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Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

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Lectures and Gallery Talks



Lectures and Gallery Talks, which often explore the themes of temporary exhibitions, are free and open to the public.


2017 Fleischman Lecture: From Bed to Wall: Quilts as Art
Thursday, January 26, 7 P.M.

Following the opening of Sewn Together: Two Centuries of Alabama Quilts, Jennifer Swope, Assistant Curator, David and Roberta Logie Department of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, will explore the work of Alabama and other American quilters in the context of their transformation from bed covers to art. Drawing upon her recent exhibition and catalog Quilts and Color, the Pilgrim/Roy Collection, Swope will discuss the Alabama quilts on view, examining how these treasured textiles relate to the larger history of the recognition of quilts as art.

The Fleischman Lecture Series is sponsored by the Carolyn and Winton Blount Endowment in honor of Larry Fleischman, a dynamic specialist and leader in the field of American art. As president of Kennedy Galleries of New York, Fleischman played a role in many innovative ventures, raising international awareness of issues concerning American art. He served as a member of the Fine Arts Advisory Committee of the White House, co-founded the Archives of American Art (now part of the Smithsonian), and founded and published The American Art Journal. During the 1950s, along with his wife, Mr. Fleischman amassed one of the nation’s earliest collections of significant American art.

Gallery Talk and Demonstration with Chris Greenman
Thursday, February 2, 6 P.M.

Expert potter and Associate Professor of Art at Alabama State University, Dr. Chris Greenman will present a gallery talk in the exhibition Nature, Tradition, Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection. After the enriching discussion, participants are invited to the Orientation Circle where beverages will be available for purchase. The evening will finish with a delightful demonstration by Dr. Greenman, who will create a beautiful clay piece in Japanese tradition.

To learn about continuing in a workshop with Dr. Greenman, see Studio Classes.

Offered at the Department of Archives and History in Conjunction with Sewn Together Food for Thought: The Mount Ida Quilt Project: Three Centuries, Two Quilts, One Community
Thursday, March 16, 12 noon

Sarah Bliss Wright will speak in the Joseph M. Farley Alabama Power Auditorium at the Archives on the Mount Ida Quilt, on view in Sewn Together.

Quilting with Ellen Baker
Saturday, March 18, 10 A.M.

Enjoy an engaging gallery discussion on quilting techniques and traditions led by Ellen Baker, followed by a book signing for her book 1-2-3 Quilt.

To learn about continuing in a workshop with Ms. Baker, see Studio Classes.

An Evening with Collector Gordon Brodfurhrer
Thursday, March 30, 6 P.M.

Intrigued by contemporary artists’ interpretation of traditional ceramic techniques and representations of the natural world, Gordon Brodfuehrer has amassed an incredible collection of innovative works currently on view in Nature, Tradition, and Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection.  The exhibition also includes beautiful photographs of the Japanese landscape by Taijiro Ito on view alongside select ceramic pieces highlighting the links between the two.  Brodfuehrer has traveled extensively in Japan, visited many studios, and worked with scholars and experts to guide his acquisitions.

Join us for a dialogue and an evening of insights into how Brodfueherer formed his collection, his experiences with artists, and his adventures in Japan.


College Programs

Putting Together the Pieces: Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” and Quilting Tradition, co-hosted by Alabama State University
Thursday, February 16, 6 P.M.

Dr. Jacqueline Trimble, Chairperson of the Department of Languages and Literatures,  and Dr. Catherine Gubernatis Dannen, Assistant Professor of English of Alabama State University, will lead a gallery talk in the exhibition Sewn Together: Two Centuries of Alabama Quilts.  They will draw upon Alice Walker’s famous story “Everyday Use” in which quilts are a symbol of African American identity. We will examine both the symbolism and context of the story alongside the quilts on the walls that were made by Alabamians and intended for everyday use.

Why I’m Not a Painter, I’m a Poet, co-hosted by Alabama State University
Thursday, March 16, 7 PM

Enjoy an evening of original poetry and prose composed in response to View of Montgomery on 1872 paintings in the MMFA collection by an unknown artist. Featured writers will read unique works of literature inspired by the Museum’s treasure, and audience members will be invited to select their favorite work of literature and to suggest works of art to be used as inspiration for future readings.



basquiatFilm: Basquiat
Thursday, February 23, 5:30 P.M.

Layered with symbols, text, graffiti-like expressions, and references to other creative minds, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s paintings broke auction records for work by an African-American artist and remain highly collectible today. Basquiat, written and directed by painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel, tells the story of the artist’s short, tragic life and his meteoric success.

Curator Jennifer Jankauskas will introduce the historic context and the film with a brief discussion following. Beverages will be available for purchase. Popcorn will be served.

Book Club

ED.bookclub.7EKPHRASIS: A Monthly Book Club About Art (for Museum Members)

Ekphrasis is a monthly book club devoted to the history of art. Each month, we feature a work of fiction or nonfiction that covers periods ranging from the ancient world to the art of today. For this unique program, staff members make presentations to provide a visual context for the topics discussed.  Check out the list of upcoming featured books! Book club meets on Wednesdays at noon.  To reserve lunch from Café M, call the Education Secretary at 334.240.4365. Payment must be received by 10 A.M. the Fridays before the book club meets.

Ekphrasis is a free program for Museum members (click here to join the Museum.)


Collectors Society

Join us for Collectors Society this year!

This special group for Museum members is enjoyable for everyone who collects art or loves the Museum’s collection. The fee is $300 annually, which covers all programs, meals and transportation. Contact Alice Novak or call 240-4361 with any questions.

Check out this year’s calendar of events or sign up today to become a member.


Short Course

Short courses meet on Tuesdays at noon and are free and open to the public.

