Nicola Marschall and the Walker Family at Cedar Grove
April 03 through June 20, 2010
In 1865, Prussian-born artist Nicola Marschall painted a full-length, posthumous portrait of a Civil War officer of the Confederate Army, First Lieutenant J. Mack Walker, C.S.A. The Museum acquired this work as a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hopson Owen in 1938. Museum staff members have been researching this painting—the artist and sitter— for a number of years, utilizing both scholarly resources as well as local and family histories. This exhibition is a visual summation of this research, which has established connections among the artist, the subject’s family and their ancestral home, Cedar Grove near Faunsdale, Alabama. The portraitist, Nicola Marschall, was an itinerant artist who lived at Cedar Grove prior to the Civil War, and for a period after the War when he painted portraits of members of the Walker family. The exhibition will bring together family portraits, historical artifacts, photographic documentation and the lore of this plantation-centered family and site to tell the story of art in the lives of West Alabamians in the 19th century. It will reveal relationships and the dynamics of art patronage within the context of this remarkable period in Alabama history.
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Photography of installation at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts