, and most of the works offered were acquired by them around the time they were painted. This circumstance makes this opportunity even more unusual, as when purchased on the secondary market, there are often questions regarding a work’s origin or its condition.

The works will go on view Saturday, February 21, at 10:00 A.M. and remain open for silent bidding until the Bazaar d’Art cocktail party on Thursday, March 5, beginning at 7:00 P.M. You may buy advance tickets at this link or call 334-240-4333 for more information.

Margaret Lynne Ausfeld
Curator of Art

Invitation to the Ball Draws Hundreds of Guests

IMG_2005b_blogP1000909a_blog

Last Thursday night we held an Opening Reception for our Winter exhibitions with over 700 guests joining us for the first look at the new shows.  With Invitation to the Ball: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Fancy Dress Costumes and Reflections: African-American Life from the Myrna Colley-Lee Collection we are showcasing two remarkable women who collected significant objects representing the art of their times.  In the 1920s, Post was married to financier  E.F. Hutton and their lifestyle epitomized the Roaring Twenties. The costumes on view were worn to fundraising balls during the social season held every Spring in Palm Beach.

IMG_2014a_blogMyrna Colley-Lee’s collection represents her own world view, melding intimate scenes from black Americans’ daily lives with her own interests in textiles and in family life. This collection is a “reflection” of these interests, seen through artwork she purchased from some of the finest artists of the 20th century. Ms. Colley-Lee will be at the Museum on February 19th for a reception followed by a discussion of her collection with Curator of Art, Jennifer Jankauskas.  I hope you’ll join us.

P1000923a_blogP1000926a_blogIn conjunction with Reflections, the ARTWORKS gallery opened Life Reflections a student art show. We also opened the final hanging of the Rewind series with Rewind: Art of the 1980s and Canaletto’s Vedute Prints: An Exhibition in Honor of Adolph Weil, Jr.

Thank you to all who joined us last week and special thanksP1000922a_blog to our exhibition sponsors: Hyundai, Max Credit Union, Servisfirst Bank, Doug’s 2 Salon-Spa, Morgan Stanley, Dr. Marla Wohlman and John Crews, Laura and Mike Luckett, The Children of Jean and Bucks Weil, Winifred and Charles A. Stakley, Alatrust, Aliant Bank, and Regions.

Jill Barry
Deputy Director for Development

 

Conversations with New Docents

At the MMFA, docents are volunteer guides who attend in-depth training sessions in order to provide tour services for visitors the Museum.  They also participate in guest lectures, supplemental programs, and support the Museum by maintaining current Museum membership. They come from diverse backgrounds and careers, have different levels of experience with art, and exhibit a variety of fine talents. The positive and professional group of incoming docents for 2014–2015 has already started leading tours and integrating themselves into the fabric of the Museum. Conversations with these volunteers reveal their passion for learning about art, their enthusiasm for engaging with young people, and their enjoyment of interaction with other docents and Museum staff. They are people who are willing to go above and beyond to serve their community.  My conversations with the new docent class are summarized below.

 

 

Julie GoolsbyJulie_Goolsby-blog

Julie was motivated to become a docent when she noticed her third grade students’ responses to the paintings at the MMFA. She was impressed by their excitement at visiting the museum as well as their insightful interpretations of the artwork. Julie enjoys learning about different artists, talking about paintings, and meeting new friends. She loves children and is obviously very excited about participating in the docent program.

 

Phyllis_Hall-blogPhyllis Hall

Although Phyllis has no formal background in art, she has always loved and appreciated the beauty of art, whether traditional or unorthodox. Jeannette Siegers, a volunteer at MMFA, recognized Phyllis’ love of literature and encouraged her to come on board at the Museum. After taking an online look at the program, Phyllis contacted Alice Novak, who encouraged her to visit the Museum and to sit in on a discussion session. Phyllis enjoys the docent training, in particular hearing the stories behind the compositions, learning how different time periods of art history are reflected in the artists’ works, and mostly just learning in depth about art from a more technical standpoint.

 

 Andy HuffmanAndy_Huffman-blog

It was at MMFA’s annual FLIMP Festival in May 2014 that Andy and her mother found out about the docent program from Pam Moulton, a long-serving docent. Interested, they decided to come and sit in on a training session. They liked what they heard and saw. Andy has been drawing most of her life and started painting in the 8th grade, or for about ten years now. As a painter, she enjoys learning about art and gaining inspiration for new styles and new subject matter with which to experiment. Moreover, she enjoys interacting with her fellow trainees as well as with children and adults. Andy considers her style of painting realistic; however, she is becoming drawn to the impressionist style.

