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Tennessee Williams: The Playwright and the Painter

Organized by David Wolkowsky and the Key West Art & Historical Society
February 7 – May 31, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), <i>The Blaze of the Moment</i>, c1970s, Oil on Canvas

Tennessee Williams was one of the most admired playwrights of the 20th century. While he wrote fiction and motion picture screenplays, Williams is best known for his plays, which are chiefly set in the South. Several of his plays including “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Glass Menagerie,” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” are considered among the finest of the American stage. For more than 30 years, Williams lived and wrote in a cottage on a quiet Key West street. As a form of relaxation, he took up oil painting on his patio, often sketching friends, acquaintances and characters from his plays.

Sponsors
Peter Rogers
David Wolkowsky
Host Committee
Xiomara and Brad Brewster
Leslie Cecil and Creighton Michael
Carolyn and Jerry Fortino
Martha Anne Foster
Janet and Scott Howard
Allison Kendrick
B. Benjamin Lowry, M.D. and Shelly Gallender
Roger H. Ogden and Kenneth W. Barnes
Peter Politzer and Jane S. Murray
Jay Wiener
Cornelia E. Wyma

Mark Steinmetz: South

January 17, 2015 - May 10, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mark Steinmetz, <i>Off Interstate 40, Knoxville</i>, Gelatin Silver Print, 1993, Collection of the Artist

Mark Steinmetz lives and works in Athens, Georgia. His work transcends the traditional boundaries of documentary, street and fine art photography. Photographing almost exclusively in black and white, Steinmetz explores the fragile and sublime visual tapestry of everyday life, where the mundane and banal become elevated to the exquisite through the lens of his camera. Mark Steinmetz: South will include photographic selections from three of his books published by Nazraeli Press – South East, South Central and Greater Atlanta, along with a compilation of new and unseen work. Mark Steinmetz is represented by several galleries around the world including – Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia, Yancey Richardson Gallery; New York City; and Galerie Wouter van Leeuween, Amsterdam. In 1994, Steinmetz was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

Host Committee
Coleman Adler
Anonymous
Xiomara and Brad Brewster
Carolyn and Jerry Fortino
Alexa Georges and Jerry Armatis
B. Benjamin Lowry, M.D. and Family
Linda and Peter Mayer
Denise Monteleone
Dale Mott and Kenneth Hyle
Rebecca and Thomas Myers
Lisa Pulitzer and Gary Zoller
Mark Romig and David Briggs
Paige Royer and Kerry Clayton
Pat and Henry Shane
Cornelia Wyma

Changing Exhibitions

Candy Chang’s wall “Before I Die..”

On view until February, 2015

Before I Die is a project that began when Candy Chang transformed an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans into an interactive wall for people to share their hopes and dreams -- a project The Atlantic called “one of the most creative community projects ever.” The side of the exterior building of the Ogden is painted with chalk paint and chalk is available for public participation to share what they want to do “Before they die.."

Permanent Collection Exhibitions

Self-Taught, Outsider, and Visionary Art

Thornton Dial, <i>Struggling Tiger In Hard Times</i>, 1991, oil, rope, carpet, tin and industrial sealing compound on canvas mounted on plywood. Gift of Calynne and Lou Hill

Self-Taught, Outsider and Visionary Art will showcase works from the Ogden Museum’s growing collection in this genre. Including a range of work - from the naïve abstracted landscapes of Civil War veteran Charles Hutson (1840-1936) to Elayne Goodman’s Altar to Elvis, which borrows liturgical forms to represent a secular icon - this exhibition will showcase the depth and breadth of the Ogden Museum’s collection of Self-Taught art from the American South. Also included is work by Thornton Dial, Reverend Howard Finster, Clementine Hunter, Nellie Mae Rowe, Wellmon Sharlhorne, George Andrews, and others.

