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12 Things To Know Before Attending Art Auction 2018

We asked Contemporary Committee members Trey Sippial and Keven Belt what you should know before attending the 14th biennial Art Auction.

1. Help, I’ve never taken part in an art auction before!

Don’t stress! This is a safe place to try an auction out, we’ll have volunteer ‘bid buddies’ to help with bidding on your smartphone the night of the Auction, March 1. Plus, it’s going to be a fun party.

2. When does bidding start?

Silent auction items bidding begins February 16 at and ends on March 1.

3. Who selects the art?

For years, the Selection Committee has worked long months to build Art Auction collection. New this year, we were added as part of the Contemporary Committee. The members are a new part of the Selection Committee that is focused on finding works at an accessible price range that might appeal to younger buyers or fans of contemporary art.

4. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on art, why should I come?

The Contemporary Committee has selected some works that will open bidding at around $100, and a fair amount will likely sell for less than $1000.

5. Should I do any research in advance?

No prior research is necessary, but you can start browsing the auction items online and in the Museum’s galleries beginning February 16. Look for art that speaks to you.

6. How do I know that I’m getting a good value?

The selection committees consider this in the selection process. Artists’ resumes and career level are considered, along with a gallery’s reputation when selections come through a gallery.

7. Any budget advice?

There will be plenty of art that is very affordable with excellent values to be had.

8. Is it important to have a good poker face?

The vast majority of the items will be up for grabs during the silent auction, which is…silent. It is all very fun and most importantly a charity fundraiser for the Museum!

9. Should I be aggressive in my bidding?

Only if you want! (It is all for a very good cause.)

10. Any auction lingo I should brush up on?

None needed. The online auction is very easy and the live auction only requires paying attention to bids and bid increments of increase (which the bidder may set). It’s all made to be fun, and we’ll have volunteer ‘bid buddies’ to help with bidding on your smartphone!

11. Is there a work that you are particularly excited about?

“There is a lot of variety, but Melpomene by Cathy Locke is a piece that I have my eye on.” – Trey

12. Final thoughts?

We have hundreds of items in Art Auction inventory, from paintings in watercolor, oil, mixed media, sculpture in marble, bronze, and clay, decorative arts pieces, and jewelry. Artists are from all over the country, and we’re working with galleries from Santa Fe, New York, Charleston, and for the first time New Orleans.

Proceeds from the biennial Art Auction will directly benefit the Museum’s future acquisition, exhibition, and education programs for the River Region. We hope to see you there. Bid early and bid often to support your Museum and build your own art collection!

Click here to learn more about the evening.

Click here to purchase tickets for the event.

Artist Market: Pam Buwalda and Brooks Barrow

Artist Market kicks off with its preview party the Friday before Thanksgiving with a preview party for museum members from 5:30 to 8:00 P.M. and open to the public Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Artist Market celebrates local and regional artists by offering an opportunity to feature and sell their art, while also connecting with others in the industry. We took a moment to interview a couple of our artists.

Come join us as we celebrate our 8th Artist Market!


Memorable Moments in November

As fall transitions into winter, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts’ calendar heats up with free tours, classes, films, and other captivating events. Throughout the month of November, we are hosting entertaining activities for our community. Below is a preview of what you can expect.


Start Your Fall Season off at the MMFA

Jazz music featuring local talent, arts and crafts, and a reception celebrating one of the most influential and important contemporary American Artists are just a few of the events visitors can expect this month.  As the seasons change we encourage you to take a moment to check out the artwork in our galleries and enjoy the activities created with you in mind. View the September calendar now.


Summer Exhibitions Opening Reception 2016

Summertime is always a welcome season at the Museum—the galleries offer a cool respite from the heat and our staff takes a mini-break from the nonstop activities of the fall and spring. Nevertheless, there’s plenty to see and do at the MMFA, and this coming Thursday, July 14, offers a perfect opportunity for you to join as we celebrate five wonderful exhibitions now on view with a reception from 5:30 to 8:00 P. M..

Four of the shows are rarely seen objects from our own permanent collection—Photorealism, Harmonics: Joe Almyda’s Works on Paper, Taking It to the Streets, and Women’s Work: Prints from the Collection of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.  Our fifth show, Lynn Saville: Dark City, Urban American at Night features the work of a photographer who is also represented in the collection.  We have a number of exciting programs scheduled in conjunction with these shows, including a post-reception talk on Thursday evening beginning at 7:00 P.M. by Professor Kathleen Spies of Birmingham-Southern who is sharing her thoughts on the evolution of women as professionals in the art world.

Dr. Spies’s focus in her talk will be the creative spirit and accomplishments of women in the American art world, inspired by our Women’s Work show. This exhibition showcases forty-seven prints by twenty women artists from the Museum’s works on paper collection. The artists include the Alabamians Anne Goldthwaite and Clara Weaver Parrish from the earliest part of the century, to modern printmakers such as Jennifer Bartlett, Pat Steir, and Lesley Dill.

Below are a few examples of the works on view which you’ll be able to enjoy when you join us Thursday night!


Blog.Thomson.SummerOpening2016Laquita Thomson, November 13, 1833, 1990, 1995.12.5.5

Thomson is a member of the faculty at Freed Hardeman University in Clarksville, Tennessee.  While a Masters degree candidate at Auburn, she created a series of lithographs titled Celestial Happenings—Stars Fell on Alabama, in which she documents events such the one here— “the night the stars fell” was a meteor shower that inspired the popular song “Stars Fell on Alabama.”


Blog.Harshman.SummerOpening2016Melissa Harshman, 2nd Place, 2004, 2005.4

Prior to the twentieth century, the traditional roles of women and girls centered on the home and the domestic duties associated with homemaking.  In this screen print Harshman copies images from popular periodicals of the early twentieth century to illustrate how these roles were taken for granted, insuring that professionally many women were relegated to 2nd place.


Blog.Hartigan.SummerOpening2016Grace Hartigan, On a Tar Roof, 1960-1961, 1995.2.3.2

Grace Hartigan is recognized internationally as a leader in the second generation of Abstract Expressionists.  Hartigan broke away from the constraints of expressionism to explore not her personal emotions, but those derived from an outside sources such as poetry, in this case a work by the poet James Schuyler titled Salute.


Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, curator of Art
Sarah Graves, collections information specialist

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