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Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

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Category: General

Native American Family Day Coming Soon

EV.NativeAM6BlogWe are excited about the third annual Native American Family Day that the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts will be co-hosting from 1 to 4 P.M., Saturday, March 12 in partnership with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. We will once again have hands-on crafts for children of all ages. Basket weaving and pinch-pot making are just some of the activities you and your family can enjoy while you are here!EV.NativeAM2blog

There will be live Stomp Dance performances, the Pow Wow Club will perform, and Robert Thrower will once again captivate all with his amazing storytelling. Unlike last year, all crafting activities and demonstrations will take place on the back lawn of the Museum. We will be showing the movie A Place Called Poarch in the Rotunda along with images from the Faces campaign.

This event is FREE and open to the public. There will be multiple performances throughout the day and craft making activities will run throughout the afternoon. Native American Family Day will happen rain or shine, so make sure to mark your calendars now for what promises to be a great event celebrating our State’s Native American culture!

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Blake Rosen
Special Events Coordinator

Adventures in Collecting American Art— “Albano, Italy” (ca. 1874-1876)

Almost exactly thirty years ago, we contracted what turned out to be a benign but formidable condition that proved only slightly hazardous to our financial health: we began to collect American art.
Charles and Babette Wampold, 2006

Inness.Blog This ironic observation was written by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wampold for an essay titled “A Passion for Collecting American Art”  in 2006.  The MMFA’s accompanying exhibition, Adventures in Collecting Art, was an assemblage of twenty-seven works, including twelve the Wampolds had previously gifted the Museum’s collection over a period of twenty-four years.  It was a joyous celebration of this remarkable couple who devoted their time, talents, and resources to educating themselves, and then locating the historically important works of American art that eventually graced their Montgomery home. (They first exhibited their collection at the MMFA in 1984–the photograph below was taken at that opening.)

(above: George Inness (American, 1825-1894), Albano, Italy, ca. 1874-1876), oil on canvas, Gift of Babette L. Wampold in memory of Charles H. Wampold, 2015.16.)

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 After Charles’ death in 2010, Babette elected in 2013 to make a long-term loan of the remainder of their collection, with the intention of eventually donating their holdings to the Museum and the Montgomery community. Late this past year she identified the magnificent George Inness landscape Albano, Italy (ca. 1874-1876) as her gift to the MMFA for the year 2015.  This canvas was one of their favorites; it had graced the Wampold’s dining room for many years and it now has pride of place in our permanent collection gallery devoted to nineteenth- century painting. (right: Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wampold, 1984)

Nature was George Inness’s major muse, but his art training was heavily reliant on the European academic tradition— both his techniques and compositions were influenced by his exposure to European landscape. Lake Albano is a small crater lake in the Alban Hills, about 15 miles southeast of Rome, near the Pope’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo.  During this period in his career, Inness’s practice was to make drawings, watercolors, and oil sketches on site that sometimes served as sources for other paintings.  However, he also exhibited and sold loosely sketched canvases such as Albano, Italy as finished paintings.  As a component of his larger body of work, Inness’s gestural style seen here more fully suggests atmosphere and mood.

The MMFA board and staff continue to appreciate the connoisseurship and generosity of Charles and Babette Wampold. Works such as this George Inness that were once comfortably situated in the Wampolds’ home have now found their permanent residence at the MMFA, increasing the breadth and depth of the Museum’s collection of American paintings and sculpture.

An Expressive Evening

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An Expressive Evening, organized by the MUSES (MMFA’s teen council), was a chance for local teens to hang out at the Museum and enjoy the myriad talents of their peers.  The inspiring event included the following

ExpressiveEvening blog7- Slideshows of student artwork and Sensational Still Life, the exhibition of student art currently on view
– Vishwadha Gunda from LAMP who performed traditional Indian dance
– Mary Elise Thornton, an operatic singer from BTW, who sang “Caro Mio Ben”
– A commercial break by the BTW Musical Theater Group
– Performances by Festival Ballet Arts, including a dance based on a Degas painting
– Speed painting set to an acoustic duet by students at LAMP
– An original poem based on Ford Crull’s In the Realm of the Fantastic by Sarah Phillips of Home School
– Jennifer and Bailey Vinson of Home School performing in the Rotunda, including an original song

A portion of Sarah Phillips’ poem “Imagination” about In the Realm of the Fantastic encapsulates the spirit of the evening:

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“Filling us with visions in the dark of the night,
Pulling us away from our daily plights,
It is the spark that makes our hearts ignite,
The ever-changing, never-ending,
Wonderfully transcending, imagination.”

Alice Novak
Curator of Education

 

Gifts of the Ida Belle Young Acquisition Fund

ShortCourseIdaBelleYoungEleanorWho 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. ShortCourseIdaBelleYoungA.FreemanFollowing 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.

