Huntsville Museum of Art Huntsville Museum of Art
Huntsville, AL

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Huntsville Museum of Art
300 Church Street
Huntsville, AL 35801

EMAIL: info@hsvmuseum.org

Will Henry Stevens: Naturalist/Modernist
February 7 – April 25, 2021
Huth, Boeing & Salmon Galleries

This exhibition presents the work of American artist Will Henry Stevens (1881-1949), a lifelong naturalist and important modernist painter known for his two distinct artistic styles: Representational Naturalism and Southern Modernism. Stevens clearly separated his two bodies of work, exhibiting his rural Southern landscapes and his non-objective abstractions at different galleries. Though seemingly disconnected, his individual styles are part of a larger whole. Each style was born from the soul of an artist strongly influenced by his reverence for the Southern landscape.

Although born and raised in Indiana, Stevens spent much of his adult life teaching in Louisiana and summering in western North Carolina. Those environs — particularly the rivers and bayous of New Orleans and the Southern Appalachian Mountains — inspired him to capture the changing landscapes in his colorful and lyrical works. Stevens absorbed diverse influences throughout his career, including the writings of transcendentalist philosophers Whitman, Thoreau, and Emerson, Chinese Sung Dynasty paintings, and the art and writings of Wassily Kandinsky. Over his lifetime Stevens constantly experimented with styles and media, but his work never lost its inextricable link to nature. Organized by HMA.

For information on the travel availability of this exhibition, click here.
Lead Sponsor: Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC

Additional Support:
The Alabama State Council on the Arts
The Huntsville Museum of Art Guild

Impressionist Landscapes from the Sellars Collection
Chan Gallery
January 31 – July 11, 2021

With the acquisition of the Sellars Collection of Art by American Women in 2008, an important holding of paintings, drawings and sculptures was added to the Museum’s permanent collection. The Collection celebrates the achievements of American women artists active between 1850 and 1940, and provides a counterpoint to the Museum’s holdings of regionally and nationally significant contemporary art.

Impressionist Landscapes From the Sellars Collection focuses on the strong pull that the natural world had on American women artists during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibition emphasizes the generation of artists who emerged during and in the aftermath of the American Impressionist movement (1880-1920). Many of these artists were the students and sketching partners of the seminal figures in the development of Impressionism in America, such as William Merritt Chase, Willard L. Metcalf, John Henry Twachtman and Robert Henri.

Agnes Pelton, Old Smoke Tree, circa 1930, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in.

The artists included in the exhibition were primarily concerned with capturing the effects of light, color, and atmosphere in their landscapes, achieved in large measure by painting directly from nature—out-of-doors—rather than in the studio. Though not as well-known as their Impressionist predecessors, this generation of landscape painters flourished in areas such Old Lyme, Connecticut; Cape Ann, Massachusetts; New Hope, Pennsylvania; and Woodstock, New York, as well as elsewhere in New England and across the Southwest.

Impressionist Landscapes from the Sellars Collection presents over 30 exquisite landscapes in all seasons, varying in scenic subject matter from snow-filled views to sun-drenched hillsides, as well as harbor scenes, woodland glades, and desert vistas. Featured artists include Irene Von Horvath, Edna Lawrence, Margaret Jordan Patterson, Alice Pelton, Lilla Cabot Perry, and many more.

This exhibition features a selection of paintings from the Sellars Collection that exemplify the strong effect that French Impressionism had on American art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibition is focused on works that embody the early influence of French Impressionism and its precursor, the Barbizon Style, and adopt the various hallmarks of what became known as the American Impressionist style.

Looking at the Collection: The Elegant Vessel
Haws Gallery
Through March 28, 2021

Assuming the form of a cup, bowl, pitcher, or vase used for holding liquids or other contents, the vessel as a utilitarian object dates back millennia. The Elegant Vessel explores this essential form in various guises, highlighting its inherent beauty as well as its capability to serve as a metaphor for extended meaning. The exhibition includes historical and contemporary works from the Museum’s permanent collection in glass, ceramic, metal and wood — all traditional materials used to create functional vessels, but transformed into fine art in the hands of their skilled makers. Featured artists include Shane Fero, Benjamin Moore, Robin Rodgers, Rosanne Somerson, and many more.

