Thursday, November 24, 2016

Annual Book and Frame Sale and Membership Specials

Happy Thanksgiving! As the holidays approach, we've organized a few events to help you shop for your loved ones or for yourself. We'll be closed today and tomorrow to allow our hard-working front-line staff to spend time with their families, but will be back open regular hours over the weekend, including Saturday, when UGA hosts Georgia Tech for its final football game of the year. The game starts at noon, but we open at 10 a.m., so if there are exhibitions you've wanted to see and haven't made it over for yet, you have time to fit in both.

From Tuesday, November 29, through Friday, December 2, we'll have our annual holiday book and frame sale. The sale features new and used publications in all genres.

(And for anyone who would like to donate books or frames, give us a call on the main line at 706.542.4662. We'll even come pick them up!)

Then, on December 1, the Museum Shop will be offering special deals and discounts from 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m., including beautifully packaged gift memberships:

- 20% discount on memberships at the Contributing level or above, either for yourself or as a gift

- 20% discount on non-sale items for museum members, including brand-new members*

- Free cookies and coffee to fuel your shopping, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

- Free parking for shoppers in the museum's gated lot under the building.

Contributing-level memberships include reciprocal membership discounts and privileges at more than 1,000 museums throughout the United States and Canada and can be a wonderful gift even for friends and family outside of Athens.

* Don’t forget to bring your membership card.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Highlights from the Permanent Collection: Blair-Daura Chest

This chest of drawers descended in the Blair family of Virginia and is attributable to the south side of the state or possibly the area of Milton, N.C. The chest was gifted to the Georgia Museum of Art from the Pierre Daura estate. Comprising walnut, poplar and yellow pine, the chest displays numerous aspects of fine craftsmanship and probably dates to around 1825–60. For its time and region, important stylistic features include ring-turned feet, cross-hatched inlay characteristic of furniture from the Roanoke River valley, large inlaid circles and ovals and, especially, carved masks placed in the upper stiles beneath the top. Referred to in the 19th century as “mummies,” the masks reference long-standing classical examples. Georgia Museum of Art's curator of decorative arts, Dale Couch, is exploring a possible attribution to or influences from African American cabinetmaker Thomas Day. Similar masks are found in his architectural woodwork from that region.

According to Couch, “The Blair-Daura chest is exciting for a number of reasons, but especially since aspects of its design, in particular its cross-hatched inlay, migrated with settlers from Georgia in the lower southern piedmont. Such pieces serve not only as remarkable specimens of American decorative art but also as important reference points for evaluating Georgia examples. The chest will provide numerous ongoing research projects for a long time to come. Thomas Mapp and Martha Daura’s names are well known to the museum community, and it is well known that she is the daughter of internationally important Catalan artist Pierre Daura. We forget that she is also a Virginian, and her family heirlooms have now become an important part of our decorative arts holdings.”

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Elegant Salute XV: "A Night of Tropical Splendor"

When they begin the Beguine
It brings back a sound of music so tender
It brings back a night of tropical splendor
It brings back a memory evergreen
— Cole Porter, “Begin the Beguine”

From Elegant Salute XIV of 2015: "An Elegant Salute to Georgia."

The 15th edition of Elegant Salute will soon be upon us, on Saturday, January 28, 2017. Elegant Salute is our black-tie gala held every other year and is the museum’s most important fundraiser. Funds from this event go directly to educational programming and exhibitions. This year’s chair is Maggie Hancock, who crafted the beautiful and inspiring décor for the last Elegant Salute and has made herself an indispensible member of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art. Hancock will work with her co-chair, Sarah Peterson, and her network of committee chairs to create an unforgettable evening, inspired by Cole Porter’s song “Begin the Beguine.”

Written in 1935 while Porter was on a cruise in the South Pacific, the song evokes the elegance of the time period. As Hancock puts it, “Porter transports one to a place where the Beguine (a Latin dance) is happening, and the tropical setting heightens the sensorial moment. Expect to be transported into an evening of lush paradise filled with elements from shore to sea.” Flower arrangements are always a highlight of the event, and this year’s theme provides an abundance of inspiration for flower committee chair Beverly Sligh.

Dancing at Elegant Salute XIV, 2015
The evening will begin with a reception in the Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be followed by dinner catered by Epting Events in the M. Smith Griffith Grand Hall. Following dinner, guests will return to the sculpture garden for dessert and dancing at the Copacabana-themed after-party.

The museum relies on private donations to fund programming and exhibitions, making this event vital to our success in the coming year. The Friends hope to raise $180,000 in support, and we have no doubt that David Matheny, fundraising chair, can achieve that goal. There’s no one better at nicely twisting arms. 

The rest of the committee chairs bring talent, experience, energy and creativity to their jobs, and we look forward to seeing what they come up with. Ligia Alexander is spearheading décor, Devereux Burch and Amburn Power are in charge of social, Evelyn Dukes is handling logistics, Airee Hong Edwards will manage publicity for the after-party, Mike Landers is planning the entertainment, and Mike Montesani will work with Epting Events on the evening’s menu.

Advance reservations are required by January 13. $300 per person for members and $350 per person for nonmembers. Tickets for the after-party only are $50 for members and $65 for nonmembers and allow entry for the dessert and dancing in the sculpture garden at 9:30 p.m. Tropical attire encouraged. Call 706.542.0830 or visit for more information, to sponsor or to purchase tickets.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

"Storytelling: The Georgia Review’s 70th Anniversary Art Retrospective"

"Storytelling: The Georgia Review’s 70th Anniversary Art Retrospective" opens this Saturday, November 5, during the University of Georgia's Spotlight on the Arts festival. In this exhibition, the Georgia Review — the university's highly regarded journal of arts and letters — celebrates the wide-ranging roster of visual artists whose work it has reproduced with a selected retrospective of paintings, works on paper, photographs and 3-D compositions by contributors from across the United States and beyond: Kael Alford, Benny Andrews, Nina Barnes, Carl Bower, Tamas Dezso, Vanessa German, Margaret Morrison, Celeste Rapone, Bianca Stone, Kara Walker, Patti Warashina, and Masao Yamamoto.

Masao Yamamoto, KAWA = FLOW #1637, 2013–15

Focusing on the many ways in which stories can be told, the exhibition drives the point home on a local and global scale. Of the 25 works in the show, some come from the state of Georgia while some, like the photographs, document conditions in Iraq, Romania and Colombia — many of the works address issues of gender, race and politics. "Storytelling: The Georgia Review’s 70th Anniversary Art Retrospective" emphasizes art-making as visual testimony.

Jenny Gropp, managing editor at the Review and co-curator of this exhibition, said she is “thrilled to be presenting this particular gathering of artists.” Annette Hatton, former managing editor of the Review, is Gropp’s co-curator, and Sarah Kate Gillespie, the museum’s curator of American art, served as in-house curator.

Events related to the exhibition include:

Tour at Two: Jenny Gropp, managing editor of the Georgia Review and co-curator of the exhibition, will give a special tour.
Wednesday, November 9, 2 p.m.

Opening reception: Award-winning poet Rachel Eliza Griffiths will read work at this event as part of her Georgia Poetry Circuit tour. Light refreshments will be served.
Thursday, November 17, 7 p.m.

Closing reception: Light refreshments will be served and the exhibition will be open.
Thursday, January 19, 7 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.