A group of some 85 excited participants assembled at the MMFA on Saturday morning, June 20, to learn more about the visual art created by Montgomery-native Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (1900–1948). Although she is chiefly recognized in tandem with her novelist/husband F. Scott Fitzgerald as one of America’s first international celebrity couples, the crowd was in attendance to see a collection of her artwork now held by the MMFA.
Her two hometown museums teamed up to recognize Zelda’s achievements as an artist in her own right, and to celebrate her creativity. We were delighted to partner with the Fitzgerald Museum to create this program, particularly as we get many requests over the period of a year from visitors, both local and those traveling through Montgomery, to see her work. Clearly the response indicates the fascination that this famous couple still inspires today.
The program began with refreshments that included Southern biscuits and peaches, which were two favorite foods that reminded Zelda of her roots when she lived outside of Alabama. Willie Thompson, Executive Director of the Fitzgerald museum (pictured left), gave an introductory talk about Zelda’s life and focused on her reputation for youthful exuberance, as well as the challenges she met in later life as she suffered with chronic mental illness. I followed with a discussion of the watercolor paintings by the artist, now on view in the MMFA’s Weil Print Study until August 23. This is a rare opportunity for the public to have access to them, since paintings on paper are some of the most fragile media to exhibit due to their sensitivity to light and heat.
We want to thank Willie, the supporters of the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, and our own Curator of Education for Adult Programs, Alice Novak, for their planning and coordination of the event. We hope that everyone who attended has a better appreciation for Zelda Fitzgerald the artist, and for her passionate creativity. Come to the Museum for a summer lunch in our Café M before August 23 and see these works for yourself.
Margaret Lynne Ausfeld
Curator of Art