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Charlotte Hendrix

DETAIL: Ira Hill (Alabama, b. 1974) American Expressions, ongoing, originated in 2011 Fabricated steel and paint

Calling Art Enthusiasts: Meet and Greet with Ira Hill

By | Art, Art Experiences, News, Visiting Artist | No Comments

On April 26 at 5:30 p.m., Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art invites Ira Hill to the museum for an hour long Meet and Greet with Art Enthusiasts, the museum’s newest membership level.

Enthusiastic individuals with a shared interest in being part of the art community will enjoy beverages and one-on-one time with the artist and other guests. Hill will be giving a brief talk on the grounds surrounding his sculpture and members will be the first to sign Hill’s sculpture, “American Expressions.”

As a museum member, there are hundreds of resources at your disposal to bring you closer to art. It’s access and engagement that excites the newest museum membership level, the art enthusiasts.

Become an Art Enthusiast
Alabama artist Ira Hill poses with his work, American Expressions

Hill’s sculpture, “American Expressions” is a social experiment, political awakening, and artistic representation of expression through an 8-foot by 16-foot steel sculpture of an American flag. The flag was placed on the museum grounds in the fall as part of “Out of the Box”, the biennial outdoor sculpture exhibition and has since been the canvas for museum visitors to sign, sketch, and express themselves. Hill will be repainting the flag before Thursday’s event leaving a fresh canvas until the exhibition closes in mid-October.

The “American Expressions” flag was toured throughout the United States in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election. By allowing people to write directly on the flag, it became a document of their encounters and a place of expression for the people of our nation. Upon traveling to the next destination, the flag was repainted, absorbing the expressions of the previous community, weaving thousands of voices together.

If you’re an art enthusiast who likes meeting people and wants to engage with the greater art community at exclusive events and programs, join today and come meet Ira Hill!

RSVP, and learn more about membership

Collection Spotlight: Joshua Shaw

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Advanced art history students in assistant professor Emily Burns’ classes will get a hands-on look at the world of art curation and have a unique experience for their portfolios using the collections of Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University. The students will research, curate and present on a two-part exhibition in the Chi Omega-Hargis Gallery during the spring 2018 semester.

Below is a Collection Spotlight from the first exhibition, “Strokes of Nature: Plein Air Painting in the 19th Century.”

In an extant letter related to this painting, Joshua Shaw states that this scene “has nothing in it historically interesting… and I sketched it entirely for its wild and picturesque appearance.” Not searching for a specific historical landmark, Shaw stumbled upon this small creek bank on his journey throughout the wilderness of North Carolina. Shaw’s choice signals a growing interest in the early nineteenth century in representing quotidian landscape. The artist’s eclectic style challenges the viewer to understand whether Shaw painted this scene outdoors or by memory. By eliminating brushstrokes and smoothing the surface, he reduces a sense of time. Yet the glistening of the water crests, the wispy clouds, and the sketchy nature of the leaves draw the viewer into a serene experience of the momentary.

Joshua Shaw (American, 1776-1860) Stoney Creek, North Carolina, No. 3, n.d. Oil on paper laid down on panel Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Gift of Jane and Mike McLain 2011.19.1

Joshua Shaw
(American, 1776-1860)
Stoney Creek, North Carolina, No. 3, n.d.
Oil on paper laid down on panel
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Gift of Jane and Mike McLain
2011.19.1

Edmund Petitjean (French 1844-1925) Les Côte du Nords, Bretagne (The Shell Gatherers), n.d. Oil on Canvas Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Gift of Noel and Katheryn Dickinson Wadsworth

Collection Spotlight: Edmund Petitjean

By | News, Spotlight | No Comments

Advanced art history students in assistant professor Emily Burns’ classes will get a hands-on look at the world of art curation and have a unique experience for their portfolios using the collections of Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University. The students will research, curate and present on a two-part exhibition in the Chi Omega-Hargis Gallery during the spring 2018 semester.

Below is a Collection Spotlight from the first exhibition, “Strokes of Nature: Plein Air Painting in the 19th Century.”

Rather than rendering every specific detail on the beach at Côtes-d’Armor, formerly known as Côtes-du-Nord in northern Brittany, Edmund Petitjean gives the viewer a general sense of the surroundings: debris and plants, the movement of the receding waves, the shadows created by the larger rocks scattered over the shore. He illustrates the rocky coast with bright hues of green ranging from light olive to emerald to a deep almost-black green. He captures the ocean breeze using swirling and airy brushstrokes of aquamarine with additives of white to highlight the dynamic shapes of the clouds in front of him. Petitjean’s swift brushstrokes and dabs of color indicate the artist’s hastiness to capture a singular time of day. As a result of this plein-air grounding and Impressionist handling, a momentary quality entices the viewer to share his experience.

