All Posts By

Communications and Marketing

A ruby-throated hummingbird approaches a cluster of blossoms, with other hummingbirds trapped in the blooms.

Collection Spotlight: Walton Ford

By | Art, News, Spotlight | No Comments

Things are not as they seem in the charming print, “Limed Blossoms.” Contemporary artist Walton Ford pays homage to John James Audubon’s artistic style, but he also makes a critical statement on man-made threats to the environment.

What do you observe about the ruby-throated hummingbirds sipping nectar from the blossoms? One bird curiously approaches unaware. The others are trapped and lifeless. The title, “Limed Blossoms,” gives us a clue. Audubon and other collectors spread sticky birdlime on twigs and other perches to trap small birds to study, export and trade. Ford uses outdated and unassuming methods to symbolize the human footprint’s destructive impact.

Notice anything in the bottom left corner? Pollution blocks the rosy sunset. Through his artwork, Ford advocates for protecting the environment.

A ruby-throated hummingbird approaches a cluster of blossoms, with other hummingbirds trapped in the blooms.

Color etching and aquatint
Accompanying the limited-edition book Pancha Tantra
Edition: 100
Museum purchase with funds provided by the 1072 Society, 2012

#MuseumFromHome: Foil Coils

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

April 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. For our weekend family art activity, we’re inspired by upcycling and art that is green. Not the color, of course!

Janet Nolan made fantastic sculptural installations using materials that people would normally throw away, such as soda cans, bottle caps and broken umbrellas. Many important museums exhibit her work and even have her art in their collection, including JCSM. She also presented in a famous store in New York City, Bloomingdales.

When you look at her artwork here, how do you feel? Do you giggle? How do ordinary things seem now? Are you thirsty!?

Give objects in your home a second look. What can be transformed into art? Check out a step-by-step guide to recreating your interpretation of Nolan’s piece “Can Can.”

What You’ll Need

Help from a grownup

Aluminum foil

Scissors

Pencil

Small cylinder (empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls work great!)

Ruler (optional)

Art project materials, including scissors, pencil and foil.

Instructions

Tear a piece of foil that is about one foot long.

Using a pencil, mark lines on your foil.

Divide the foil into strips that are about two inches wide. A ruler is helpful, but not necessary.

Experiment with different widths and estimates.

Mark off sections of aluminum foil with a pencil.

Carefully use scissors to cut along your lines.

Ask a grownup for help because foil is sharp around the edges.

Aluminum foil cut into thin strips.

Combine three to four sheets of foil strips, stacking them on top of one another and folding the edges.

This gives your coil a better shape.

Aluminum foil wrapped around a ruler to give it a rectangular shape.

Be very careful as to not run your fingers along the sharp edges of the foil.

A ruler is very helpful for this step.

Detail of ends of aluminum foil rectangle.

If you have permanent or metallic markers, decorate your foil strips. What kind of patterns can you make with different shapes?

Draw a variety of abstract shapes on aluminum foil to create a pattern.

Roll your strips around your cylinder, and voila! You have your very own foil coils and green art project.

Decorated aluminum foil wrapped around an empty paper towel roll.

Once you are done, share your work with others to show them how you transformed recycled materials into art. Make a bunch of them! Maybe even ask a grownup to temporarily hang them to the wall with painter’s tape. Post to social media and tag us. We’d love to share your creation online @JCSMAuburn for a #MuseumFromHome.

A coil of aluminum foil decorated as an art project for children.
A young girl leans out of a window, looking sad.

Collection Spotlight: Marion Greenwood

By | Art, News, Spotlight | No Comments

Marion Greenwood, a social realist artist who worked in various mediums, is best known for her murals and work in Mexico.

Ever breaking barriers, she was the first woman to receive a mural commission from a foreign government and was one of two women selected as an artist war correspondent during World War II. Greenwood transferred her “terrific love for human beings and people” into becoming a painter of people focused upon their diversity. She won the Lithography Prize from John Herron Art Institute.

In Greenwood’s lithograph “Waiting,” a young African American girl leans out of a window. Her head rests on her stacked hands. How do you think she feels based on her posture and gaze? What is she thinking?

A young girl leans out of a window, looking sad.

Waiting, ca. 1950
Ink on Paper
Lithograph
9 3/8 x 12 1/2 in.
Museum purchase

Contributed by Leslie Schuneman, curatorial intern

I find that years later after the sieve of time takes place, you really know more about what you want to say personally.

