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!
Laquita Thomson, November 13, 1833, 1990, 19126.96.36.199
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.”
Melissa 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.
Grace Hartigan, On a Tar Roof, 1960-1961, 19188.8.131.52
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