Auburn art museum’s 1072 Society Exhibition opens Nov. 11 celebrating 125 Years of Auburn Women

Published: November 06, 2017
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Closing out the exhibition schedule for 2017, the 1072 Society Exhibition will feature selected works by women artists honoring "125 Years of Auburn Women” at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University. From only three in 1892 to more than half the student population today, women have left an indelible mark on Auburn University.

"The 1072 Society Exhibition” will showcase works by 11 female artists whose careers span the late 19th century through today. The exhibition will be on view from Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 through Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018.

"Procuring and highlighting art by women has been a commitment of our staff for many years,” said Dennis Harper, curator of collections and exhibitions at the museum. "The pieces we have selected for the upcoming exhibition demonstrate a diverse spectrum of work, such as a dry point print by American impressionist Mary Cassatt, to contemporary artist Lesley Dill who works in large scale, mixed media. Each work stands on its own, but together the exhibition is quite interesting and beautiful.”

Now entering its 10th year, the 1072 Society is a group of museum members and friends who donate annually for the purpose of acquiring new art for the Jule Collins Smith Museum’s permanent collection. Those interested in learning more or joining the 1072 Society are invited to the opening reception of the 1072 Society Exhibition on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m.

The number "1072” is significant to the museum as it commemorates a landmark in both the university’s history and American art history. Early shades of what would later be labeled "McCarthyism” halted an exhibition called Advancing American Art which featured a melting pot of American artists. The U.S. State Department assembled the collection in 1946 to tour Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America, but later closed the exhibition over public outcry and sold the paintings as war surplus in 1948. Alabama Polytechnic Institute purchased 36 pieces at that auction. With the 95 percent discount for tax-exempt institutions, the purchase totaled $1,072. The museum established the 1072 Society in 2008 to pay homage to what became the foundation of our collection and the impetus to build a museum.

Also in celebration of the "125 Years of Auburn Women,” the museum has invited the Guerilla Girls for a "one girl gig,” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30.

Since 1985, a group of anonymous feminist women artists from New York City have been publically calling attention to the inequities of the art world. Donning gorilla masks and taking pseudonyms of dead women artists, the group employs guerilla tactics–inundating public spheres with posters, books, stickers and performances exposing the scarcity of women artists and the over-representation of the female body in museums and galleries.

"The One Girl Gig” is supported in part by the Auburn Alumni Association and Women’s Studies at Auburn University. Auditorium seating will be very limited and pre-registration via is required to attend. As of publication, less than half of the seats remain. The Museum Café will be serving drinks and tapas from 5-6:30 p.m. Admission to the lecture and galleries is free and open to the public. For more information, go to or call 334-844-1484.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 29,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.