Monday, December 10, 2007

Mommy & Me

The Education staff at LRMA had a free family art day on Thursday, December 6. Children and parents worked together to create original holiday wrapping paper and beautiful paper poinsettias. Our "Holiday Art Class" is going to be this Thursday, the 13th, where kids will create Santa cookie plates and other fun holiday crafts. The class costs $15 for museum members and $20 for non-members. Please call Pam at the museum at 601-649-6374 to register now!

At the Museum: Travel Posters

At the Museum: The Poster Collection
Jill R. Chancey, PhD

One of the little-known collections of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is our selection of travel posters and war propaganda posters of the 20th century. The first director of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Miss Ella Bradley, began the collection, which ultimately reached nearly a thousand total. War-related posters came to the LRMA Library from the government as a public service, and the travel posters were also sent out free to public organizations. Rather than using them and throwing them out, Miss Bradley saved them, and even stored many of the larger ones under the rug in what is now the Reading Room. Eventually this enormous collection was retrieved, moved to safer storage, and inventoried.

By 1999, a full inventory was completed with the assistance of Nicho Lowry of Swann Galleries in New York City, and the Museum determined to keep and frame a representative selection of those posters which were of high quality and in good condition. A number of duplicate copies and posters of lesser quality or worse condition were sold at auction to benefit the Museum’s Acquisitions Fund. These posters have always been part of the library collection, and are not accessioned into the art collection. The lesser restrictions on the library collection allow us to lend them to institutions that are not museums, such as the Saenger Theater in Hattiesburg or the Historical Society in Columbia.

Starting this week, a selection of the Museum’s travel posters will be on display in the Lower Level Galleries. In the wake of the first World War (1914-1918) and before the Great Depression, European nations had been left in a state of chaos and depression, while the United States had become one of the richest countries in the world. The following decade saw an industrial boom in America. The automobile became a symbol of prosperity and mobility, and a rapidly growing middle class had the means to travel for leisure. During this boom, posters were one of the most effective tools for selling travel. Art Deco, a geometric style of the 1920s and 1930s, quickly emerged as the most popular style for designers in the United States and Europe. The Art Deco style can be found in graphics, architecture, product design, and the fine arts throughout the period. Some graphic designers, however, were more strongly influenced by Cubism, which emerged in Paris around 1908 and continued to have an enormous influence through the 1940s. The Museum’s selection of posters reflect a variety of graphic design trends, and serve to remind us that travel was once glamorous and luxurious, particularly aboard ocean liners.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and on Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Check the website for upcoming Summer events and classes. For information about LRMA exhibitions and programs, call (601) 649-6374 or check our website at

Sugar Plum Gala 2007

A good time was had by all at Gala last week, and I think we are finally, mostly, recovered. For photographic evidence, I give you:

Sugar Plum Gala photos

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Reminder for this weekend

The museum will be closed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (November 30, December 1 and 2) for our annual Gala. This year's theme: The Sugar Plum Ball. We are awash in nutcrackers, gingerbread houses, and paper stars.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Guest Blogger: Tommie Rodgers

Come On In!

If you haven’t visited the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art lately, you’ve missed out on a variety of events, most of which are free to the public. In recent weeks, we’ve gone from rock n’ roll photos of the ʼ60s to string quartet and orchestra performances to art quilt constructions! The galleries were busy with daily summer crowd averages of 100 people a day.

This month has been equally busy with Third Grade Tours for all area third grade children. Instruction for these groups focuses on viewing the Native American baskets with discussions of how 19th century Native Americans lived, along with the opportunity to work on a weaving activity.

The Museum staff is excited to see the Star Reach Fifth Graders again this year. Their tours will focus on the non-objective sculptures of David Hayes. While you may see some of his sculptures on the grounds of the Museum, you are welcome to come in and view the maquettes and accompanying paintings that will be on display until November 11th. The Fifth Graders will also be viewing Quilt National and learning about art quilts, their fabrics, methods of construction and the interpretive meaning of some of the quilts.

All teachers and students are welcome to come for tours and specially-designed activities that will enhance your classroom needs. The Museum also has art videos that can be shared with area teachers.