Walter Inglis Anderson

<i>Pelicans</i>, c.1945, Watercolor on graphite paper, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Gift of the Roger H. Houston Collection

Walter Anderson was born in 1903 in New Orleans, LA. He was a painter, potter, writer and naturalist who spent most of his life working in or around his family's business, Shearwater Pottery in Ocean Springs, MS. The small undisturbed barrier island, Horn Island, became his refuge and main inspiration. Anderson was the subject of a 2003 Smithsonian Institution Retrospective that celebrated the Centennial of his birth, and solidified his stature as a preeminent American artist. This exhibition will showcase works from the Ogden Museum’s permanent collection, as well as those from the Wesley and Norman Galen Collection.

Will Henry Stevens

<i>Untitled (Stream with Mountain Landscape)</i>,1942, pastel on paper, 16

Will Henry Stevens is one of the pioneers of modernism in the American South. Surrounded by streams, woodlands, trails and other extensive vistas associated with the Southern highlands, he developed an intimate bond with these locations, which informed his art and reflected his spiritual attitude towards nature. For this exhibition, the Ogden Museum will showcase pieces from its Permanent Collection that have not recently been on view.

Benny Andrews

<i>Grandmother's Dinner</i>, Oil and collage, 1992

One of 10 children, Benny Andrews was born on November 13, 1930, in Plainview, GA as a light skinned, blue-eyed, blond haired baby. His paternal grandmother, the midwife at his birth, was Jessie Rose Lee Wildcat Tennessee. His father, George Andrews, was a self-taught artist, the 'Dot Man,' who never lived more than 10 miles from Plainview. His mother, Viola Perryman Andrews, was an advocate for education who encouraged her children to write and draw every day.

After graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1958, Andrews moved to New York, where he maintained a studio for the remainder of his life. By 1962 he was exhibiting at Bella Fishkoís’ noted Forum Gallery. By the late 1960s, influenced by the Civil Rights movement, and troubled by the social, racial and gender inequities he discovered in the art world, he entered a period of social and cultural activism. He co-founded the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition (BECC) in 1969, and participated in marches outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, demonstrating against the exclusion of women and artists of color from those institutions. From 1982 through 1984, he served as Director of the Visual Arts Program for the National Endowment for the Arts. He died in 2006 in New York City.

Southern Landscapes

Alexander John Drysdale, <i>Bayou Teche Country 1</i>, 1927, Oil on canvas

Southern art, while closely linked to many important trends in American art, follows a different logic and unfolds at a different pace. Most historians interpret the history of art as a series of successive styles and movements with one superseding the other. The art of the South, grounded in its own complex and often complex history, unfolds in a nonlinear circuitous path that challenges historian and viewer alike. This folding and bending of styles and movements across place and time often yields unforeseen results, sometimes anticipating important national developments, and often retaining or revisiting subjects and approaches long after they have elsewhere receded into the chapters of history.

Historic Louisiana Portraits

Jean Joseph Vaudechamp, <i>Portrait of a Bespectacled Gentleman</i>, 1832, Oil on canvas

Portrait painting was one of the earliest forms of European art to establish itself in the New World, emerging shortly after the sketches made by the earliest explorers. An agrarian economy based upon the plantation system created great wealth for the planter class of the antebellum South. European painters and domestic academic painters were drawn to the urban centers such as New Orleans and Charleston during the social season to seek commissions for portraits from the wealthy land owners and their families. This exhibition includes works by Jean Joseph Vaudechamp, Francois Fleischbein, Adolph Rinck, Thomas Sully and Paul Poincy.

Southern Regionalists

John McCrady <i>Evening Meal</i>, Duck Hill, Mississippi 1934 Oil on board

This exhibition showcases the diversity of artists who reflected the changing times of the American South in the first half of the 20th Century. While American scene painting and Regionalism came to prominence in the country from the mid-1920s through the 1950s, the narrative sensibilities of the South allowed this subject to be explored in the visual arts much earlier. Artists included: Kathleen Blackshear, Christopher Clark, John Kelly Fitzpatrick, Marie Atkinson Hull, John McCrady, Harold Harrington Betts and Richard Wilt.

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