Building Community

Collection Spotlight: Auburn Oak Bowl

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Matt Moulthrop continues a legacy of innovation in woodturning, advancing techniques developed by his grandfather and father, artists Ed and Philip Moulthrop. In partnership with Auburn University, Moulthrop turned this bowl from the sizeable forked section of the Auburn Oaks at Toomer’s Corner. Do you notice the dramatic patterns from where the limbs intersected? He often works with trees that have a meaningful association in people’s minds or unique value to a community.

What significance does Toomer’s Corner hold for you? Does the work of art or woodturning process capture it in some way? What kind of item might you transform into art to preserve a memory or convey a story? Its history?

Auburn Oak Bowl, 2014
Turned wood (Live oak)
Ca. 15 x 26 ½ x 26 ½ inches
Gift of the artist, 2014

“Each tree has a story to tell. Wormholes convey past life, rings communicate growth and certain colors tell the story of death by lightning or blight. My job is to tell the story…lengthening the life of the tree rather than ending it.”

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

Behind-the-Scenes: Jean Gannett

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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.

Events planned to Commemorate 50th anniversary of Assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Members of both campus and community are invited to attend two days of programs and events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Events on Wednesday, April 4, the day of King’s assassination include a 5:30 p.m. march from the Haley Center Concourse to Langdon Hall followed by a vigil on Samford lawn and a ringing of the chimes at precisely 7:05, the exact time of King’s passing.

Events will kick off earlier in the day with a lecture at Pebble Hill by Sarah Collins-Rudolph who will also lead the march and host a short talk later in the evening at Langdon Hall. The culminating event will be hosted at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University on Thursday, April 5 at 1:30 p.m. Members of the interfaith community have been invited for panel discussions and conversations focused on King’s vision of “Becoming the Beloved Community.” All events are free and open to the public.


1:00 p.m./Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities

“Fifty Years Later: 1968 – 2018 Race and Faith in the U.S.”

Sarah Collins-Rudolph, the survivor of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham and sister of Addie Mae Collins, one of the four little girls killed in the bombing, will lead a lecture reflecting on the 50th anniversary.


5:30 p.m./Haley Center Concourse

March from Haley Center Concourse to Langdon Hall

Sarah Collins-Rudolph will host a short talk at Langdon Hall


7:05 p.m./Samford Park Lawn

Candlelight vigil and ringing of the chimes

Samford Hall’s bells will chime to commemorate the time King was assassinated in Memphis, TN, in 1968.


Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University

Holiday Hours at JCSM for 2017

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Museum Hours of Operation

Spend your holidays here at Auburn’s art museum with our special holiday hours. Galleries and the Museum Shop will be open for you and your family to enjoy. The Lethander Art Path and Museum Grounds also offer nearly 20 pieces of sculpture to walk and explore.

The Museum Cafe will close at 2pm on Thursday, December 14.

The museum will be closed for the Christmas holiday from Sunday, Dec. 24- Tuesday, Dec 26.

We will reopen on Wednesday, Dec 27 from 10-4:30 pm.

We will also be closed for New Years from Sunday, Dec 31 – Tuesday, Jan 2
We will reopen on Wednesday, Jan. 3 from 10-4:30 pm.

Last call to view the 1072 Society Exhibition, but not to donate!

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Though the exhibition is closing on Sunday, January 24, there is still time for charitable giving! You may make your charitable gift towards the 1072 Society Class of 2016 through January 31. This year focuses on photography and features historic, traditional, and contemporary examples of that diverse medium.

Make your charitable donation online or by calling Cindy Cox at 334.844.3005.

The 1072 Society is composed of friends of the museum who contribute funds annually for the express purpose of acquiring new art for JCSM’s permanent collection. Each year we assemble and exhibit a selection of art for consideration of purchase with funds generated by this group, so-named in honor of the dollar amount paid in 1948 for 36 modernist paintings to establish a university collection. Today, 1072 Society donors carry forward that initial vision to collect significant art at Auburn.