ShortCourseIdaBelleYoung#4On 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).ShortCourseIdaBelleYoung

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)

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Eleanor Lee
Museum Docent and Docent Council Secretary

 

 

Reflections on the 60th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

AnExpressiveEveningRosaParksIn partnership with the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, the MMFA welcomed students from Alabama State University, Auburn University at Montgomery, Huntingdon College, and Tuskegee University who presented Honoring the Montgomery Bus Boycott: An Evening of Artistic Celebration in the MMFA Wilson Auditorium.

After a historical introduction by Donna Beisel of the Rosa Parks Library and MuseumMontgomery’s university and college community lauded the efforts of Rosa Parks and others towards freedom through art, song, dance, literature, and reflection – representing the power of art and the vital role of art as a reflection of society.An Expressive Evening

The Museum is grateful to our partners and performers:
Dr. Felicia Bell and Donna Beisel, Rosa Parks Library and Museum, Troy University (top)

Dr. Courtney Griffin and the Dancers of Tuskegee University  (on the right)

Tyrone Hayes and Trebled Soul, Alabama State University (below)

Kristi McDaniel and the Voices of Huntingdon  Huntingdon College (bottom right)

Dr. Jan Hogan and College of Education Teacher Candidates, Auburn University at Montgomery (bottom)

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“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” ~ Rosa Parks

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Alice Novak
and Madeline Burkhardt
Assistant Curator of Education and Volunteer Coordinator

 

 

Thank You

Thank You for GivingThe Museum wants to thank everyone who contributed to the MMFA’s End of Year Campaign.

Your donations helped the MMFA end 2015 on a high note. The original fundraising goal for December was to raise $10,000 in order to maximize the $10,000 match graciously pledged to the Museum by Corrina and Barry Wilson.

Corrina and Barry have been major supporters of the Museum for many years and have contributed a $10,000 match to the MMFA’s End of Year fund for the last four. Their generous contribution is a wonderful example of the giving spirit.

I am proud to announce that we were able to significantly exceed our original goal. Thanks to overwhelming community support the MMFA raised more than $50,000!

These gifts help the Museum meet its mission of collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting art of the highest quality for the enrichment and enjoyment of the public.

Donations directly support the Museum’s mission by funding

  • relevant temporary exhibitions,
  • important art acquisitions,
  • renowned artists to teach area youth and adults,
  • And free admission for more than 160,000 museum visitors each year.

Thank you again to everyone who helped make the Museum’s End of Year Campaign a success.

Find out what’s happening at the museum this spring!

Jen Eitzmann
Development Officer

Donna Pickens is Moving On

BlogonDonnaDespite pleas from her co-workers, Donna Pickens retired from her more-than-fulltime position as Assistant Curator of Education for ARTWORKS, School, Family & Children’s Programs at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in December.

For 11 years, she designed the Museum’s studio programs and supervised the staff that delivered countless hands-on art lessons for children and adults. Donna co-authored the Museum’s well-respected fifth-grade tour curriculum, and she helped to organize family days and special events like Holiday Open House and the Flimp Festival. In addition, she managed the Museum’s ARTWORKS hands-on galleries (for which she created some of the exhibits), and she coordinated dozens of ARTWORKS corridor exhibitions of student art that were always cued to the Museum’s temporary exhibitions in order to help students explore the themes, techniques, and materials on display in the Museum’s galleries. Twice the U. S. Department of Education chose student art from Donna’s programs for a national exhibition in Washington, DC that was co-sponsored by the Association of Art Museum Directors.

In recent years Donna created a new, yearlong, artist-in-residence program for third and fourth graders at Wares Ferry Road Elementary using pilot-project funding from the Hearst Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. She designed (and staffed and supervised) a solid program that utilizes Visual Thinking Strategies to improve students’ creativity, perceptions, and verbal abilities. She also expanded the Museum’s outreach programs, adding one for the Alabama Department of Youth Services at Mt. Meigs that officials now seek to duplicate at other facilities.BlogPost.DonnaP

Donna’s engagement with adult artists was similarly deep and broad. She taught and coordinated countless evening and weekend workshops, including ARTtalk (with the Montgomery Art Guild), and Art Ed Central (with and for local art teachers). She has also coordinated a robust range of lessons for the annual Alabama Art Education Association meetings at the MMFA, and she has been active in national arts education organizations as well.

Museum director Mark Johnson said, “We will all miss Donna and her creativity, perseverance, and passion for art and art education. We are grateful for her decade of service to this Museum and our community and we wish her the best in her retirement.”

Donna earned an MFA at Georgia State University and taught art in Atlanta for nearly three decades before moving to Montgomery. She is an accomplished sculptor with public art commissions and an artist who has mastered a wide variety of techniques and materials. She looks forward to flexing her artistic muscles in retirement, while spending more time with family and friends.

