Join the Junior Patrons for a night of decadent food, sparkling drinks, exciting music, and a special tour of the Look of Love exhibition by curator Graham C. Boettcher. Bring a special someone, a group of friends, or go stag and enjoy this artfully amorous Valentine's event!
Thursday // February 9 // 6--9PM
Birmingham Museum of Art
$10 Junior Patron Members
Free if you join the Junior Patrons at the door!
Slow food, slow living, slow... art? Unlock the secrets of works in the Museum’s collection by cultivating the art of looking slowly. Our docents ask and answer questions to help guide your slow art experience and foster conversation. Leave the Museum feeling inspired—not tired.
This Saturday at 2pm,, Musuem docent Julia Stork discusses the work Lady Helen Vincent, Viscountess d'Abernon by John Singer Sargent.
Join us for the opening lecture and reception for our latest exhibition, Dragons and Lotus Blossoms: Vietnamese Ceramics from the Birmingham Museum of Art on its opening day, Sunday, January 22. Our guest speaker is Vietnamese ceramics expert and co-curator of the exhibition, John Stevenson.
Sunday // January 22
Lecture // 2:30PM / Steiner Auditorium / Reception to Follow
John Stevenson graduated from Oxford with a degree in Modern History. After three years in the US and Nigeria he moved to Asia, where he lived and worked for twenty years in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, and Korea. He helped establish the first British commercial office to open in Hanoi after the Vietnam War. Already inspired by exposure to the vast quantities of Chinese art that moved from China into Hong Kong during the 1980s, he became fascinatedby the similarities and differences he noticed between Chinese and Vietnamese ceramics. He has written extensively on Vietnamese ceramics and his other love, Japanese woodblock prints. He has served as Acting Curator of Chinese Art at Seattle Art Museum, and for the last ten years was Production Manager at University of Washington Press.
Please join us for a reception immediately following the lecture.
The Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection, a hardback companion book of the upcoming exhibition with the same name, is now available for pre-order with a special rate on the Museum Store's website. This offer is limited; click here to place your order now!
Similiar to the exhibition, the book explores the fascinating subject of 'lover's eyes', hand-painted miniatures of single human eyes, set in exquisite jewelery and given as tokens of affection. The Birmingham Museum of Art's own, Curator of American Art, Dr. Graham C. Boettcher, serves as the publication's editor, with contributions from Elle Shushan and Jo Manning.
Graham C. Boettcher is the William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, where he oversees the collections of American fine and decorative art before 1945. Elle Shushan is among the world's foremost dealers in American and European portrait miniatures, and works with many of the leading private and public collections of miniatures. Jo Manning is a romance novelist and the author of 'My Lady Scandalous' (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a biographical account of the royal courtesan Grace Dalrymple Elliot.
The Birmingham Museum of Art was voted "Birmingham's Best Museum" in an online poll conduced by The Birmingham News. Over 6,600 people cast their votes for "Birmingham's Best" in over 80 different categories. The Birmingham Museum of Art is delighted to receive the acknowledgment and support of such a nomination.
Need a last minute holiday gift? Give the gift of membership!
Whether it's for a Family or a Junior Patron, spread the joy of art this holiday season and give a gift that your friends and family will enjoy the whole year ‘round.
As a Museum member, your loved ones will enjoy these amazing members-only perks:
- 10% off in the Museum Store and Oscar’s at the Museum
- Reciprocity to many museums across the Southeast and North America
- Complimentary jewelry and silver appraisal at The Look of Love Jewelry Appraisal Day
on February 25
- Priority reservations for special brunches, lunches, and dinners at Oscar’s
- Discounted ticket(s) to all Art on the Rocks events
- Complimentary ticket(s) to the upcoming blockbuster exhibition,
Norman Rockwell’s America opening in September 2012
- Plus many more!
*Note any gift specifics in the comment field.
On November 8, Dr. Graham C. Boettcher, The William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art attended a special preview at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, which opened to the public on November 11. This long-anticipated museum was the vision of Alice Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. The collection includes many iconic works including Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits (1849) and Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter (1943).
The BMA is proud to announce its first grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, for a curatorial fellowship in African-American Art. Jeffreen M. Hayes, who begins her position as Mellon Fellow on January 16, has just completed her doctoral studies at the College of William and Mary in the American Studies program. Her specialty is contemporary African- American art and visual culture. Jeffreen has an extensive background in the arts. She worked for the federal art program Art-in-Architecture, housed under the U.S. General Services Administration, the National Gallery of Art, the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Library of Congress, and Hampton University Museum as well as several other arts and non-profit institutions. Jeffreen has also published articles and essays on African-American art. She recently completed a fellowship at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York and a Swann Foundation Fellowship for Caricature and Cartoon at the Library of Congress.
