The displays are open in conjunction with the widely popular Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts. The fourth incarnation of the symposium is set to take place February 22 and 23 with the theme of "A Colorful Past: Decorative Arts of Georgia." Through this biennial symposium series the Henry D. Green Center for the Study of the Decorative Arts seeks to foster interest in, to promote discussion of and to encourage continued research into the history and material culture of Georgia. The series is named in honor of Henry D. Green (1909-2003), an early and distinguished proponent of the study of Georgia's decorative arts. Mr. Green was called an "invaluable champion of Southern decorative arts" and is known as having been a pioneer in the movement to recognize Georgia's rich legacy in the decorative arts. Information on the symposium is [here].
The Georgia Painted Furniture exhibition is the type of display we pride ourselves on at the museum. It features tons of new primary research, a nice color booklet, and 2 clear goals: to celebrate the colorful past of painted, vernacular, 19th-century furniture in Georgia and to present an opportunity to reflect on the history of painted surfaces in the state.
At the back of the exhibition booklet, curators Ashley Callahan (of the Georgia Museum of Art) and Dale Couch, Senior Archivist and Historical Research Advisor at the Georgia Archives, provide new information about a number of prominent ornamental painters in the state, and selected and abstracted newspaper advertisements for "paints and related goods" in Georgia. Object-driven research!
The exhibition itself includes 25 doors, chairs, chests, wardrobes and the like...all dating from about 1800 to 1880.
Arguably, the highlight object of the display is a chest, dated to 1839, fashioned by an unidentified maker for Mary Cronic (1823-1883) of Walton County, Georgia. The chest, made of painted yellow pine, is on loan from a private collection.
In the adjacent, larger gallery is Selections from the Permanent Collection: Georgia Decorative Arts Highlights.
This installation, as its title states, features decorative arts from Georgia and the South made in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including several recent additions to the museum’s permanent collection: a Neoclassical Pembroke table from the lower southern Piedmont, a Victorian lawn urn by Stevens Brothers & Company made near Milledgeville (see right) and a lidded jar by contemporary Athens ceramist Ron Meyers. The selection highlights the museum’s dedication to building a significant collection of decorative arts from Georgia and illustrates the increasing breadth and ongoing quality of that collection. The display also includes the Georgia-related fine art objects (see below) and some of the museum's textile collection, including quilts (detail below).
These two exhibitions, soon to be combined with another new exhibition -- “I am in the garden . . . ”: African American Art from the Collections -- in a little over a week, means lots of Georgia- and South-related art is on display.