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Detail of French Poster

Centering Les Femmes: Loïe Fuller

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The unquestionable talent of the featured male artists fueled the passion for French Posters, but the female subjects are legends in their own right. Who were they, these female figures who posed, acted, sang and danced their way into the history of France and the canons of art history?

Printing four different color versions, Jules Chéret captured the whirling motion and multi-hued performance of the acclaimed artist, Loïe Fuller (1862–1928) in this celebrated poster. The American-born actress and dancer, who held numerous patents related to stage lighting and the use of chemicals in special effects, took Paris by storm with productions that combined dance, music and colored electric lights while dressed in diaphanous costume. Fuller’s innovative choreography inspired the likes of the renowned Isadora Duncan.

Artwork Photograph by John Faier. © 2015 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

“L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters” was organized by The Richard H. Driehaus Museum and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

Ticket Registration is Encouraged

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Advance registration for a time slot helps museum staff anticipate total occupancy for academic tours, capture attendance data for grant and university reports and provide contract tracing (if necessary). Thank you for your cooperation. For assistance, please call 334.844.1484 or email our visitor services associates.

Tuesday through Sunday, there are three (3) two-hour windows to reserve online during our regular hours of operation, with four (4) ranges on Thursdays until 8 p.m. The entry queue begins 10 minutes before the start of your session. Admission remains free, with the last entry one hour before closing. You may arrive at any point in your reservation, but please note that admission is subject to total gallery capacity.

A visitor walks into the museum.

Creating an account

If you are a new user, select “guest” and enter your information to create your account.

Not sure if you already have an account?

The museum is part of a campus-wide, secure ticketing platform along with the Gogue Performing Arts Center, the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre. You may already have an account if you have purchased or reserved a ticket for a performance at any of the other venues or are an Auburn employee or student. Faculty, staff and students may enter the enterprise account used to access many university systems, such as AUAccess.

Completing your registration

  • Enter the quantity in the dialogue box next to “JCSM Registration” and click continue.
  • Next, you will verify the number of tickets in your shopping cart and click continue.
  • Review your shopping cart and click continue.
  • On the delivery details page, select “email” and continue.
  • Next, you may update your billing contact info if you choose. As this is a free registration, you will not be charged and you will not enter payment information.
  • Click “buy” to complete your transaction. Note that the amount of the transaction is $0.00.

Receiving your confirmation

The system will send a confirmation to the email on file, with a PDF ticket attached and a link to Apple Wallet included. You may print and bring a physical ticket, present the e-ticket on your smart device or download it to your Apple Wallet. Android users should install PassWallet onto your device before clicking to download.

If you are a current museum supporter, you may also have a digital supporter card in your digital wallet. Your digital supporter card is used to redeem Museum Shop discounts and reciprocal perks may be presented for admission, provided that the museum is not at total capacity for gallery occupancy.

Plan your visit

Museum and university administrators have adopted operational plans in response to COVID-19. For museum-specific guidelines, visit our FAQ page. For the latest from Auburn University, go to the “A Healthier U” website.

Contact us for additional help

For assistance, please call 334.844.1484 or email our visitor services associates.

A detail of a group walking in the woods from a color lithograph.

Collection Spotlight: Faith Ringgold

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To contrast the color lithographs on view in our exhibition of French posters, we’re highlighting lithographs from the museum collection in August for our collection spotlight.

This vibrant work-on-paper is by Faith Ringgold, an artist who works across a diverse media set: painting, sculpting, quilting and performance art. Her work draws upon American history, race and gender issues, often telling stories of enslaved people and the Underground Railroad.

In “To Be or Not to Be Free,” Ringgold illustrates a journey towards a better life.

The text around the print reads:

“Aunt Emmy and Uncle Tate was the first to come to Jones Road in a dream. They followed their dream North to the Palisades and on to Freedom on Jones Road, Barn Door and Precious led 28 of us on that long hard journey thru the woods and swamps with Baby Freedom born on the way, To Be or Not to Be Free. Ringgold 2/11/14.”

Take a closer look.

Why do you think she used such bright colors for the forest and dark colors for the travelers?

Does this narrative still relate to oppressed people today? Why?

Why is freedom personified as a newborn?

A color lithograph of people walking in the woods.

Faith Ringgold
b. 1930
“To Be or Not To Be Free,” 2014
Color lithograph on paper
30 x 22 1/4 in.
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University; Museum purchase with funds provided by Lynn Barstis Katz
2015.14

Profile of a woman.

#MuseumFromHome: Mucha Coloring Pages

By | Art, K-12 Education, News, Traveling Exhibition, Uncategorized | No Comments

Today, TV and film actors use a wide variety of ways to promote their latest movie or product; but did you know that Alphonsa Mucha was the favorite artist of one of France’s leading ladies, highlighting her plays with vibrant posters? These ads ushered in a new artistic movement called Art Noveau.

Mucha was a world-famous painter, illustrator, jewelry designer and graphic artist. His signature style used twisting lines and subtle colors, flowing hair, halos and mosaic designs.

Thanks to The Mucha Foundation, you can use your own creativity to color in works of art. Then, come explore the real thing in our latest exhibition. Mucha is one of five masters presented in “L’Affichomania; The Passion for French Posters,” on view through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021.