Time is certainly ticking by this year and the Museum will be celebrating its 85th anniversary next May. It’s hard to believe we’re so close to yet another milestone in the Museum’s existence. Many changes have taken place in the 84 years of the Museum’s history, most of which are behind the scenes. It’s entirely possible that a visitor can walk in, view the art work, attend a lecture and leave without ever thinking of how it all comes about.

To make things happen, staff and Board members create and follow policies that govern the Museum’s operations. Policies such as the Collections Management Policy and the Ethics Policy guide the committees in their actions and planning for the Museum. Our Board of Directors compose the committees that make general decisions and guide the staff on issues that aren’t always clear cut.

The committees consist of Collections, Programs and Exhibitions, Property, Finance, Personnel, Development, Long Range Planning and the newly formed Audit Committee. These committees meet four times a year just days before the quarterly Board meetings. Staff members whose jobs parallel these topics meet with the committees and together work to follow and/or augment the policy each has to guide its decisions.

Of course, increasing attendance is always a topic for discussion and we work to invite groups whenever possible. We recently hosted tours for the Laurel Fire and Police Departments and would like to extend an invitation to other places of employment. If you find your office is getting a little slow, give your employees a boost and send them to the Museum for a visit. A person can easily tour the Museum in just under an hour and, as an employer, you’ll be teaching the community about the “gem” that out-of-towners already know about. Admission is always free.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street and is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. You can check out our web site at or call the Museum at 601-649-6374 for information about programs and events.

Tommie Rodgers is the Registrar at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

Guest Blogger: Mandy Buchanan

At the Museum
Mandy Buchanan, Curator of Education

This October, a new staff member joined the Education Staff at Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. Angie King is LRMA’s new Education Outreach Coordinator. Angie received a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from University of Southern Mississippi and has worked as a classroom art teacher. As Outreach Coordinator, Angie will provide art instruction and experiences for Jones County and surrounding communities. We are so excited to have Angie join the LRMA staff. She has arrived at a very busy time. Her first week, she jumped right in to help prepare for Heritage Arts Festival.

Heritage Arts Festival was held Saturday, October 6, 2007 on the front lawn of the Museum. The theme for the day was “Celebrate Mississippi”. The art activities and music highlighted the history and culture of Mississippi. The featured artist was wood carver and member of the Mississippi Craftsmen Guild, Mr. George Berry. The Sharon Community Quilters demonstrated and displayed their Quilts in the American Gallery.

Lauren Rogers Museum Education Department has many activities and events planned this fall. We will begin LRMA’s Third Grade Tours program this month. Third Grade students from Laurel, Jones County and surrounding counties participate in this program. The tour features the By Native Hands, Native American Basket Collection. Students also participate in a hands-on weaving activity.

November 2nd Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will partner with The Laurel Junior Auxiliary and The Laurel Arts League to present Very Special Arts Festival at the Cameron Center in Laurel. This fun filled day is for mentally and physically challenged students in Jones County and surrounding areas. Students will participate in a variety of art and musical activities and enjoy a picnic lunch in Daphne Park. The theme this year is FIESTA! I think the volunteers have just as much fun as the students each year.

The LRMA Education Department is offering some fun holiday classes for children this fall.

Trick Art Treat, Tuesday, October 30, 2007 in Museum Annex.

Mommy and Me Free Holiday Art Activity Thursday, December 6, 2007 1:00-4:00pm

Christmas Art Class for Kids, Thursday, December 13, 2007 in the Museum Annex.

If you have any questions about any of the LRMA Education Programs please call Mandy Buchanan or Angie King at 601- 649- 6374 or visit the Museum’s website,

Friday, September 21, 2007

Linda McCartney held over!

The Linda McCartney: Portrait of the Sixties exhibition was scheduled to close yesterday (September 20th). However, we're holding it over through the 25th.

As a reminder, here are our hours:

Saturday, 10 am - 4:45 pm
Sunday, 1 pm - 4 pm
Monday, CLOSED
Tuesday, 10 am - 4:45 pm

More Birthday Tiaras!!