Marion Greenwood
Warm light and shadows move across a book, opened to a picture of a heron.

Collection Spotlight: Jane E. Goldman

By | Art, News, Spotlight | No Comments

Observe the passing months and seasons in the work of Jane E. Goldman. Cut flowers in glass vases and native plants frame each setting of her intricate prints. Patterned shadows dance on table cloths, floor tiles and opened books featuring images from John James Audubon’s “Birds of America.” Goldman works in various media, with her style described as “lyrical realism.” In her words, she is “looking inwards to depict incorporeal works of imagination that can’t be seen by observation.”

What seasonal elements can you sense by looking at “Audubon June?” The page in the book subtly moves, perhaps partially propped up by the chilled water glass or a burst of breeze. How does the reproduction of Audubon’s work blend into the scene? The branches in the upper right give partial coverage to the blue heron at the water’s edge.

Warm light and shadows move across a book, opened to a picture of a heron.

“Audubon June,” 2004
16-color screen print
Edition: 53/64
18 x 26 inches (image)
Gift of Lynn Barstis Williams Katz and Burton Katz

A spider web connects to a glass porch light.

#MuseumFromHome: Look Closer

By | Art Experiences, K-12 Education, News | No Comments

Get to know and appreciate the world around you a bit more with a fun, engaging family activity. Post your finished artwork on social media and tag @JCSMAuburn to create a #MuseumFromHome.

Like the scientists at NASA, we will photograph Mother Earth as art. Explore the ordinary things around us that we don’t always notice: the little dandelion growing between the cracks of your porch; your cat taking an afternoon nap; the way light shines through bubbles in a glass in the sink—you name it.

For inspiration, browse our digital exhibition of “Mother Earth as Art,” and discover the ways that satellite imagery captures details that look like paintings.

What You’ll Need

Camera (Smartphone, digital camera, polaroid camera or tablet)

Subjects around the house or your yard

Photo editing app (optional)

Color printer with photo paper (optional)

Nature creates colorful patterns along the fingers of the Ord River in Australia.

Instructions

Ask an adult if they can help you use a camera, and look together around the house or outside to spy things you wouldn’t usually notice as you go about your daily life.

Once you find something, try placing the camera in different places for different angles—near, far, with the object on the right or on the left of the frame.

A spider web connects to a glass porch light.

Look at your photographs. Did they come out how you wanted? How can you experiment with where you place the camera? Does light or shadow change your photograph?

You may want to edit your photo or add special effects. Commonsense.org recommends some photo editing apps for students. Always ask a grownup first!

Once you are done, share your work with others to show them the beauty in everyday life. Maybe even print some out or post to social media if you are able. We’d love to share your creation online @JCSMAuburn.

A melon baller and bottle opener posed as people; a glove with two fingers walking

Collection Spotlight: Janet Nolan

By | Art, News, Spotlight | No Comments

Everything from squashed aluminum cans to plastic packaging finds its way into the work of Janet Nolan (B.V.A., 1968). As a young girl in Montgomery, Alabama she absorbed the aesthetic of repurposing objects into new contexts from a beloved uncle who reconstructed ”everyday broken things into useful objects; like old metal coffee pots into lamps with colander shades.”

Inspired by Louise Bourgeois’ feminist perspective and Robert Rauschenberg’s assemblages, Nolan began sculpting with broken umbrellas she collected from Manhattan streets after a thunderstorm in 1976. Nolan’s art-colorful, playful and thought-provoking has been exhibited at universities, art centers, galleries, museums and corporate headquarters across the nation. Cheerfully, Nolan asks us to shift our expectations of redemption, recycling, rescue and revival.

A melon baller and bottle opener posed as people; a glove with two fingers walking

(L to R)

I Do, 1995
Kitchen utensils, glass case, painted wood
Gift of the artist’s estate

Cruella, 2000
Fur and suede glove, wood base,
glass dome
Gift of the artist’s estate

Installation of Apollo the Healer

Collection Spotlight: Nancy Grossman

By | Art, News, Spotlight | No Comments

Nancy Grossman, a New York City native, created this life-size etching, “Apollo the Healer,” in 1995. The Olympian god is associated with medicine and healing, and in this piece, the artist focuses our attention on a contorted collage figure of him, pieced together and made anew.