Edmund Petitjean (French 1844-1925) Les Côte du Nords, Bretagne (The Shell Gatherers), n.d. Oil on Canvas Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Gift of Noel and Katheryn Dickinson Wadsworth

Edmund Petitjean
(French 1844-1925)
Les Côte du Nords, Bretagne (The Shell Gatherers), n.d.
Oil on Canvas
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Gift of Noel and Katheryn Dickinson Wadsworth
1980.1

The Lost Bird Project: Passenger Pigeon

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For more than a decade, sculptor Todd McGrain has immortalized five extinct birds in stylized bronze sculpture in a series called The Lost Project. Each sculpture stands over six feet tall and weighs up to 700 pounds with surfaces as smooth as polished stone. After each project is completed, McGrain travels across the country to bring his sculptured birds back home, and places them in their former natural habitat.  Since 2000, McGrain has met with local communities to place permanent memorials where each bird inhabited or was last seen.

Audience have enjoyed the series as a part of the Susan Phillips Gardens since 2015. JCSM acquired the Carolina Parakeet as part of the permanent collection with funds from the Miller Audubon Endowment. As JCSM raises funds to keep the remaining four bronze sculptures as a part of a permanent sculpture program, learn more about the inspiration for the artist’s interpretation of creatures lost to the ages.

The Passenger Pigeon

More than 100 years ago, the Passenger Pigeon encompassed 40 percent of land birds in the country. They were constant travelers and called the vast of North American forests home by building wide nests and nurturing their offspring. Once America’s urban population increased in the 19th century, their meat became vital as hunters searched for their abundant nesting sites, resulting in complete extinction merely 50 years later.

Photo by Grahm S. Jones.Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio After a photo shoot at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, a clouded leopard cub climbs on Sartore’s head. The leopards, which live in Asian tropical forests, are illegally hunted for their spotted pelts.

Expedition Auburn: An Evening with National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore

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About Joel Sartore

Joel Sartore is a photographer, speaker, author, teacher, conservationist, National Geographic fellow and regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. His hallmarks are a sense of humor and a midwestern work ethic.

Sartore started the Photo Ark some 11 years ago in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. Since then he’s visited 40 countries in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity. Sartore has produced several books including RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, Photographing Your Family, and two new National Geographic Photo Ark books: “The Photo Ark” and “Animal Ark.”

National Geographic Photo Ark fans are also invited to join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether and learn more about how to get involved with the project at NatGeoPhotoArk.org.

In addition to the work he has done for “National Geographic,” Sartore has contributed to Audubon magazine, “Life,” “The New York Times,” “Sports Illustrated” and numerous book projects. Sartore and his work have been the subjects of several national broadcasts, including “National Geographic’s Explorer,” “NBC Nightly News,” NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” and the PBS documentary series, “Rare: Portraits of the Photo Ark.” He is also a regular contributor on the “CBS Sunday Morning Show.”

Sartore graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in journalism. He currently lives in Nebraska with his wife and children.

Explore 19th-century naturalism through a 21st-century lens with your guide Joel Sartore, as JCSM celebrates the exhibition and publication, “Audubon’s Last Wilderness Journey: The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America” with this special guest.

Drawing inspiration from John James Audubon, this acclaimed National Geographic Photographer and Fellow is on a mission with the Photo Ark: to capture images of the world’s species before they disappear. Make tracks to get your tickets today. Black-tie optional (Faux animal prints welcome).

Seating is extremely limited. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event.

For assistance with other forms of payment, contact Robbin Birmingham at 334-844-3085 or Birmirc@auburn.edu.

Pictured Right: © Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. Photo by Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio After a photo shoot at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, a clouded leopard cub climbs on Sartore’s head. The leopards, which live in Asian tropical forests, are illegally hunted for their spotted pelts.

Photo by Grahm S. Jones.Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio After a photo shoot at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, a clouded leopard cub climbs on Sartore’s head. The leopards, which live in Asian tropical forests, are illegally hunted for their spotted pelts.
© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. A federally endangered Florida panther,

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. A federally endangered Florida panther, Puma concolor coryi, at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. For more go to NatGeoPhotoArk.org.

