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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.

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

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.  Wright is a member of the American Quilt Study Guild and curator of Our Quilted Past, an exhibit of Alabama feed sack quilts and Bemis Bros. Bag Company.

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 Scott Meyer
Thursday, March 30, 6 P.M.

Dr. Scott Meyer, Head of Ceramics, University of Montevallo, and author of With Fire: Richard Hirsch: a Life Between Chance and Design will reflect upon his work. The program is offered in conjunction with the exhibition Nature, Tradition, and Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection.

Topics of discussion will include the meeting of Eastern and Western cultures and the ways in which the traditional Japanese arts influence contemporary art. Dr. Meyer will examine how as citizens of today we can draw upon tradition without losing our contemporary view points. He will also address the collaborative nature of his work and emphasis on materials. Join us for an evening of insights.

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

MAG Museum Exhibition Juror’s Critique
Saturday, April 29, 10 A.M.

Hear from juror Jim Neel about the varied expressions by local artists on view in the 42nd Montgomery Art Guild Museum Exhibition.  Examine how the artists’ choices shaped the works that were ultimately chosen to be included in the exhibition and to receive awards.  A practicing sculptor, Neel is a Professor of Art at Birmingham Southern College, where he has served as Chair of the Department of Art and Art History and Director of the Durbin Gallery.

An Afternoon with Mary Lynne Levy
Sunday, April 30, 2 P.M.

Along with her many civic contributions, MAG Featured Artist Mary Lynne Levy has long been active in Montgomery as an artist and supporter of the arts.  She describes herself as a colorist; Levy’s expressive works, which feature local and distant subjects, adorn a favorite spot in many a Montgomery home and office.  Join us to hear from the artist about her career and her work, including selections from her own home, on view in the 42nd MAG Museum Exhibition Featured Artist Mary Lynne Levy.


College Programs

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, an 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.


Film: Girl With a Pearl Earring
Thursday, April 20, 5:30 P.M.

Have you ever imagined Vermeer’s studio, or how he created such strikingly quiet images in the midst of a busy household?  Tracey Chevalier depicts Vermeer’s daily life in her novel, The Girl With a Pearl Earring, in which she imagines how Vermeer’s famous painting came to be.  The movie by the same name name features Colin Firth as the modern master and Scarlett Johansson as his model . . .  Enjoy the film (by popular request) at the Museum with an introduction by Curator of Education Alice Novak and a brief discussion following the film.  The Museum will provide complimentary popcorn, and beverages will be available for purchase.

Film: Lust for Life
Thursday, June 15, 5:30 P.M.

Many museum visitors requested a movie about Impressionist Vincent Van Gogh. Outreach Coordinator Laura Bocquin invites you to enjoy the 1956 classic about the artist, Lust for Life, in which Kirk Douglas plays Van Gogh and Anthony Quinn plays Paul Gauguin. While new findings about Van Gogh’s life have surfaced in the over 50 years since the movie was made, the captivating reflections upon the artist’s powerful expressions and struggles for peace, recognition, and relationships remain relevant.  Bocquin will host the brief introduction and follow up discussion.  The Museum will provide complimentary popcorn, and beverages will be available for purpose.


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 Anglo 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
Tuesdays, 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.

Short Course: On Exhibit
Tuesdays, April 18, 25, and May 2, noon

Enjoy a series of Tuesday noon gallery talks led by Curators on the Museum’s temporary exhibitions.

April 18
Nature, Tradition, & Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection

April 25
Technique and Vision: A Snapshot of Photography’s Evolution

May 2
Between Words and Images

Short Course: The Work of Auguste Rodin
Tuesdays at noon June 6, 13, and 20, noon

During the summer months, the Museum will enjoy several sculptures by Auguste Rodin on loan from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation. As is evident in his work, Rodin was both a radical innovator and a traditional sculptor in his own right. In this short course, learn about the artist’s expressive figurative bronzes, examine the examples on view, and explore Rodin’s influence of American artists. Quoting the Rodin Museum in Paris “His genius was to express inner truths of the human psyche, and his gaze penetrated beneath the external appearance of the world.”

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)


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

Stained Glass Workshop
For beginners as well as those with prior experience working with glass, this course will teach all the steps in creating a stained glass window. Participants will start with design, color selection, construction, and glass-cutting and end with soldering techniques. Students with more experience will be encouraged to develop their own patterns. All glass working tools and most materials are
provided. Class size is limited to eight students. So sign up early!

Instructor: Gloria Simons
Time: 6 to 8:30 P.M.
Thursdays: April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11 and 25
Cost: $200 members/ $245 non-members for the series



Photography Workshop
In connection with the exhibition Technique and Vision, this class will focus on tips and secrets of using your camera, how to use Photoshop, and seeing the visual world in new ways. Whether you are a novice or seasoned behind the camera anyone will find useful tips and skills from this course. Participants are encouraged to bring their own cameras and laptops for this class. Class size is limited to 15 students.

Instructor: Warren Simons
Time: 2 to 5 P.M.
Saturdays: April 22, 29, May 13
Cost: $40 members/$60 non-members for the series

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.