IMAGE RIGHT: Alphonse Mucha, “Princess Hyacinth,” 1911, color lithograph. Photograph by John Faier. © 2015 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

HEADER IMAGE: Alphonse Mucha, “Zodiac,” 1896, color lithograph on silk.Photograph by John Faier. © 2015 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters was organized by The Richard H. Driehaus Museum and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

An actress portrays Princess Hyacinth seated on her throne.
A photograph of a woman lying in the grass.

Aug. 19 is World Photography Day

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Shutterbugs rejoice! World Photography Day celebrates the science, history art and craft of photography. Explore a sampling of works from our impressive collection of prints, which also includes works by Diane Arbus, Gordon Parks, Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol, among others.

An oriole tends to a nest.

Museum staff conserve Audubon collection

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With more than 100 prints, the Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon Collection is one of the southeast’s finest and a cornerstone of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University. Many of the works are hand-colored, and as works on paper, they are fragile and especially susceptible to light, whether from the sun or artificial sources.

To provide the utmost care and to extend the life of the pieces for as long as possible, museum staff implemented gallery improvements while closed. Now, a new motion-activated light sensor system leaves the gallery dark until someone walks in, and modified gallery doors limit further exposure. Preparators also are using an even higher value UV protective glazing in the framing process. These measures reflect the university’s stewardship responsibilities and allow curators to exhibit these and other Audubon prints on a more regular basis. A new exhibition, “Nurture: Audubon’s Nesting Imagery,” is now on view.

Underground Images

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This selection of posters, 1973–2018, is from the wide array conceived at the School of Visual Arts for display in the vast New York City subway system. As part of an ongoing promotional and social engagement initiative, they offer a glimpse of the history of the college and the collective talent of some of its acclaimed female design, illustration and photography faculty.

Considered chronologically, more than four decades of vivid graphic design emerge from the discrete lens of women creators. Many of the posters also reflect the artists’ interests and cultural backgrounds, as in Louise Fili’s 2011 and 2016 pieces, which are predominantly typographical, or Yuko Shimizu’s designs that overtly meld in her Japanese heritage. Eye-catching and often imbued with social messages, the works are marked by optimism and an invitation for creativity, encouraging the viewer to “Fly Higher” and “Make It Here.”

The School of Visual Arts in New York has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for seven decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, a dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprising 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and nearly 38,000 alumni in 75 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. SVA Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes, creative director for the posters since 2007, curated a larger exhibition of these posters, and the museum is grateful to him and SVA for this collaborative project. Special thanks as well to Carlton Nell, professor in the School of Industrial and Graphic Design at Auburn University, for helping to bring this exhibition to the museum.

All posters © 2020 Visual Arts Press, LTD.

A woman sitting on a stoop gestures in this black and white photograph.

Collection Spotlight: Lisette Model

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Can a photograph capture a personality? Lisette Model’s “Lower East Side (woman), New York”  is on her stoop in mid-sentence, gesturing to the passersby below. Model found inspiration on the streets and in the faces of the city’s celebrities, entertainers and average citizens, which she captured candidly in their unguarded moments. To whom do you think she is talking? What kinds of things has she seen and heard?

Years later, Model learned more about her subject. Her granddaughter described her the woman as a loving, Romania-born widow with nine children. She worked day and night at a little store in front of her apartment. The photographer recounted in a 1979 interview how she gifted a copy to the family, who had a party to unveil the photo with family and friends. “People came in and said yes that’s her,” explained Model. “and you see that it is when the real people see it, not other people who will say what kind of a grotesque monster did you photograph here. That was not what I photographed. I knew that this woman was a great personality, and so were many others.”

A woman sitting on a stoop gestures in this black and white photograph.

ca. 1942
Consolidated Medium
Gelatin silver print
Museum purchase with funds provided by William Dunlop Family Foundation
2016.02

A construction worker sits on unfinished stairs.

Collection Spotlight: Chad States

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In June 2020, our collection spotlight explores permanent collection photography. As June is Pride Month, our first selection is a work by American photographer Chad States.

What do you first notice about this person? What details are provided, given the location? The subject met the artist through an online post, seeking people who identify as masculine for personal portraits.

In his series “Masculinities,” States photographed a variety of people in settings and poses that expressed their sense of this concept. One participant, Dex, commented, “I’d say I’m masculine because of how I feel inside, who I am, and how I carry myself. In a lot of ways my masculinity is tied to my male gender role and how I want to project that and be perceived by others.” A transgender man, Dex chose to be photographed in a stereotypically male setting related to construction.

How does this make you think differently about your view of others?

From the 2018 practicum, “Dignity and Diversity: Portraits from the Permanent Collection,” curated by Honors Introduction into Art History students.

A construction worker sits on unfinished stairs.

Dex, 2007
Archival pigment print
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; William Dunlop Collection

Graduate students prepare an experiment in the museum pond.

Auburn Graduate Students Research Harmful Algal Blooms in Museum Pond

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What is happening in our pond? Is this a new art installation?

The museum and the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences are partnering to explore the best ways to control harmful algal blooms, which can negatively affect aquatic ecosystems and organisms by producing poisonous toxins. Even pets can become sick if they enter or drink the water!

The graduate student team, led by Professor Alan Wilson, will apply several chemical and biological methods to the floating greenhouse plastic enclosures to determine which one is most effective. They’ll use the results to identify the right ongoing treatment to manage the blooms in our pond and other water bodies to ensure they remain safe for all to enjoy.

Graduate students Angelea Belfiore, Riley Buley, Edna Fenandez-Figueroa and Matt Gladfelter prepare the experiment along with professor Alan Wilson.

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