From top to bottom:

Our Fearless Leader, George (yes, that's cake in his teeth. on purpose. yes, we're all VERY mature here)

Donnelle, Librarian

Donna, Library Cataloguer

Todd had a birthday recently and wore the tiara over his John Deere cap. Unfortunately, nobody knows how to get the picture off of Jo Lynn's camera and onto my computer. (yes, we're also very, very tech-savvy here)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fall Video Series

This fall, LRMA Library will host the Video Series, Egypt’s Golden Empire. A production of PBS, the series unfolds in 3 parts and follows the rise and fall of Egypt’s New Kingdom; its impact on art, science and politics on the ancient world. One part from the series will be offered each week on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. in the Museum Reading Room, September 4th through the 18th. Each video lasts approximately 60 minutes. The Library will replay each week’s video by request for those unable to attend the Tuesday 2:00 p.m. sessions.

In October, the Library will participate in a state-wide observance of National Archives Month. The theme for the month is “Faces of Mississippi”, and with that in mind, the LRMA Library will present a photograph exhibit entitled “Labor Pains: Hard Work Builds a Community”, a collection of rarely-seen images of the city’s workforce. The exhibit will run the entire month.

For more information, please contact Librarian Donnelle Conklin at 601-649-6374 or

Sunday Concert Series starts next weekend

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will host the Sunday Concert Series, presented by The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, beginning Sunday, September 16 at 2 p.m.

This year’s Sunday Concert Series will consist of four chamber concerts to be held at the Museum from September 2007 through April 2008. The first concert The Beatles: Music of an Era will feature a string quartet led by USM symphony violinist Alejandro Drago. The program was chosen to highlight LRMA’s exhibition Linda McCartney’s Sixties: Portrait of an Era, currently on display in the Lower Level Galleries.

The concert is sponsored by Tim Lawrence of Smith Barney, Inc. in Jackson and is free and open to the public. The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street in historic downtown Laurel. For more information, call 601-649-6374 or visit the Museum’s website at

Outdoor sculpture by David Hayes

We spent last weekend setting up the Museum's first-ever large-scale outdoor sculpture exhibition. The sculptures will remain on the grounds through next August. In addition to seven outdoor sculptures, we have an exhibition of maquettes and drawings in the Stairwell Gallery through November 11.

David Hayes website - photos of LRMA installation

Installation shot from the Laurel Leader-Call

In the installation photo - Wes Smith, David Hayes (son of the sculptor), and Todd Sullivan

Thursday, August 16, 2007

At the Museum: Contemporary Art from the Collection

At the Museum: Contemporary Art from the Collection
by Jill R. Chancey, PhD

This summer, the LRMA Stairwell Gallery holds a selection of contemporary artworks from the Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition features thirteen works by: six Southern artists; six women and six men; one Native American artist; one African-American artist; and ten European-American artists. The media used include birch plywood, aluminum, canvas, oil paint, acrylic paint, serigraph, lithograph, collage, etching, gouache, and pencil. What could these thirteen works possibly have in common? As a matter of fact, quite a lot. Each of these artworks is a response to the dominant mid-twentieth-century style, Abstract Expressionism.

Abstract Expressionism, as it originated in New York City, emphasizes improvisation, expression, gesture, color, line, emotion, nature and spontaneity. Abstract Expressionist artists rejected representation in painting: there are no representations of literature, religion, politics, poetry, narrative, landscape, seascape, or portraiture. Each artist who rejected these elements in painting sought to develop a new language of art-making, one that is individual, soul-deep, powerfully emotional, and possibly even sublime.

Several of the artists in the Stairwell Gallery began working in the 1950s during the heyday of Abstract Expressionism. Robert Motherwell, Adolph Gottlieb, Helen Frankenthaler, and Grace Hartigan were all early participants in the movement. Although each of these artists is best known for their paintings, they are represented in the Museum’s collection by prints. One, Grace Hartigan’s “Pallas Athene”, is a recent museum acquisition. The LRMA Guild of Docents and Volunteers provided funds for the purchase of this mulit-color lithograph, one of very few that Hartigan has produced in her career. The title refers to one of several names for the Classical Greek goddess Athena, the patron goddess of the city of Athens, of warfare, and of wisdom and learning. The print is, however, completely abstract, a meditation on the emotions invoked by the story and attributes of Athena.

