The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts is home to over 4,000 works of art. The Museum’s collection consists primarily of American works of art from the eighteenth into the twenty-first century. Learn more about collection highlights below, or search our database for a specific artist, work, or subject. Click here to browse.
Please note that not all artworks are on view at all times.
Marsden Hartley (American, 1877–1943), Earth Warming, 1932, oil on paperboard, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, The Blount Collection, 1989.2.15
Since it opened in 1930, the Museum has collected American art, acquiring both individual works and collections that have made its American holdings among the most comprehensive in the Southeastern US. Many aspects of American art are always on view at the Museum from Colonial period portraiture to contemporary 21st-century American expressions of visual creativity in almost every medium.
Collection spotlights written by the Museum’s curators provide additional information on the select works below. Click each one to download the PDF.
- John James Audubon’s Black-bellied Darter (Plotus Anhinga), The Birds of America (1836), 2011.14
- Thomas Hart Benton’s Ozark Autumn (1949), 2015.6
- Roger Brown’s Homesick-Proof Space Station (1987), 2013.1
- George Henry Durrie’s Holidays in the Country, The Cider Party (1853), 2010.15
- Karen LaMonte’s Ojigi Bowing (2010), 2012.2
- Mary Edmonia Lewis’s Hiawatha’s Marriage (a.k.a. The Marriage of Hiawatha) (modeled 1866, carved 1868), 2012.1.1-2
- Anonymous American’s View of Montgomery (ca. 1870–1880), 2007.18
Harvey K. Littleton (American, 1922–2013), Orange Triple Movement, 1983, from the series, Topological Geometry, free-blown glass, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, Decorative Arts Fund, 2014.2.2.1-3
The Museum began collecting American Studio Art glass in 1998. The collection is featured in the Museum’s facility within the sky-lit Weil Atrium Gallery. When the Museum expanded into the Lowder Gallery in 2006, a glass window was commissioned from Seattle artist Cappy Thompson as a key element of this expansion. Since the collection was established, the Museum has worked to acquire representative examples by the most important American Studio Glass artists. The Weil Atrium houses examples by artists such as Harvey Littleton, Lino Tagliapietra, Dale Chihuly, William Morris, Stephen Rolfe Powell, and many others. This growing collection adds significantly to the architectural impact and beauty of the interior environment of the Museum and represents an important movement in 20th- and 21st-century American art.
Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910), Adirondack Woods, Guide and Dog, 1889, watercolor on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, The Blount Collection, 1989.2.21
A number of important American works on paper, including watercolors, drawings, and prints from the 20th and 21st centuries, are part of the Museum’s collection. Highlights include watercolors by Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, Charles Demuth, and John Marin. Modern prints include works by George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Josef Albers, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Motherwell, and Frank Stella. An active area of acquisition, the Museum’s print collection continues to grow with recent additions by Jennifer Bartlett, William Christenberry, Willie Cole, and Faith Ringgold. Click here to browse.
Lobi Peoples (Burkina Faso), Stool, 20th century, wood, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Dileep and Martha Mehta, 2013.17.21
The Museum collection holds examples of the traditional arts of Africa that were produced by makers from many ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa during the 20th century. Masks, figurative sculpture, stools and chairs, textiles, and a variety of other objects provide vivid evidence of the lives and diverse religious beliefs of the people who made and used them. While art could serve as a static display, in most instances it would have been part of a larger multi-media event that involved processions, music, and dance. Many of the cultural traditions for which these objects were created have changed significantly, as people now choose to live lives impacted by national and international political structure, western-style educational systems, and conversion to religions such as Christianity or Islam.
Tiffany Studios, Vase, 1905–1918, mold-blown glass, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Jackson L. Bostwick, 1985.15.3
The Museum’s American art glass collection is a small but focused group of objects that were made in the United States between the end of the 19th century and the 1920s, and it reflects the aesthetics of that period of time. The best pieces in the collection are by the Tiffany Studios, Steuben Glass, the Quezal Art Glass Company, and the studio of Victor Durand.
Royal Worcester (established 1751) and Jefferyes Hamett O’Neale (1734–1801), Heart-Shaped Fable Dish, ca. 1765, porcelain, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Lucien Loeb, 1994.6
The Museum’s Decorative Arts Gallery, adjacent to the Museum’s lakeside terrace, houses two beautiful installations of historical porcelain. An outstanding survey of First Period Worcester porcelain, which has been collected and treasured since its first appearance in mid-18th century England is permanently installed. The Loeb Collection, generously supported by Mr.and Mrs. James L. Loeb since 1990, focuses on the First Period of Worcester production, between 1751 and 1783. Also, the Decorative Arts Gallery features a display of Chinese Export Porcelain, a gift of the Estate of William Francis McCall, Jr. in 1991.
Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1609–1669), The Virgin and Child with Cat and Snake, etching on laid paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Jean K. Weil in memory of Adolph “Bucks” Weil Jr., 1999.7.119
The Museum has one of the finest collections and facilities for the study of works on paper of any municipal museum in the country. The collection holds woodcuts, etchings, engravings, and other multiples by artists from the 15th to the 19th century, with examples by the world’s most respected practitioners: 15th-century engravers such as Martin Schongauer and Albrecht Dürer, over 90 works by Rembrandt van Rijn, etchings by Canaletto and Callot, aquatints by Goya, and lithographs by Whistler. The array of printmaking techniques presents the rich heritage of this art form in Western culture. The Weil Graphic Arts Study Center, built in 1998, is named in honor of Mr. Adolph “Bucks” Weil, Jr., the collection’s founding patron and a connoisseur of European prints made before 1900.
John Kelly Fitzpatrick (American, 1888–1953), Negro Baptising, 1927, oil on canvas, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of the artist, 1930.23.1
The southeastern United States and Alabama have provided a wealth of examples demonstrating the varied forms that human creativity can take through art. From drawings by the self-taught painter and draftsman Bill Traylor to the evocative interpretations of the local landscape by J. Kelly Fitzpatrick, the Museum preserves and exhibits excellent examples of regional art from the 1930s to the present day. Highlights of the Museum’s collection of works include southeastern regional artists, with particular emphasis on artists from the state of Alabama.
Bill Traylor (American, 1856–1949), Pig, ca. 1940–1942, watercolor and graphite on cardboard, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Charles and Eugenia Shannon, 1982.4.6
The Museum’s collection of works by self-taught and folk artists was founded with the gift from Charles and Eugenia Shannon in 1982 of thirty drawings by the Montgomery artist Bill Traylor. In this same year the work of this group of artists, primarily active in the mid-to-late 20th century, came to prominence, and their work began to be collected and interpreted within the larger canon of American art. Subsequently, the Museum has acquired a substantial collection of work by self-taught artists from both the state of Alabama and the southeastern United States, including an extensive collection of quilts.