Short Course: Alabama Quilts
Tuesdays, February 7, 14, 21, 28, noon

Join us for this short course to learn more about Alabama quilts and explore the exhibition Sewn Together: Two Centuries of Alabama Quilts. Throughout our state’s history, quilting has brought communities together.  Now the MMFA and the Archives have paired quilts from our collections representing similar themes, patterns, and techniques in works created across various times, places, classes, and racial lines. The course sessions are described below.

February 7
Mary Elizabeth Johnson Huff and Carole King, co-directors of the Alabama Quilt Book Project, will present an overview of the Angle and African-American quilting traditions in the state and highlight a few recent discoveries.

February 14 and 21
Exhibition co-curators Margaret Lynne Ausfeld and Ryan Blocker will address the pairs of quilts on view in Sewn Together: Two Centuries of Alabama Quilts.

February 28
Margaret Lynne Ausfeld will explore the widely recognized and influential quilts of Gee’s Bend.


Short Course: Pairs and Partners
Tuesday, March 14, 21, 12 noon

In this short course, hear from Museum Curators about why they have selected various works of art to be viewed together in the first in a series of exhibitions of Pairs and Partners.  The theme for the pairs selected for the show is chiaroscuro.  Composed of the Italian words for light and dark respectively, the use of chiaroscuro (or dramatic lights and darks) is a description of the formal quality of light in a work of art, with which the metaphoric qualities of light are closely associated.  Light and shadow can serve to accentuate emotional content, reveal or conceal certain elements of a scene, or even represent a mysterious or supernatural force at work.  Hear from the curators about the works of art they have selected, as they compare and contrast two uses of chiaroscuro.


Drop-ins welcome, Registration preferred. To register, contact Brandy Morrison at 334-240-4365,

Studio Classes

Studio classes are available for teens and adults throughout the year. Classes offer instruction in a variety of art mediums, including digital media.

Adults (ages 14 and older)

Clay Workshop with Chris Greenman
The first session of the workshop will be open to participants, their guests, and other Museum members. On February 2 expert potter and Associate Professor of Art at Alabama State University Dr. Chris Greenman will present a gallery talk in the exhibition Nature, Tradition, Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection. After the enriching discussion, participants will be invited to the Orientation Circle where beverages will be available for purchase. The evening will finish with a delightful demonstration by Dr. Greenman, who will create a beautiful clay piece in Japanese tradition.

In remaining two sessions of this unique workshop, Dr. Greenman will lead participants in creating Japanese-inspired items intended for daily use, guiding them through making a sushi plate, a tokuri-sake server, and a sake cup or teabowl! After the pieces have been bisque fired, students will return to complete their sets by decorating them with glazes safe for everyday use.
All materials provided.
Instructor: Chris Greenman
Gallery Talk: 6 to 8 P. M.; Thursday, February 2
Workshop Time and Dates: 6 to 8 P.M.; Thursdays, February 9 and March 2
Workshop Cost: $90 members/$120 nonmembers


Quilting Workshop
This weekend workshop will begin with an engaging discussion on quilting techniques and traditions led by Ellen Baker, which will be followed by a book signing for her book 1-2-3 Quilt. Next participants will move to the studio for quilt related activities emphasizing the contrast between traditional pattern techniques and improvisational quilting. The product outcomes may range from wall hangings to pillows to trivets, depending on the individual interests of the participants! All materials provided.
Instructor: Ellen Baker
Time and Date: 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.; Saturday, March 18
Cost: $90 members/$120 nonmembers


Tuition cost will be refunded if a class is canceled.
For a full refund, cancellations must be made NO LATER THAN 2 WEEKS BEFORE
the class, workshop, or camp begins. After that time a 25%
administrative fee will be charged.




This unique program, designed for artists and art lovers alike, has been celebrating the work of Montgomery area artists for over 25 years. Sign up for a new season of six opportunities to view outstanding artwork and receive feedback about your own work.  ARTtalk meets on select Thursday evenings in the Museum Library.

Dates: January 19, March 23, May 25, July 27, September 28, November 16
Time: 6 to 8 P.M.
Cost: $20.00 for Museum or Art Guild Members, $35.00.

Download the ARTtalk brochure here. Call Brandy Morrison at 334.240.4365 or email to register.

Junior Executive Board

Jr.Exec.Board-1The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts founded a Junior Executive Board in Summer 2011 to promote membership to and build awareness about the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts among young professionals in the River Region.  The Junior Executive Board targets community arts enthusiasts ages 25 to 40 and holds an annual fundraiser each fall called Art in Concert.  The group also founded Mixed Media, arts focused after-hours events throughout the year; in 2012.  Resumes are solicited in the fall of each year and service on the Junior Executive Board runs from January to December.  The 2015 JEB President is Mr. C.J. Hincy. To learn how you can be a part of JEB contact Development Office at 334.240.4350 or Email.


ED.docent-tourThe docent volunteer program is a year-long program that prepares docents to lead tours for students; including experiences in the galleries, studios, and ARTWORKS.  Docents also lead adult tours, offsite presentations, puppet shows, and public programs.

Teaching credentials or artistic backgrounds are not required. The Museum will supply the necessary training to effectively lead dynamic learning experiences for all ages. The docent program is also supplemented by a website that offers information about the program and the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions.

Prospective Docents are:

  • Enthusiastic, flexible, and friendly
  • Eager to learn about art and engage others in discussions about art
  • Ready to be the Museum’s ambassador to the public

If you are interested in becoming a Docent Volunteer, please fill out the docent application.

To learn more, call Jill Byrd, Tour Coordinator at 334.240.4359 or visit the Docent Volunteer website.