Other artists built on the abstract developments of the New York School; these include Sam Gilliam (a Mississippi native); Ida Kohlmeyer (a native of New Orleans); and Sonia Sekula. Their formal explorations of the emotional impact of color, form, line, scale, and space was inspired by those first pioneers in the movement. Another recent acquisition, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s “Flathead Warshirt,” combines the spontaneous gesture of early abstraction with collage. The collage technique, invented by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in the early 20th century, has been used with great skill and creativity by Robert Rauschenberg, for example. Quick-to-See Smith combines collage and painting to explore the contemporary meaning of a native “warshirt,” except the “war” is not so much a military mission as a struggle for cultural survival in a culture that does not necessarily understand or welcome Native American cultural ideas and traditions.

These works will remain on view in the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Stairwell Gallery through September 2, 2007. Be sure and stop in on your way to see “Linda McCartney’s Sixties: Portrait of an Era.”

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and on Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. For information about LRMA exhibitions and programs, call (601) 649-6374 or check our website at

Friday, August 10, 2007

Blues Bash tonight!

14th Annual Blues Bash - Friday, August 10, 2007

6:30 - 10:30 p.m.

Tickets $20 per person

Bring a blanket or lawn chair and join us on the Museum's front lawn for hot barbecue and cool blues from the Daddy Mack Blues Band.

I know, I know, it's about a million degrees outside. But look at it this way: being hot and sweaty will just make ensure that you relate to the blues.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Birthday Tiara

Here at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, we take birthdays very, very seriously. There must be cake, and the birthday boy or girl must wear the Designated Birthday Tiara. Sometimes, the birthday boy will refuse to wear it (we will not speculate on why he is afraid of the tiara):

Others are entirely comfortable with the Birthday Tiara:

And then, once a year, we have a double birthday, so I have to home and get my Spare Tiara:

George and Todd have birthdays in late August. Stay tuned in and you'll find out who is brave enough to wear the Birthday Tiara.

Top to bottom: Mark, Wes, Mandy(l), and Pam (r)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What are your favorite Mississippi buildings?

The AIA/Mississippi has a poll at their website, where you can vote for your five favorite Mississippi buildings. Since I am QUITE CERTAIN that the LRMA building is one of your favorites, I recommend visiting and voting: AIA/Mississippi. Look at bottom left for the "vote now" button. You'll click "add to favorites" for up to five buildings, then click on "vote now." Easy-peasy.

Vote early, vote often!

From our handbook:

Located on a broad, tree-lined avenue among turn-of-the-century homes near the center of town, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is a Georgian Revival structure designed by New Orleans architect Rathbone deBuys. Large, double-hung sash windows accentuate an exterior of local brick with Indiana limestone. The slender, attenuated metal columns in front were made locally by the Laurel Machine and Foundry Company.

The interior of the building utilized the expertise of the Chicago interior design firm of Watson and Walton. The walls are paneled in quarter-sawn golden oak, accented by handwrought ironwork by Samuel Yellin and a ceiling of handmolded plaster. Cork floors are found throughout the Museum.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Guest Blogger: Tommie Rodgers, LRMA Registrar

From the Truck to the Walls

Do you ever wonder what it takes to get an exhibition in the door and on the walls? At the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, it all starts in a dimly lit conference room where Board and staff members discuss future possibilities. The options can be as varied as those meeting and can come in all different prices, sizes, and materials. Lending agencies can be individual artists, museums, or exhibition rental companies. Potential exhibition proposals are usually received in the mail from one of the above and the curator reviews each option before the quarterly meeting.

There are several criteria that the committee considers when selecting an exhibition. We first look at the relevance to our community. Does our community have any insight in this exhibition? Will it be well attended because it’s familiar or because few know about the subject?

