Ogden Museum of Southern Art

University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA




Benny Andrews and Nene Humphrey: The Art of Family


Celebrating its six-month anniversary in the Warehouse District, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art presents nationally recognized artists, husband and wife, Benny Andrews and Nene Humphrey, The exhibition entitled, The Art of Family, includes works from both Andrews and Humphrey as well as various members of their families. A singular collection of paintings, collages and drawings will be on view at the temporary gallery at 603 Julia Street through May 24, 2000. (left: Benny Andrews, Death Hands, 1996)

Andrews' and Humphrey's work has been seen all over the world and in hundreds of galleries and museums throughout the United States including: the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.; the Wadsworth Athaneum in Hartford, Conn. and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Ga. "It is truly an honor to have artists of Benny's and Nene's stature and universal appeal at the Ogden," says J. Richard Gruber, director of the Ogden Museum.

The son of sharecroppers in rural Georgia, Andrews maintains studios in Georgia, New York and Connecticut. The first member of his family to graduate from high school, Andrews studied at Fort Valley State College, served in the Air Force during the Korean conflict and then went on to study visual art at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago. The young artist then moved to New York in 1958. Over the next 30 years, Andrews would serve as the Director of the Visual Arts program for the National Endowment for the Arts, professor at Queen's College and visiting artist at many universities. Humphrey, a sculptor, photographer and installation artist, earned national praise for her mixed media work exploring women's domestic arts. She was born in Wisconsin and received a BA from St. Mary's College, an MA from Goddard College and an MFA from York University. She has taught at Parson's, Princeton University and is currently a professor at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design.

In addition to Andrew's and Humphrey's solo work, a collection of cyanotype works they collaborated on last fall at the Hambridge Center in Rabun Gap, Georgia will be on display for the first time at the Ogden Museum. "The collaborative exhibition of Benny and Nene's work exemplifies an important stage in Southern art that reflects the fundamental mission of the Ogden Museum," says Gruber.

Other family member's work represented in "The Art of Family" exhibition include: paintings by Benny's father, self-taught artist George ("The Dot Man") Andrews; writings of Benny's mother Viola Andrews and brother, the late Raymond Andrews as well as works by his sons, Thomas and Christopher Andrews. The Humphrey family also contributes to the show, including Nene's mother Eleanor's cross stitch and her father's paintings.

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 2/1/11

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