Fortunately for Museum staff and visitors, Donna has agreed to continue working a couple of days a week for several months to sustain the popular Museum programs we have all come to expect. So, please wish Donna a happy retirement when you see her. But don’t dawdle. She’s got grandchildren to see and art to make.

Michael Panhorst
Curator of Art

Give a Community Gift

2015-12-05 15.49.18 MMFA GivingIt’s December, which means that people are looking to donate to charitable causes for a couple of reasons.

1) They are in the holiday spirit and they want to give freely of their time and money this time of year.

2) The end of 2015 is quickly approaching so it’s the last chance some have to make charitable contributions to causes they care about AND take advantage of the tax deductions that come with them.

Whichever category you fall into, we hope you will consider giving a gift to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

For 85 years, the Museum has been a cultural focal point in the City of Montgomery. With free admission, the Museum has been a gathering place in the community. It’s a place for young mothers to come and entertain their children for an afternoon without breaking the bank. It’s a place where high school students can come to learn about the history of art and can even earn college credits while they’re at it through the Museum’s A.P. Art History class. On opening nights, the Museum becomes a meeting place for the curious minds of Montgomery.

For those who can’t make it to the MMFA, the staff and volunteers bring the wonder and the knowledge of the Museum to underserved Montgomery area neighborhoods. These outreach classes teach students to use artistic exercises to work through emotions in a safe and healthy environment which ultimately leads to a positive and lasting impact on behavior.

The MMFA strives to be a place for the curious to gather regardless age, race, income, or social status, so this holiday season keep the Museum close to your heART and give a gift your whole community can enjoy. Make a donation to the MMFA today.

20151106_130225 for blogI heART the MMFA because…
There is beauty everywhere.. the building, paintings, sculptures, grounds, and people. Montgomery Alabama is very lucky to have this fabulous museum.
Jules

 

Jennifer Eitzmann
Development Officer

Holiday Open House—Welcome the Season at the MMFA

HOH.BlogJoin your neighbors and friends at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts for Holiday Open House, an afternoon of merriment and holiday cheer. This annual event will be held next Saturday, December 5, from 1 to 4 P.M. This is a family-friendly tradition filled with seasonal art activities for children, musical performances provided by schools in the River Region, and a whole lot more.

HOH.Blog.1Of course Santa will be on hand to hear what’s on each child’s secret “list,” and pose for that special picture. Take advantage of what is expected to be beautiful weather by enjoying a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Museum grounds. Pick up a festive cookie or two as you sample some hot apple cider or lemonade. Children of all ages can take part in holiday art projects and make something to take home.  They might paint a one-of-a-kind plastic ornament in the Museum studios, or make traditional Reindeer Feed Bags. Our amazing docents will be on hand to answer questions you may have as you explore our permanent and special exhibitions including Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman and Retooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection.HOH.Blog.4

Remember, this event is the Museum’s FREE gift to the community. In return, we hope everyone attending will bring non-perishable items for the Montgomery Area Food Bank, and unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots to fill the bins we have located in the foyer. Your gifts will make the holiday season a bit brighter for local families in need.

So, come by this Saturday afternoon and experience Holiday Open House.  It’s a great way to kick off your own celebration of the Season!HOH.Blog.3

Cynthia Milledge
Director of  Public RelationsHOH.Blog.2

 

What is #GivingTuesday?

Blog.Giving.1We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals; Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company, or your organization to give a little bit more—share, inspire, make a difference.

Of course if you need help figuring out where you can donate your time or money, we want you to consider the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. When you make a gift to MMFA #GivingTuesday, your donation will be matched by philanthropists Corinna and Barry Wilson. In addition, because our community provides  the majority of operating costs for the Museum through the City of Montgomery, your gift can be used for the stuff that really has an immediate impact!

For example, your money will provide educational programs both here at the Museum and in underserved areas of the community like the Alabama Department of Youth Services’ Mt. Meigs Campus, and at E.D. Nixon Community Center. Your gifts will also be used to present exciting special exhibitions like Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman. Additionally, private funds support the Museum’s important core mission—care of our permanent collections, as well as the scholarship that enhances our ability to utilize the collections for students and other visitors.

Most importantly, your donations continue to enable the MMFA to remain a free attraction to Montgomery area residents and visitors from around the U.S. and the world. This allows all families to enjoy new cultural experiences regardless of income.

Are you looking to volunteer in order to serve or make a difference? Check out these amazing volunteer opportunities at the Museum.Ants.1

This season, keep the most authentic and truly meaningful holiday spirit in your heART, and find a way to give back to your community on #GivingTuesday. We hope when you’re making those plans, you’ll put the MMFA at the top of your list!

Jen Eitzmann
Development Officer

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