We can showcase an exhibition of works that can cost as little as a $1,000 or we can book one that can cost us on the high end of $30,000. The high-priced rental exhibitions are few and only occur every two to five years. While those are our general fee ranges, that doesn’t mean every museum has the same budget constraints and every year the budget is different.

The exhibition is also reviewed for the feasibility of shipping, insurance and man-power. We have a small staff and have to consider whether additional movers and packers will need to be hired, whether we will need to rent climate-controlled storage units for the crates and if our gallery space is adequately sized to accommodate the entire exhibition. If the objects are three dimensional, then do we have enough pedestals? And, is there a time slot available that works with our schedule?

Once those issues are tackled, the curator is ready to sign a contract and put the exhibition on the schedule. Amazingly, most exhibitions are booked about three years in advance. If we are producing printed materials, we sometimes need that extra time for writing, photography and publication design, but usually, we begin three to six months ahead to work on educational materials and publicity. Transportation is generally decided by the lenders and I’m alerted weeks in advance of the shipping details. Loans from local and regional lenders are sometimes transported by the museum staff. Distance, size, schedules and costs determine those choices.

Every department plays a role in mounting an exhibition. The curator books the exhibition, coordinates the retrieval of scholarly information and directs the staff in the contract regulations. The development director solicits funds from grants, businesses and individuals to pay for the exhibition. The marketing director creates press releases and ads for newspapers, magazines and sometimes billboards, as well as works with television stations to get the word out. The education staff creates learning tools to teach about the artwork being viewed. The librarian purchases books and materials for use by the staff and patrons concerning the exhibition. The building superintendent assists with the unloading, moving and unpacking of crates and hangs the objects. And the registrar facilitates insurance, the arrival, departure and storage of crates, unpacking and packing, as well as the recording of changes in condition of artworks.

Once an exhibition arrives, is unpacked and examined for changes in condition, then the curator arranges the works in a manner that is visually pleasing and understandable. Works are hung or placed, labels and signage are hung, and lights are set.

Then, it’s showtime! An opening reception and lecture are usually scheduled with each exhibition for the public. The reception gives the staff some finality to each exhibition installation and is an event that the community enjoys.

With many exhibitions, I work in storage or in the galleries for at least two weeks and sometimes three. It just takes that long to pack one show and get another one up. The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art usually mounts five to six exhibitions annually.

So you see, the exhibitions don’t just appear out of thin air, nor do they install themselves overnight. There can be other facets to the exhibition process such as construction, publications, and museum shop specialty items. These issues generally take place at large museums and occur here sporadically.

Remember to check out the Museum’s website at for classes, exhibitions and events. The Museum’s hours are Tuesday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. and Sundays from 1-4 p.m.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

PSA: Emergency Preparedness

National Task Force Releases New Tools to Protect Cultural Heritage

Resources Will Aid in Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A new collection of handy tools designed especially for libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, and historic preservation and arts organizations has been released by the Heritage Emergency National Task Force. The tools are the result of the Task Force’s “Lessons Applied” initiative to develop practical applications for the lessons from Hurricane Katrina, such as helping cultural institutions apply for disaster aid and developing relationships with emergency responders.

The new tools are available as free downloads at

• Tips for Working with Emergency Responders. Getting to know local emergency responders and how they work before disaster strikes can help keep staff and collections safe. This handy sheet tells how to find and build relationships with emergency responders, as well as what information needs to be exchanged to help responders protect cultural institutions.

• Guide to Navigating FEMA and SBA Funding. This concise Web site leads cultural institutions through the process of applying to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and FEMA for assistance after major disasters. Links put policies, application forms, and other necessary paperwork at the user’s fingertips along with simple, step-by-step instructions for the application process.

• MayDay. MayDay is an annual event that encourages cultural institutions to undertake one simple emergency preparedness task. Created by the Society of American Archivists, MayDay was expanded in 2007 to include libraries, museums, and arts and historic preservation organizations. This year hundreds of organizations promoted the message, and FEMA featured MayDay on its Web site. The Task Force has produced a list of suggested MayDay activities, as well as promotional materials.

