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Museum Strengths

Advancing American Art

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Advancing American Art

Exhibitions in Eastern Europe, Eastern Asia and Latin America, utilizing a collection of 117 American modernist paintings were planned by the U.S. State Department in 1946, in an effort to demonstrate America’s artistic freedom. The program was quickly halted due to political outcry over the use of taxpayers’ money to fund works that were criticized as “Un-American” based on subject matter, modernist approach, and the melting pot of artists’ backgrounds. The War Assets Administration auctioned the paintings as war surplus in 1948, and Alabama Polytechnic Institute successfully bid on 36 paintings for $1,072. These pieces laid the groundwork for the museum’s future collections and inspired the development of the 1072 Society, a collecting and giving group started in 2008.

Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon Collection

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Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon Collection

A cornerstone of the museum’s holdings, this collection contains more than 100 prints by naturalist John James Audubon. Audubon’s work has been long recognized as among the earliest and best records of American wildlife. Audubon’s Birds of America series, now acclaimed for its fine artistic achievements, is well represented in the museum’s collection along with the Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.

The Helen and Dwight Carlisle Collection Of Irish Belleek Porcelain

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