Significant works from Auburn’s art collection have begun national tour
Significant works from the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University art collection began touring in January, with additional pieces and acquisitions scheduled to be on view at the museum throughout the year.
The Georgia Museum of Art in Athens began exhibiting “Dream Girl with Woven Camisole” by Emma Amos on Saturday, Jan. 30, and it will be on display through April 25 as part of a series of collection loans the museum plans to implement in 2021. From there, “Emma Amos: Color Odyssey” will travel to the Munson-Williams Proctor Art Institute in Utica, New York, June 19-Sept. 12, and then on to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Oct. 9-Jan. 2, 2022.
The institutions also will produce a major research publication to accompany the tour, which includes approximately 60 works created by Amos over the last 60 years that examine race, class, gender and privilege in society. Amos, an Atlanta native, is celebrated for her mixed-media pieces, which incorporate semiautobiographical elements and African fabrics, along with feminist and multicultural themes, in defiance to Western art and culture.
Earlier this year, Amos’ work was profiled by National Public Radio.
With this piece slated to return to Auburn following the tour, works by acclaimed artists Lavett Ballard, Delita Martin, Faith Ringgold, Deborah Roberts and Carrie Mae Weems are scheduled for display at the museum in February for the spring 2021 semester. The museum will open on Feb. 2, and new exhibitions this semester include “Bernini and the Roman Baroque: Masterpieces from Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia,” “Lila Quintero Weaver: Darkroom Drawings” and “Outside In,” a collaboration with Auburn’s Museum of Natural History.
All six pieces are supported by “TenSeventyTwo–A Campaign for Conserving and Collecting Art.” The annual and continual collection stewardship effort is inspired by Auburn’s historic 1948 acquisition from the U.S. State Department exhibition, “Advancing American Art.”
A cornerstone of the university’s holdings, pieces from that collection tour nationally and are frequently reproduced in research publications and catalogs.
“Women, immigrants and people of color created many of those celebrated Modernist works,” said Cindi Malinick, director and chief curator of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. “Our new collection focus—to increase representation by women of color—pays tribute to that grounding precept.”
Malinick added the acquisitions reflect nationwide cultural initiatives to diversify museum collections.
“With a new and robust online collection database, we identified areas needing attention,” Malinick said, noting that this is a profession-wide challenge to address. Transparently, out of approximately 2,500 objects, the museum stewards only 195 works by women and 78 works by people of color.
“This is an opportunity to course-correct and elevate Auburn as a space for inclusive dialogue as well as increase the opportunities to publish reproductions and tour the collection for research,” Malinick said. Other significant museum purchases are available in this focus contingent upon funding, which will be an ongoing effort.
Charitable gifts for “TenSeventyTwo–A Campaign for Collecting and Conserving Art” are welcome at all levels of giving. To share enthusiasm for arts education, interested parties are encouraged to contact Ellen Killough, development officer, at 850-258-9437, or visit www.AuburnGiving.org/art20.
Submitted by: Charlotte Hendrix
The Georgia Museum of Art in Athens began exhibiting “Dream Girl with Woven Camisole” by Emma Amos on Saturday, Jan. 30, and it will remain on display through April 25 as part of a series of collection loans the museum plans to implement in 2021.