Dr. Anne Forschler-Tarrasch, the Marguerite Jones Harbert and John M. Harbert III Curator of Decorative Arts, has been invited to lecture at a meeting of the Ima Hogg Ceramic Circle at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on January 23. Anne will present an illustrated lecture about the Museum’s extensive collection of Wedgwood ceramics. In November, the Museum hosted the American Ceramic Circle’s annual symposium, which was a huge success. Anne, an ACC board member, organized the symposium and delivered a lecture on Wedgwood. More than 100 curators and collectors gathered at the BMA to enjoy an exciting and interesting lecture program, private collection visits, and intense discussion about a variety of ceramics.
Samantha Kelly, Curator of Education, has been selected to serve on the Exhibitions Committee for Vulcan Park and Museum.
Kristi Taft is the new Exhibitions Officer in the Curatorial Department. Kristi has been with the Museum for eleven years, the past ten as a Development Officer. In this new position Kristi will provide project management for temporary exhibitions and collection installations, and will advance the Museum’s traveling exhibition program. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Kristi holds a BA and MA in anthropology, with a focus on archaeology.
Kristi McMillan joined the Education Department in October filling the new position of Assistant Curator of Education for Visitor Engagement. Kristi earned her BA and MA in Art History at the Univerity of Virginia and has been working in the field of Museum Education for the last nine years. She will spearhead efforts in the development of an institutional plan for interpretation, lead the docent program, and work toward creating more visitor-centered Museum experiences.
Italian Doctoral Student Dario Zorza interned in the curatorial department this past fall. While at the Museum he completed his thesis for the University of Padua on the history of the Samuel H. Kress Collection of Italian art. He also researched the formation of the Kress collection at the BMA and how visitors understand these works today.
Dr. Donald A. Wood has been busy for the past several years working on the exhibition and catalogue for Dragons and Lotus Blossoms: Vietnamese Ceramics from the Birmingham Museum of Art. It is rewarding to see this project about a little known aspect of the Museum’s permanent collection come to fruition with the assistance of international scholars and important grants from several national and local foundations. Don gave a paper about the Vietnamese collection this past November at the American Ceramic Circle meeting held at the Museum. Don is also busy organizing a Museum sponsored trip to India for later this year.
There is often a perceived separation between medicine and the sciences and creativity and the arts. In reality, however, creativity is simply the process of looking at something through a new lens. Museum educators Samantha Kelly and Suzy Harris tested this theory through an innovative partnership with UAB Medical School during a 9-hour pilot course offered to 10 medical students in October. Our hope for this partnership was to provide the opportunity for medical students to bridge that gap between art and the sciences and to help them become more creative and reflective thinkers as they observe—and ultimately diagnose—their patients. The experience surpassed our highest expectations, as we engaged in hours of close looking at original works of art, rich and rewarding dialogue and discussion, and challenged traditional notions of medical practice.
This course, although inspired by existing programs at Yale and Harvard, was conceived in collaboration with Stephen Russell, MD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UAB, who approached the Museum last spring about the possibility. Working with Russell was a natural fit, as his teaching methodology blended well with the Museum’s educational philosophy. “We have two goals for the medical students in the Art in Medicine course,” shared Russell. “The first goal is to fill their diagnostic toolbox with sharper eyes and more flexible minds. The second goal is for them to recognize that creatively interpreting an unfamiliar situation, whether in a painting or in a patient, begins with close observation. By the end of the week, we hope they will appreciate the importance of taking time to look, to ask, and to observe.”
We, in fact, achieved far more than these goals, which is evident from a fourth-year medical student’s assessment of the program. “It is so true and frightening that years of medical education will get you nowhere without first being able to just stop, look, and reflect on what you see. It is not just the seeing that is important, but also the interpretation of what we see as physicians. I am going to try to be a better physician using the skills I learned today…. and really see my patients so that I can be of better service to them.”
The Museum will offer an extended version of this course again in February. We hope to build on this initial success by making this a permanent course offering in the future.
The Museum is making great strides in connecting with the communities that house the nine elementary schools we are focusing on, as part of our third grade arts integration program with the Birmingham City School system. These neighborhoods include Avondale, Central Park, Ensley, Glen Iris, Arlington West End, North Roebuck, South East Lake, Sandusky, and North Avondale. We are excited to share that we have attended multiple PTA meetings in each of these nine districts as part of the complimentary community-based programs. The week of November 14 was particularly rewarding, as we helped the elementary schools celebrate American Education Week and attended all nine PTA meetings offered that week.
In addition, Artist-In-Residence Toby Richards has traveled to each of the nine neighborhood association meetings, as well as the Community Advisory Board meeting for all of Birmingham’s 99 Neighborhoods. We are hosting activities and hands-on projects at Jimmie Hudson / Sandusky Recreation Center, have participated in several career fairs in the schools, and are partnering with the after-school programs at United Methodist Churches in Pratt City and Central Park. The Five Points West Library and West End Library are working with us to enhance the family services they already provide.
