A Place Not Forgotten: Landscapes of the South from the Morris Museum of Art
The University of Kentucky Art Museum has been awarded $40,000 from the Museum Loan Network, a national collection-sharing program funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The award is one of only three implementation grants given in the country during this funding period and represents the maximum amount allowed by the agency. It will support the museum's organization of the exhibition, A Place Not Forgotten: Landscapes of the South from the Morris Museum of Art, which is scheduled through June 25, 2000. (left: Stephen Alke (1874-1941), Tobacco Setters on a Hilltop,c. 1938, oil on canvas, 23 1/4 x 29 1/8 inches, Morrris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia, 1991.001)
The impetus for the show is the long-term display of Southern landscapes in the context of the University Art Museum's own landscapes, which are more broadly American and European in nature. The Museum Loan Network (MLN) encourages smaller institutions, such as the Lexington museum, to borrow works of art from larger facilities with extensive holdings in a particular subject. The Morris Museum of Art, located in Augusta, Georgia, is devoted exclusively to Southern art and has a significant number of landscape paintings and watercolors. (right: William Gilbert Gaul (1855-1919), Tennessee Agricultural Scene, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches, Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia, 1997.013)
By displaying the Morris works alongside its own landscapes, the University Art Museum intends to begin a dialogue with its audiences, both the general public and faculty and students, about the nature of Southern landscapes--their place in the imagination and memory as well as their contemporary use.
The exhibition features thirty-nine oils and watercolors from the Morris Museum by Elliott Daingerfield, William Aiken Walker, Will Henry Stevens, and a number of other artists whose works have been rediscovered and re-evaluated in recent years. The landscapes date from the early nineteenth century up to the 1940s and include pre-Civil War era scenes, wilderness and agrarian views, and glimpses of small towns in a newly industrialized South. The land itself is the constant, whether bayou, swamp, cotton field, pine forest, or rolling grassland. (left: Elliott Daingerfield (1859-1932), Carolina Sunlight, c. 1915, oil on canvas, 24 x 28 1/2 inches, Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia, 1989.01.045)
Accompanying the exhibition is an illustrated catalogue with short essays on landscape by a number of outstanding writers with Southern connections, including Wendell Berry, Guy Davenport, John Egerton, James Baker Hall, Bobbie Ann Mason, Ed McClanahan, Robert Morgan, Gurney Norman, Chris Offutt, and Sarah Tate. Longer essays are contributed by William Freehling, Professor of History at the University of Kentucky (who is coordinating a history course with the show); J. Richard Gruber, Deputy Director of the Morris Museum of Art; and Jessie Poesch, Professor of Art History at Tulane University.
The Museum Loan Network--the first comprehensive national collection-sharing program--stimulates, facilitates, and funds long-term loans of art among U.S. institutions to enhance museums' "permanent" installations. The MLN's program consists of two complementary components: the MLN Directory, an illustrated online database that includes objects available for long-term loan by museums around the country, and the MLN grant programs, which help realize loans between institutions. Launched in 1995, the MLN is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, which conceived and initiated the program, and is administered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Office of the Arts.
Read more about the University Art Museum, University of Kentucky in Resource Library Magazine
For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
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