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark Two Golden snub-nosed monkeys, Rhinopithecus roxellana, at Ocean Park Hong Kong.

Two Golden snub-nosed monkeys, Rhinopithecus roxellana, at Ocean Park Hong Kong.© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. 

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark A pygmy slow loris, Nycticebus pygmaeus, at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. A pygmy slow loris, Nycticebus pygmaeus, at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

Please note that this is not a gift to the Auburn University Foundation or the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. An endangered Malayan tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni, at Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo.

Joel Sartore Public Keynote at Foy Auditorium

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Graphic with information of March 2 lecture with Joel Sartore. © Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. An endangered Malayan tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni, at Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo. For more go to NatGeoPhotoArk.org.

About Joel Sartore

Joel Sartore is a photographer, speaker, author, teacher, conservationist, National Geographic fellow and regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. His hallmarks are a sense of humor and a midwestern work ethic.

Sartore started the Photo Ark some 11 years ago in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. Since then he’s visited 40 countries in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity. Sartore has produced several books including RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, Photographing Your Family, and two new National Geographic Photo Ark books: “The Photo Ark” and “Animal Ark.”

National Geographic Photo Ark fans are also invited to join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether and learn more about how to get involved with the project at NatGeoPhotoArk.org.

In addition to the work he has done for “National Geographic,” Sartore has contributed to Audubon magazine, “Life,” “The New York Times,” “Sports Illustrated” and numerous book projects. Sartore and his work have been the subjects of several national broadcasts, including “National Geographic’s Explorer,” “NBC Nightly News,” NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” and the PBS documentary series, “Rare: Portraits of the Photo Ark.” He is also a regular contributor on the “CBS Sunday Morning Show.”

Sartore graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in journalism. He currently lives in Nebraska with his wife and children.

Photographer Joel Sartore captures images of some of the world’s rarest animals in a studio setting. The National Geographic fellow will share a behind-the-scenes look at his Photo Ark project and offer a glimpse into what it’s like working with these special subjects.

Free and open to the public. Seating is limited and begins at 3:30 pm.

Pictured Right: © Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. Photo by Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio After a photo shoot at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, a clouded leopard cub climbs on Sartore’s head. The leopards, which live in Asian tropical forests, are illegally hunted for their spotted pelts. For more information, go to NatGeoPhotoArk.org.

Photo by Grahm S. Jones.Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio After a photo shoot at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, a clouded leopard cub climbs on Sartore’s head. The leopards, which live in Asian tropical forests, are illegally hunted for their spotted pelts.
© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. A federally endangered Florida panther,

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. A federally endangered Florida panther, Puma concolor coryi, at Tampa’s Lowry Park. Zoo. For more go to NatGeoPhotoArk.org.

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark Two Golden snub-nosed monkeys, Rhinopithecus roxellana, at Ocean Park Hong Kong.

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. Two Golden snub-nosed monkeys, Rhinopithecus roxellana, at Ocean Park Hong Kong. For more, go to NatGeoPhotoArk.org.

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark A pygmy slow loris, Nycticebus pygmaeus, at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. A pygmy slow loris, Nycticebus pygmaeus, at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. For more go to NatGeoPhotoArk.org.

Can’t make it? You’ll find a live stream of the event on this page on March 2, 2018 at 4 pm.

Series of bronze sculptures depicting bird form

The Lost Birds: The Carolina Parakeet

By | News | No Comments

For more than a decade, sculptor Todd McGrain has immortalized five extinct birds in stylized bronze sculpture in a series called The Lost Project. Each sculpture stands over six feet tall and weighs up to 700 pounds with surfaces as smooth as polished stone. After each project is completed, McGrain travels across the country to bring his sculptured birds back home, and places them in their former natural habitat.  Since 2000, McGrain has met with local communities to place permanent memorials where each bird inhabited or was last seen.

JCSM audiences have enjoyed the series as a part of the Susan Phillips Gardens since 2015. JCSM acquired the Carolina Parakeet as part of the permanent collection with funds from the Miller Audubon Endowment. As JCSM raises funds to keep the remaining four bronze sculptures as a part of a permanent sculpture program, learn more about the inspiration for the artist’s interpretation of creatures lost to the ages.

