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Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

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Bearing Witness


Bearing Witness: Art of Alabama
November 14–16, 2019

On the occasion of the bicentennial, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts will hold a symposium that will celebrate the rich visual arts traditions of the state—from the creations of Alabama’s native peoples to those of today.


Space is limited and registration is by session. All symposium sessions are free to attend. Read Herring and University of Alabama Press will be on-site at the Museum with books by speakers available for purchase.

Register by 5 PM Thursday, November 7 in order to ensure you will receive all registration materials. For meals and receptions, you must purchase your tickets by Tuesday, November 5th at 5 PM.  If you have any questions, contact Brandy Morrison at or 334.625.4365.


Thursday, November 14

6 PM Lecture: Alabama Portraiture [60 min]
Dr. William U. Eiland, Georgia Museum of Art
7  PM Reception [$10; Free for MMFA members]

Friday, November 15

8:30 AM Lecture: Art of Alabama’s Native Peoples [45 min]
Dr. Vernon James Knight, Emeritus, University of Alabama
9:15 AM Lecture: Alabama Landscapes [45 min]
Dr. Michael W. Panhorst, Guest Curator
10 AM Break [30 min]
10:30 AM Lecture: Art of Alabama Industry [45 min]
Dr. Katelyn Crawford, Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA)
11:15 AM Lecture: Art of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama [45 min]
Dr. Bridget R. Cooks, University of California, Irvine
Noon Buffett Lunch [$20] [90 min]
Gallery Talk: Alabama Women Artists [30 min]
Dr. Graham C. Boettcher, BMA
Gallery Talk: Cal Breed [30 min]
Dr. Jennifer Jankauskas, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA)
12:30 PM Gallery Talk: Alabama Landscapes [30 min]
Dr. Michael W. Panhorst, Guest Curator
1 PM Gallery Talk: Self-Taught Alabama Artists [30 min]
Dr. Richard J. Powell, Duke University
1:30 PM Lecture: Women Artists of Alabama [45 min]
Dr. Graham C. Boettcher, Birmingham Museum of Art
2:15 PM Lecture: Chester Higgins’ Photography and Relationship to Alabama [45 min]
Chester Higgins, Jr., artist
3 PM Break [15 min]
3:15 PM Lecture: New South and the Dixie Art Colony [45 min]
Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, MMFA
4 PM Gallery Talk: The Photograph Shugg Lampley at the Garden Gate [30 min]
Chester Higgins Jr., artist
Gallery Talk: Charles Shannon [30 min]
Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, MMFA
5:30 PM Reception for Artist Market [$10; Free for MMFA members] (Learn More)

Saturday, November 16

9–10 AM Panel Discussion: Public Art in Alabama [60 min]
Dennis Harper, Jule Collins Smith Museum; Chintia Kirana, Expose Art; and Deborah Velders, Mobile Museum of Art; moderated by Dr. Elliot A. Knight, Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA)
10 AM Lecture: Love Will Find A Way: The Plaints & Acclamations of Alabama’s Artists [45 min]
Dr. Richard J. Powell, Duke University
10:45 AM Break [15 min]
11 AM Panel Discussion: Art in Alabama Today [60 min]
Stan Hackney, Mobile Museum of Art; Dr. Jennifer Jankauskas, MMFA; Essie Pettway, Gee’s Bend; and Peter Prinz, Space One Eleven; moderated by Amy Williamson Jenkins, ASCA
Noon Boxed Lunch [$15] [60 min]
1 PM Lecture: The Role of Art in Advancing Truth and Justice [60 min]
Kiara Boone, Equal Justice Initiative

Lead Sponsors

Alabama Humanities Foundation

Alabama State Council on the Arts


Birmingham Museum of Art

Expose Art

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University

Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery

Mobile Museum of Art

Space One Eleven

Wiregrass Museum of Art

Signature Event

Alabama Bicentennial Commission


Image credit

John Kelly Fitzpatrick (American, 1888–1953), Saturday Morning, 1935, oil on Masonite, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, Gift of Works Progress Administration, 1935.7