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A Black girl leans on her hand, with paper doll dimensions written on her dress.

Recent High-Profile Acquisition Set to Tour

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A high-profile acquisition funded by “Ten Seventy-Two — A Campaign for Collecting and Conserving Art” is already slated for a monumental survey in 2021.

In January, curators will exhibit “Dream Girl with Woven Camisole” by Emma Amos at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens in an important new exhibition. From there, “Emma Amos: Color Odyssey” will travel to the Munson-Williams Proctor Art Institute in Utica, New York, and then to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania. Curators are producing a major research publication to accompany the tour, which includes approximately 60 works produced over the last 60 years.

A Black girl leans on her hand, with paper doll dimensions written on her dress.

“[Amos] used figurative painting, textiles and print media…to represent the complexity of her identity as an African-American woman and to push back on the ways that Black life has been treated in white Western art.”

Jillian Steinhauer“2 Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now”, "The New York Times," Oct. 21, 2020

By making a year-end gift towards collecting and conserving art, you support a purposeful initiative to increase representation in the museum’s collections and increase these touring opportunities. Additionally, campaign funds raised to date will also help acquire works by Lavett Ballard, Delita Martin, Faith Ringgold and Carrie Mae Weems.

There are other significant museum purchases available in this focus; however, charitable giving is essential to secure these works for exhibition and study.

Will you further enhance this collection strength and create a space for critical conversations? Make a gift today.

Share your enthusiasm for museum education. Contact Ellen Killough, development officer, at 334.844.7032 or ellen.killough@auburn.edu.

A Black man plays guitar while a Black woman sews.

Collection Spotlight: Robert Gwathmey

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September is National Sewing Month, so our collection spotlight shines on “Singing and Mending” by Robert Gwathmey.

The artist, a white male, depicted rural life in the South in order to provide commentary on the power structures at play. Try “slow looking” as you consider the historical period, title, color and composition.

The guitar player’s head is angled down. What do you think his body language indicates? Both subjects have strong black lines on their forehead. Is this a happy scene? Consider how color choice could convey a mood.

Imagine the rhythm of her stitch in time with his guitar strokes and hear her song.

A Black man plays guitar while a Black woman sews.

"I'm a social being and I don't see how you can be an artist and be separate....Artists have eyes...You go home. You see things that are almost forgotten. It's always shocking."

Robert Gwathmay

Support for Ticket Registration

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

 

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.
  • Select “Art Kit” from the drop-down box labeled “Section.”
  • 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.
  • Click “buy” to complete your transaction.

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.

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.

Profile of a woman.

#MuseumFromHome: Mucha Coloring Pages

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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 woman takes a drink from a water fountain labeled "colored only."

Collection Spotlight: Gordon Parks

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A woman takes a drink from a water fountain labeled

In “Drinking Fountains” from our collection by the acclaimed Gordon Parks, who documented segregation in Alabama for Life in 1956, we observe history seemingly frozen in time as captured through a car window. The fountains with their segregated text, shocking in their own right, are juxtaposed against innocuously placed ice cream advertisements. Just as jarring, we also see a young Black woman leaning in for a drink of water from the fountain clearly labeled for her. A little girl, perhaps her daughter, is nearby with hand on hip, peering into the store windows.

Who did that little girl grow up to become? How did this moment and those fountains shape her life?

These are just two of a multitude of questions we should ask about what this image reflects, and while segregated drinking fountains are relics of the past, there can be no doubt that racism and bigotry remain.

Through civil unrest and commitments from the university administration, our community is on record to support one another and work toward much-needed change. More broadly, cultural sectors also are looking inward critically at their practices to course-correct. All indications point to acknowledging that we have a responsibility to act and that we have much more work to do.

In 2019, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art embarked on strategic visioning. Meaningful discussions have centered on diversity, inclusion and accessibility, and a commitment to improving these organizational tenets. This critical work continues with urgency and mindfulness. As an academic museum, we resolve to do better in all that we do for everyone and, most importantly, to listen, learn, and be a part of the change needed in the world.

#MuseumFromHome: Foil Coils

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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.

Welcome to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

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