 

Dorothy_Johnson-blogDorothy Johnson

Dorothy worked as an auditor with the Federal Government while traveling with her husband Dennis, who spent 22 years as a Commander in the U.S. Navy. When they returned to Montgomery in 1992, she began working at the Alabama State Bar, retiring from that position in August of 2014. Her friend Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, MMFA’s Curator of Art, suggested that Dorothy consider becoming a docent. She enjoys the training, especially the historical lessons behind the art, and now finds herself reading a lot more about history.

 

Rosemary McKenzieRosemary_McKenzie-blog

As a child, Rosemary traveled with her parents a lot, and they always visited museums. In college, she took art history courses and went to Europe where she was exposed to the art there. Previously, she was a docent in Laurel, Mississippi and loved the experience. When she moved here, her next door neighbor suggested that, because Rosemary loved art, she should consider becoming a docent at MMFA. She loves learning and talking about art, taking it apart piece by piece and examining the details. Rosemary was impressed by how many people came to the Museum for the recent Holiday Open House.

 

Nancy_Moss-blogNancy Moss

Nancy had never thought about being a docent before she came to the Museum’s book club, Ekphrasis, and listened as docents were talking about their experiences. There definitely was an air of excitement and sincerity, so she decided to give it a try. Nancy enjoys learning about art, for she knew very little before. Having retired, she has more time to think about art. She believes the MMFA is truly a public place, reaching out to all people of different age groups.

 

Mary Lil OwensMaryLil_Owens-blog

Mary Lil took two art history courses during her senior year of college—as an afterthought. She has always loved art and that is one reason she was interested in becoming a docent. She enjoys the art history lectures and discussions, and seeing the artwork “up close and personal” is wonderful. The MMFA, she notes, offers many opportunities for people to get involved. Clearly, the Museum is here for the community. Formerly, Mary Lil was a high school English teacher, track coach, (she was on the track team in high school), and lawyer.

 

Laura_Roth-blogLaura Roth

At the MMFA’s Ekphrasis book club meetings and a couple of short courses, Laura met some docents who encouraged her to become involved in the program. Her two sisters love art, and she has visited several well-known museums. Participating in the docent program, Laura loves learning the history of the paintings and finds the stories interesting. For twenty-five years, she was a teacher of third and fourth graders.

 

Penny ThompsonPenny_Thompson-blog

A former school librarian, Penny has much experience working with students. Thus far in her training, she has presented some Outreach sessions and is amazed at what students have to say about the art. Penny considers it a pleasure to visit the public school classrooms because the children are excited about coming to the MMFA. She loves listening to Alice Novak’s lectures, and enjoys learning in such a beautiful environment.

 

Eleanor Lee
New Docent Liaison

Oh What Joy!

Oh Whay Joy!“Oh What Joy” was the theme of this year’s Docent Holiday Party. Docents are volunteer educators.  The theme exemplifies the joy docents bring not only to the public by opening up the wonder of art but to museum staff as well.  Their generosity of time and spirit is much appreciated.    

The Holiday Party began with cocktails, followed by a delightful dinner prepared by Jennie Weller Catering, and ended with gifts and door prizes.  As a special addition to the party, docents and staff sang Happy Birthday to Dot Jones, who recently turned 85.   Approximately 40 docents along with their guests attended the party.

Jill Byrd
Tour Coordinator

Holiday Open House 2014

HOH_2332blogOn the afternoon of Saturday, December 6th, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts was alive with music, laughter, song and good cheer as more than 1, 000 people celebrated the 19th annual Holiday Open House.

While the event was free, guests brought donations of food for the Montgomery Area Food Bank and toys for Toys for Tots to fill the barrels in the foyer.

HOH_528blogHorse and carriage rides took delighted guests through the park. Docents were on hand to lead discussions of several of the Museum’s exhibitions. Everyone enjoyed the musical performances by BTW Piano students, Carr Middle School, Phillip Perry Private Lesson Students, Brewbaker Middle School & Trinity High School.HOH_2261blog

Sounds of “there he is!” could be heard as children spotted Santa on his huge red chair waiting to listen to their wishes.

HOH_2308blogChildren of all ages left the studios with a variety of art projects: decorated reindeer food bags, ornaments made by painting juice cans lids, centerpieces created from fruit juice cans covered with holiday wrap holding spruce & holly while the frames of slides of landscapes, portraits & still lifes were decorated and three attached together.

Over 120 dozen cookies made by volunteers, staff, Chappy’s Deli & The Fresh Market were consumed along with gallons of lemonade and hot cider.

All agreed this was a great way to get into the holiday spirit!

Gloria Simons
Volunteer Coordinator

 

 

 

 

Older Posts:

Page 2 of 612345...Last »