William Christenberry (American, b. 1936), Red Building in Forest, Hale County, Alabama, 1994, Edition: 25, Archival pigment print, Signed in ink on verso, Courtesy of Jackson Fine Art

Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908–2004), Sunday on the Banks of the River Marne, 1938, Gelatin silver print, Courtesy of Yancey Richardson Gallery

Tiger Giving Day: Help bring art by an Auburn alumnus home!

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On Tuesday, December 1, JCSM will participate in a 24-hour fundraising event, Tiger Giving Day. This campaign is the Auburn University Foundation’s response to Giving Tuesday, a global day of philanthropy.

JCSM’s project involves a special connection to campus. We are seeking funds towards the purchase of Elektro Licht Kraft by Robert A. Schaefer Jr. ’75. He credits his elective photography course at Auburn as one of the transformational moments that made him the artist he is today. Our hope is with the addition of this work and other photographs to the collection this year, JCSM can provide the same kind of “Art changes lives!” moment to the next generation of alumni.

There is tremendous power in every gift—great and small. Whether you contribute at the society level of $1,072 or as a part of this 24-hour online giving campaign, your support increases the number of meaningful acquisitions we can add to the collection.

The piece is part of the 1072 Society Exhibition, available to view now!


To donate on December 1 > Tiger Giving Day

This is Dakota. Watch his story below and meet the artist, Robert.

Dakota is the senior photographer for The Auburn Plainsman and the photo lab manager at Biggin Hall. Robert is a photographer and instructor at New York University and the Penumbra Foundation in New York, New York. Both are proud of their Auburn experience.

Interactive Sculpture to Entertain Visitors and Support JCSM

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Auburn University graphic design professor John Morgan brings art to life in three-dimensional form through kinetic sculpture. Intrigued by the possibility of collaborating on a large piece with Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University, Morgan planned for a multi-faceted display intended to fascinate the public. Combining visual art, design, mechanics, and woodworking, Morgan created an animated sculpture donation box, “Artful Dodger.” Morgan will deliver a talk on his work with a reception to follow at the museum on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 2:00 p.m.

The piece is made of five electric motors controlled by a series of timers and switches. The carved wooden carrousel turns clockwise as each gear slides into position. Each click of the gear showcases wooden figures attached to the piece, derived from the museum’s permanent collection.

“I didn’t find it interesting to try to simply duplicate two-dimensional art in three dimensions as it limits the opportunity for creative expression,” Morgan said. “So I chose to extrapolate what each of the subjects might have been doing at a time other than the moment that their image was frozen in our conscience by the artist.”

With this in mind Morgan created a unique personality for each subject attached to the piece. In Diane Arbus’ black and white photograph, “Triplets in their Bedroom,” the subjects are now shown vacationing at the beach, but still depicted in black and white. John James Audubon’s whooping crane is shown wading through a marsh observing whatever happens to pass by. Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s “Circus Girl Resting” is now shown performing and Roger Brown’s “Hank Williams Honky Tonk Man” sings in a “honky tonk” setting.

“Since all four of the subjects have different personalities, I decided to present each to the viewer one at a time on the carousel turntable with the Audubon whooping crane being the central unit that unites other diverse subjects,” Morgan said. The creation of each subject and the turntable took approximately two years to complete with the help of student technicians. The planning process lasted a year, which led to a full-size cardboard model. After the dimensions were approved, Morgan finalized the sculpture, marking another stage in his kinetic sculpture career.

For 30 years, Morgan has studied and produced kinetic sculpture primarily in woodwork. Pieces from his limited edition collections have been shown in “American Craft” and “American Woodworker” and exhibited in museums around the world. In the summer, he also teaches at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Franklin, Indiana, the largest woodworking school in the United States.

“I hope that this piece will be well received by the patrons and become a signature piece of the museum,” he said. “I believe that it will help to make the experience of museum going more interactive.”

Museum guests will be able to visit the donation box in the museum’s Carlisle Lobby and experience Morgan’s interpretation of the permanent collection. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday until 8 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free courtesy of JCSM Business Partners. This piece was made possible with support from J. Mark Jones–Prestige Properties.

