Losing the Auburn Oaks was a tragedy for the Auburn campus and community. The trees were an integral part of the cultural fabric of the university. When noted artist Matt Moulthrop heard about this, he cared enough to reach out to Auburn alumnus Jim Gorrie through a mutual friend and offered to make a bowl from the wood for JCSM. Mr. Gorrie went to Grant Davis, secretary of the university’s board of trustees who brought museum director Marilyn Laufer into the conversation, which resulted in this beautiful commemorative work of art. As a part of the museum’s permanent collection, the bowl will represent the significant and compelling acts of healing and remembrance. This handsome turned bowl will serve to remind all of us that something good and beautiful can come out of a very tragic situation.
Matt Moulthrop is a third generation master woodturner, having been taught by both his grandfather, Ed Moulthrop, and his father, Philip Moulthrop, both renowned artists. This Auburn Oak bowl will be featured as part of an exhibition of a selection of wood forms representing the artistry and innovation of each of the three Moulthrop family members. Their work has been recognized internationally for the refined elegance and craftsmanship evident in each of their pieces. All three generations have produced work that has been collected by many prestigious institutions including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Detroit Institute of Arts in Michigan. JCSM is honored to be able to present this exhibition as part of our celebration of having this wonderful work of art by this Matt Moulthrop enter the museum’s collection.
Our hope is that museum visitors will be awed by the beauty and skill reflected in this artwork and that they will come to recognize the piece as a tribute—not only to the trees that were lost, but also to our Auburn family who suffered this loss and was able to find a way to reaffirm our belief in humanity, evident in this example of creative expression.
Enjoy JCSM’s exhibition video, Matt Moulthrop: Auburn Oak.