The voluptuous forms of classic vessels provide the inspiration for many artists working today. Dante Marioni reveals a confident mastery of glass in his attenuated blown glass Leaf Vase Pair, inspired by ancient Mediterranean prototypes. Striking a balance between form, color, proportion, and process are Shane Fero’s engaging flameworked glass Jade Moon Bottle, Rude Osolnik’s deceptively minimal turned wood Bowl, and Benjamin Moore’s technically accomplished blown glass Selenium Red Interior Fold Platter.

In other hands, the vessel form communicates beyond its inherent timeless beauty. Pat Musick’s steel, oak and stone wall piece, Treasure, captures an essential element of nature in its porous and fluid grasp. And Rosanne Somerson’s mahogany and mother of pearl sculpture, Lucky at Love, features a textured iridescent bowl held aloft, suggesting a metaphorical container for something that cannot be contained.

With this exhibition we salute the enduring vessel in its many refined possibilities, and thank those artists whose creative talents have expanded our appreciation and view of this familiar yet iconic form. Organized by HMA.

Encounters: Althea Murphy-Price
Through May 23, 2021
Grisham Gallery

Althea Murphy-Price, Goody Girl No. 3, 2018, giclée print, 36 x 26 in.
Presented by the Museum’s Black History Month Committee

Althea Murphy-Price, Play, 2016, lithograph, screenprint, collage, 30 x 22.5 in.

The accomplished works of this mid-career printmaker and sculptor from Knoxville, TN explore the links between individuality and assimilation, and their influence on culture and personal identity. Murphy-Price often manipulates manufactured synthetic and human hair, emphasizing its role as embellishment, as well as its ability to signify racial identity. She explains, “I am fascinated by the inexplicable link between the subject of hair and its influence on our social culture and personal identity. Much of my inspiration has derived from hair’s significant relevance to Black American culture and community.” Murphy-Price uses both hair and hair accessories to create prints and sculptural installations, including signature Hair Rugs which are created by dusting synthetic hair over a lace overlays to create striking carpet-like patterns.

Murphy-Price’s prints are a fitting complement to her sculptural applications of hair, each referencing and mimicking one element of the seemingly endless universe of artificial hair. The artist creates these works via the process of photolithography, in essence taking a photo exposure to capture information from the actual object, and then translating it into a print. In some, screen-printed elements are added to lithographic images of hair arrangements to look like actual hair ties. “My desire with these prints is to deceive the eye,” the artist observes, “so that one will look, and look again, and question whether it’s the real thing or not.”

Murphy-Price received her BA in studio art from Spelman College in Atlanta. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts in printmaking and painting from Purdue University and her Master of Fine Arts at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University. She is currently Associate Professor of Printmaking at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Organized by HMA.

The World of Frida
December 13, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Adtran, Jurenko, Thurber & Guild Galleries

The World of Frida celebrates the culture, style, and persona of visionary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), an artist who continues to inspire with her story of love, adventure, and pain. Celebrated globally today as an iconic, renegade artist and outspoken feminist, Kahlo’s life began perilously. Stricken with polio as a child, and injured as a teenager in a bus accident that left her permanently disabled, Kahlo was subjected to enormous pain and turmoil early in her life. While recovering from her accident, Kahlo returned to her childhood hobby — painting. Soothed by the solace of art making, it was during this period that she decided to become an artist.

While Kahlo’s life was short-lived — she died at 47— her story continues to inspire artists of the 21st century. The 95 international artists featured in The World of Frida have reinterpreted many aspects of Kahlo’s life in an array of media — from honoring her self-portraits, to depicting her love affair with Diego Rivera, to recognizing her emotional, physical, professional and societal struggles. The exhibition is an incredible tribute to an artist who continues to influence millions by the simple fact that she was always true to herself, no matter the cost. Organized by the Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA.

Thank you, Sponsors!

Haws, Minkinow, Kyser, & Crunkleton Programs and Exhibitions Endowment
Revelle Gwyn and Meyer Dworsky
Dianne and Calame Sammons
Suzanne O’Connor

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