The collaboration also invites these communities to participate in Museum events and activities. We are distributing promotional materials about our family program offerings through the neighborhood associations, churches, and libraries, which resulted in increased attendance at our October family day, Bart’s Spooktacular. The Museum is currently working on plans to host PTA meetings and community organization meetings. It is our hope to fully engage these communities and educate the whole child (beyond their school studies) as we continue to provide a true partnership in education.
The Birmingham Museum of Art has been recognized for making the 9th most important acquisition worldwide by esteemed British arts publication, Apollo magazine for its stunning Vietnamese jar from the Le Dynasty. The December issue of Apollo puts the Birmingham Museum of Art in the company of institutional greats including the Musée du Louvre, the Metropolitan Musuem of Art, the Frick Collection, and the British Museum. Purchased with funds provided by the estate of William M. Spencer III, the 24¼-inch-tall jar dates from the 15th-16th century and will be showcased as the centerpiece for the Museum's upcoming exhibition, Dragons and Lotus Blossoms: Vietnamese Ceramics from the Birmingham Museum of Art. Click here to read Apollo's article with a detailed list of the most important acquisitions worldwide.
Recent Annual Fund donor and Junior Patron member Margaret Whiteside wants you to know why she gives to the Annual Fund.
What does the Museum mean to you?
Art has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember, and studying art and artists is a passion of mine. The BMA is one of the few places in this hectic world where I can go to slow down, relax, and appreciate beautiful objects and know that I will never be disappointed by what I see.
Why did you decide to donate to the Annual Fund this year?
I realize that all gifts, regardless of size, make a difference to the Museum and that through my support I may help others discover their love of art. It’s a small way of giving back to a place that gives so much to so many.
Why is it important to you to be a member and, specifically, a Junior Patron of the Museum?
It’s important for me to be a member and JP so that I can continue to be involved with the Museum and feel connected to what’s going on. There are so many wonderful programs and benefits for members, plus it’s great to be able to routinely gather with fellow art lovers.
We hope that YOU will be inspired to give to the Annual Fund, too! Gifts support the Museum's areas of greatest need. Please CLICK HERE to donate now!
For more information on Junior Patrons membership, please click here.
The Birmingham Museum of Art proudly presents Haochen Zhang, The Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medalist of the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, performing at the Annual Rushton Concert. This concert will take place in the Steiner Auditorium and is offered to the public for free on a first come, first served basis.
6:00 pm //
Pre-concert tour of the exhibition, Daumier: Art for the Masses. Led by Chief Curator Jeannine O’Grody.
7:30 pm //
Concert begins with renowned pianist, Haochen Zhang, Gold Medalist winner at the 13th Van Cliburn Competition. The Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medalist of the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Haochen Zhang "demonstrated a musical maturity almost unimaginable in one so young," observed Scott Cantrell of The Dallas Morning News.
The youngest participant in the competition at 19, the pianist was previously recognized for his prodigious talent as the youngest winner of the 2007 China International Piano Competition when he was 17 years old. A sensitive musician and insightful programmer, Mr. Zhang is in demand worldwide for orchestral and recital engagements. He launched his first year as a Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medalist with prestigious engagements, including the Aspen Summer Music Festival and Academy, the Washington Performing Arts Society, and as part of Carnegie Hall's "Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: A Festival Celebrating Chinese Culture." He also made a triumphant return to his native China as soloist at the Beijing Music Festival in the winter of 2009.
Mark your calendar for our upcoming annual Members Shopping Day! We will be opening our doors on a Monday to give you and your guests this incredible opportunity for shopping and more!
Visit the Museum Store to enjoy a 20 percent discount on all regularly-priced merchandise, and buy one of a kind gifts from unique trunk show vendors in the store and the café – and FREE gift wrap.
While you’re here, eat a holiday lunch at Oscar’s discounted by 10 percent! We recommend reservations, either through our web site or by calling 205-328-7850.
Take in guided tours - Daumier: Art for the Masses – with Deputy Director Jeannine O’Grody and Celebrate Life: The Art of Chris Clark, with Director Gail Andrews. See the authors of the new children’s book Night, Night Birmingham, Laurel Mills and Michelle Hyde, who will sign copies for our visitors.
From 3pm to 5pm, you can Eat, Drink, and Be Pampered with complimentary appetizers, a glass of wine, and a 15-minute massage, while the kids Get Crafty, enjoying snacks and art activities planned just for them!
Don’t miss the shopping event of the season!
Henry Adams of the Smithsonian praises the Museum's new Jazz Bowl by Viktor Schreckengost.
"It’s enough to make you want to start doing the Charleston: A masterpiece of earthenware, a Jazz Bowl by Viktor Schreckengost, has been newly acquired and newly displayed at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama. In my view, the Jazz Bowl —several dozen of which were produced—has emerged in the last decade as not only the single finest example of American Art Deco, but as an icon of a new mode of American cultural identity."