Contributed by Taylor Ennis, PR Intern, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

Aubie Loves Sculpture Too! Get Your Pics from JCSM’s “Tailgate”

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Aubie surprised guests with an appearance at our Museum Homecoming Tailgate on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015.

As you tour and experience Out of the Box: An Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition through October 2016be sure to take lots of pictures and share using #ThisIsSculpture.

For those of you who attended our event, download your picture as a memento from the museum’s Flickr account. Scroll to your picture, click the image, and select the download arrow from the image bank menu on the bottom righthand of the page.

Aubie at Museum Homecoming Tailgate (10.02.15)

Oh Snap! Get Your Photo Booth Pics from JCSM’s “Tailgate”

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Our JCSM photo booth captured the fun of the Museum Homecoming Tailgate on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. Guests showed their team spirit and belief in the transformative power of art.

As you tour and experience Out of the Box: An Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition through October 2016be sure to take lots of pictures and share using #ThisIsSculpture.

For those of you who attended our event, download your picture as a memento from the museum’s Flickr account. Scroll to your picture, click the image, and select the download arrow from the image bank menu on the bottom righthand of the page.

Museum Homecoming Tailgate (10.02.15) Museum Homecoming Tailgate 2016

University Ace Hardware partners with museum on grand prize giveaway

By | Building Community, Juried Exhibition, News, Sculpture | No Comments

We’re happy to announce that University Ace Hardware is one of the supporters of our Museum Homecoming Tailgate on Friday, October 2! The community-wide event celebrating the opening of Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition  is open to all ages and will include sculpture tours, art and family activities, a tiger bounce house for kids, a grand prize giveaway, and delicious food and beverage options from local favorites. Cash is preferred, we ID. No outside food or drinks allowed.

Help us get a headcount for the Museum Homecoming Tailgate by registering for your FREE tickets. 

University Ace Hardware will be handing out free T-shirts as well offering a grand prize giveaway!


Enter for a chance to win a prize package worth up to $500 from our friends at University Ace Hardware! The winner gets to pick from one of the following:

  • Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler (pictured: left)
  • Husqvarna Chainsaw
  • Patio Furniture Set

Participants must enter on-site for a chance to win. Winner does not need to be present at time of announcement, but must pick up prize within one week of event (by October 9, 2015).

Community support is essential to what we do.

“At University Ace we think it is important to support Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art because it is one of the most important assets in our community by introducing kids and adults alike to the transforming power of art,” said Shalisa Grantham, company spokesperson.

Members and donors provide essential support that enables us to bring a wide range of visual art programs and exhibitions to the Auburn community. We rely heavily on the generosity of our donors, as a majority of our exhibitions, educational programs, and outreach activities are privately funded. This generosity goes beyond financial support in the forms of participation at events, promoting the museum, and strengthening relationships throughout the community. We welcome and appreciate the financial support of all Auburn alumni, as well as patrons of the arts in East Alabama and beyond.

For more on how you can support JCSM, please contact the Development Office at 334.844.1675.

About Us

“In March of 2012, David and Carolyn Fichtner along with their children Ilga (17), Ina (17), Michael (15), Jonathan (15) and Anne (15) decided to bring Ace Hardware to the Auburn/Opelika community. The Fichtner’s purchased the old “Yellow” building next to the movie theater and have been working on a complete renovation of the interior, exterior, parking lot and landscaping. The renovations are almost complete and the new store, University Ace Hardware, will be opening on February 12, 2013.

David Fichtner manages the day to day operations of the store. “We are so excited to be able to open University Ace Hardware. We look forward to being a true hometown hardware store for Auburn/Opelika and the surrounding communities. We live in this community and we love this community and we are excited to meet the demands for a locally owned convenient hardware store and garden center. Our commitment is to provide a diverse array of products and services with the most ‘helpful folks’ around!”

See more on their website. 

JCSM would like to thank our sponsors for Out of the Box, whose generous support helps make this exhibition possible: Julian Roberts Haynes, in memory of Dr. Lucile McGehee Haynes, Grace and David E. Johnson, and the Susan Phillips Educational Gift Fund.

Welcome to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

We welcome you to explore, experience and engage with the visual arts.