The Carolina Parakeet

Series of bronze sculptures depicting bird form

Its vibrant flock brought a moment of colorful paradise when the Carolina Parakeet populated the United States’ East coast. Their green 12-inch body thrived in the Southeastern warm oak forests in the summer as well as the bare winter trees in the North. Throughout their travels, the Carolina Parakeet was known for forming close bonds with their flock until they were killed for eating from farmer’s crops. The early 1900s saw the last population of the only parrot ingenious to North America after the parakeets were hunted for their exotic feathers and struck by disease.

The last known speciman of this bird was killed in Okeechobee County, Florida, in 1904. But the last captive bird–a male named Incas, died at the Cincinnati Zoo, 100 years ago on Feb. 21, 1918.

JCSM is proud to have this addition to our outdoor sculpture program and hope to raise additional funds on Tiger Giving Day, Feb. 21, 2018 to keep the spirit of the Lost Birds alive!

Three white footed mice scurry along a log near a river.

Launch and Learn with Audubon’s Last Wilderness Journey

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One of JCSM’s cornerstone collections, The Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon Collection, has inspired far-reaching investigations into the artistic and scientific representation of the natural world, particularly in North America. Within that collection, one of the true gems is a complete set of the bound volumes of The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, a publication John James Audubon began working on almost immediately after he completed his more well-known project, The Birds of America. The Quadrupeds was published in three volumes between 1845 and 1848, though work on the project began in the early 40s.

A raccoon crouches on a log.
Two long-haired squirrels on a branch.

JCSM’s set is particularly beautiful since the original binding is of high quality the set has been cared for and the individual prints have had little exposure to light and other damaging environmental factors.

On Friday, March 2, we will invite all of the authors of Audubon’s Last Wilderness Journey: The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, to give talks about their research. The book event will be in the morning, so visitors will have the opportunity to visit the corollary exhibition featuring The Quadruped folios, as well as framed loose prints and contextualizing objects and information.

Schedule and Registration

9:00 am

“Welcome, Introduction, and Remarks on Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon Collection at JCSM,” Marilyn Laufer, JCSM director.

9:15 am

“The Making of the Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America,” Ron Tyler, former director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and author of “Audubon’s Great National Work: The Royal Octavo Edition of the Birds of America.”

9:45 am

“Set in Stone: The Use of Lithography in Audubon’s Quadrupeds,” Dennis Harper, JCSM curator of collections and exhibitions.

10:15 am

“Modernization of Natural History: From Audubon to Now,” Sarah Zohdy, assistant professor of Disease Ecology in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University.

11:00 am

Panel Discussion by Co-Authors of “Modernization of Natural History: From Audubon to Now,” Sarah Zohdy, Christopher A. Lepczyk, Robert A. Gitzen and James B. Armstrong, faculty of Auburn University’s School of Forestry adn Wildlife Sciences.

11:30 am

““In All Its Original Wildness”: The Quadruped Essays of John Bachman and John James Audubon,” Daniel Patterson, professor emeritus of American Literature, Central Michigan University, and author of The Missouri River Journals of John James Audubon, and John James Audubon’s Journal of 126: The Voyage to the Birds of America.”

12:30 pm

Book signing

Following the “Launch and Learn” event at JCSM, Photographer Joel Sartore will speak at 4 pm at Foy Auditorium 258.

Gregorio Prestopino (American, 1907–1984) Donkey Engine, 1948 Gouache on paper Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Advancing American Art Collection 1948.1.29

Collection Spotlight: Gregorio Prestopino

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In this collection spotlight, advanced art history students in Dr. Emily Burn’s class Art of the United States have prepared two practicum exhibitions opening this fall.Pieces selected for the exhibitions were chosen from the museum’s permanent collection. The research below is from “The American City: Tourists and Denizens.”

Gregorio Prestopino
(American, 1907–1984)
Donkey Engine, 1948
Gouache on paper
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Advancing American Art Collection
1948.1.29

Rattling on the tracks, wheezing of steam, and grinding of gears as the engineer navigates from train-to-train—Gregorio Prestopino’s Donkey Engine invokes these noises. This painting communicates the radial churning of pistons around wheels easing this once majestic vehicle to a halt in the foreground of a train yard. In the background to the right, subway cars and boats repeat their daily routine. Born in the Lower East Side of New York City at the turn of the century, Prestopino is understood as a social realist because of his depictions of the grit and toil of city life. Here Prestopino draws attention to the docks and workers of the Lower East Side, highlighting labor vital to the city’s existence, yet often overshadowed by the glamour of urban life.

Gregorio Prestopino (American, 1907–1984) Donkey Engine, 1948 Gouache on paper Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Advancing American Art Collection 1948.1.29

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