Will Henry Stevens
February 13 through April 19, 2020
On view in the Weil Graphic Arts Study Center
Although born and raised in Indiana, Will Henry Stevens (1881–1949) spent much of his adult life teaching in Louisiana and summering in North Carolina. Those environs—particularly the rivers and bayous of New Orleans and the Appalachian Mountains—inspired Stevens to capture the changing landscapes in works that range from representational scenes to non-objective images he termed “semi-abstract.” In pastels on paper created from pigments he mixed himself, Stevens merged the traditional with the avant-garde to become one of the South’s pioneering modernist artists.
Engaged in exploring the spiritual in art and nature, Stevens looked to American writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) and Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). Later study into the Chinese landscape paintings of the Sung Dynasty (960–1279), along with the philosophies of such modern abstract artists as Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944) and Paul Klee (German, 1879–1940), helped refine Stevens’ artistic direction.
The nine works in this exhibition will illustrate the artist’s personal and poetic vision of the Southern landscape.
Coffee with the Curators
Thursday, February 13
Museum members are invited to join us for coffee and conversation with the curators of The Golden Hour, Pieces and Patterns, and Will Henry Stevens exhibitions.
Winters North and South Celebration
Thursday, February 13
Members-only from 4–5 PM
Public opening at 5 PM
Museum members are also invited to gather with us for a celebration of winters north and south. Participants will cozy up on the terrace, sip on specialty cocktails, and enjoy tasty hors d’oeuvres. They will have an opportunity to engage with the new exhibitions in unique and exciting ways by hearing from artists and having their portraits captured, all while enjoying the sounds of live music.
Will Henry Stevens (American, 1881–1949), Untitled (Houses and Path), date unknown, pastel on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Andrew Glasgow in memory of Beulah Mae Glawgow, 2017.11
Photography of the 2020 installation at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.