Grossman considered collage—the cutting and pasting of visual elements into a new form—as “the only way to make the disparate and ill-fitting parts of a life, an identity, an elegantly seamless experience. It satisfies both the urgent and the substantive thirst.” The museum, joining the world-wide chorus, offers thanks to all providing medical assistance during the pandemic, with hopes that this art provides a path away from suffering and toward restoration.

Contributed by staff

Figure of Apollo the healer

Edition: 3/20
65 in x 39.5 sheet
Spit-bite color etching
Museum purchase with funds provided by the 1072 Society, 2018

#MuseumFromHome: Frank Myers Boggs

By | News | No Comments

After forging a successful career painting marine landscapes and exhibiting them as well as cityscapes in the Paris Salon, Frank Myers Boggs became a French citizen in 1923. Settling in Montmartre, a bohemian neighborhood in the north of Paris, he renders a lone figure walking up the winding Rue Lepic in this painting. The pronounced diagonal brushstrokes behind the walking figure and the directional lines on the street and clouds give his movements a sense of speed.

Boggs was connected with the neighborhood art world, including art dealer Theo Van Gogh, who lived in an apartment on this street with his brother for some time. Two of Boggs’s paintings are depicted on the wall in the background of Vincent’s portrait of Scottish art dealer Alexander Reid, reproduced here. Boggs inscribed one of these paintings to “my friend Vincent.”

Michael Harding, Class of ’20
Excerpt from “Impressionism: Translating the Modern World”

Frank Myers Boggs, (French, b. United States, 1855–1926), Paris, 1915, oil on wood panel, lent by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Montgomery, Alabama; bequest of William Pelzer Arrington in memory of his mother, Ethel Pelzer Arrington.

Portrait of art dealer Alexander-Reid sitting in an easy chair

Vincent Van Gogh, Portrait of Alexander Reid, ca. 1887, oil on canvas, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

Portrait of a small Jack Russell Terrier

#MuseumFromHome: Color the Collection!

By | News | No Comments

San Francisco artist Beth Van Hoesen (American, 1926–2010) began a remarkable career in printmaking in the mid-1940s. Working alongside other Bay Area artists such as Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, and her teacher David Park, Van Hoesen was an integral figure among a group of Californians at mid-20th century who rebelled against the prevailing New York-based Abstract Expressionism. Although she remains less well known in the general public than her male colleagues, Van Hoesen’s work has long been admired and collected by fine print connoisseurs and important institutions.

Take a look at some of the works from our permanent collection. She explored these themes throughout her long career: portraits of friends, still life compositions (often treating unorthodox subjects), landscapes, and portraits of animals and pet companions.

Download and enjoy these coloring pages as a way to relax and pass the time (fun for the young or young-at-heart). Snap a picture and tag @JCSMAuburn. Let’s make a #MuseumFromHome.

Portrait of a small Jack Russell Terrier

Oka, 1991
Edition: 24/30
Color etching, aquatint, drypoint, and roulette

Download
Two bowls of figs, with loose figs.

Figs, 1977
Edition: 17/50
Color lithograph on Rives BFK paper

Download
Portrait of a happy bulldog.

Toppy, 1985
Edition: H.C.
Color etching, aquatint, drypoint, and roulette

Download
A cluttered junk drawer full of combs, keys and other items.

Drawer, 1961–72
Edition: 16/35
Etching

Download
Student worker Jean Gannett poses with one-half of "Self-Portrait as Bathers."

Behind-the-Scenes: Jean Gannett

By | Building Community, K-12 Education, News, Supporting Auburn | No Comments

Jean Gannett is one of our student staffers. She assists with all aspects of education programming, which includes prototyping art projects and working with K12, family, and community outreach groups. She also serves as a face of the museum by greeting visitors at the front desk. 

Student worker Jean Gannett poses with one-half of

My time here at Jule Collins has been such an amazing experience. Most days it doesn’t even feel like a job. The staff are all nothing but kind and welcoming, especially the people I work with the most, the wonderful ladies in the education department.

I have learned a variety of real-world and industry skills that I will carry with me to my next job, as well as really interesting behind-the-scenes museum things, like how they wash the bunny men! Other things that really impacted me working here have been the opportunity to truly learn about and connect with Auburn’s community, create real change in people’s lives, as well as spread the joy of art with others. I would not trade this experience for the world.

Welcome to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art!

We are excited that you are here with us. Feel free to look around and reach out to us by navigating to our contact page.