• Recommended Professional Emergency Management Training. Most staff members want to help in the aftermath of an emergency at their institutions or in their communities. The free courses listed in this resource teach cultural heritage staff and volunteer teams about local, state, and federal disaster response frameworks already in place, as well as official protocols and structure, terminology, and key local contacts.

Panels composed of Task Force members and other experts have been working since October 2006 to prepare new resources and develop longer-term recommendations in the areas of incentives for preparedness, working with first responders, effective regional response, funding, and coordination among service organizations. The Task Force met July 17, 2007, to announce the new tools and discuss results of a member survey on Katrina, which will help the group prepare for future events. Other proposed initiatives include a preparedness poster, speakers’ bureau on cultural heritage emergencies, guidelines for mutual assistance networks, GIS standards for cultural collections, a collections stabilization fund, and a new Foundation Center guide identifying disaster resources.

The “Lessons Applied” initiative has been made possible through grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Bay and Paul Foundations and the volunteer efforts of Task Force members. See for a complete roster of panel members.

The Heritage Emergency National Task Force is a partnership of 41 national service organizations and federal agencies created to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. The Task Force was founded in 1995 and is co-sponsored by Heritage Preservation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

For over 30 years, Heritage Preservation has been the national, nonprofit advocate for the proper care of all cultural heritage—in museums, libraries, homes, and town squares. For more information, visit The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is the largest funder of humanities programs in the United States. For more information, visit

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Guest Blogger: Mark Brown, Curator of Education

Arthur Silverman Sculpture Returns to Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

On Friday, June 22, Corten Duo III, a sculpture by Arthur Silverman, was returned to the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. The large metal outdoor sculpture, which was on display at Sawmill Square Mall for more than two decades, was installed on a newly prepared concrete pad on the front lawn of the Museum.

Although originally from New York, Silverman has been a New Orleans resident for more than 25 years. Before creating sculpture, Silverman was a practicing physician. Soon, sculpture became much more than a hobby, causing Silverman to give up his medical practice. Fourteen large-scale public commissions can be seen in the New Orleans area alone, including universities, commercial and government buildings. Silverman has exhibited his pieces nationally and is included in such important collections as the John Rosenkrans Collection, Woodside, CA, the Fisher Family Collection, San Francisco, CA, the Philip Johnson Building in Washington D.C., the New Orleans Museum of Art, and of course, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art here in Laurel.

Corten Duo III, typical of Silverman’s work, is a freestanding geometric metal sculpture composed of his signature tetrahedrons. A tetrahedron consists of four flat triangles, much like a cube consists of six flat squares. In Silverman’s judgement, the tetrahedron, being somewhat non-traditional, when stacked, sectioned and joined, allows for a great variety of forms. Much of his work is associated with that of the Minimalists, which is characterized by obvious mathematical and geometric relationships, ultimately limiting emotional responses. However, Silverman states "my sculpture is inspired, but not constrained to mathematics, specifically geometry. For more than 20 years I’ve been investigating tetrahedral ideas for sculpture. My primary interest is in large-scale outdoor work. I like the idea that the public and the site are very important considerations."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Guest Blogger: Holly Dodd, Director of Marketing

The Beatles, London, 1967, Copyright: The Estate of Linda McCartney, 1998.

At the Museum -

The 1960s were turbulent years on the American political and social scenes with broad strokes of change happening on every front. The decade was also culturally monumental, evidenced by the fact that forty years later we are heavily influenced by the art, find ourselves revisiting the fashions, and still adore the music that sprang abundantly from that most creative and fascinating time in our history.

Linda Eastman McCartney, late wife of Beatles legend Paul McCartney, was in the midst of all that social upheaval. Through her life’s work, she had a front row seat and backstage pass to the music scene of the Sixties. She photographed everybody who was anybody during the biggest rock and roll explosion to date.

Fifty-one of these photographs will hang on the walls of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art this summer from July 19 to September 20. LRMA will be the last venue on the North American tour of Linda McCartney’s Sixties: Portrait of an Era, and we are planning some special events to tie in with the show.

Gabriele Abbott, North American Tour Coordinator for the Estate of Linda McCartney, will be in Laurel for the opening and will give a gallery talk at 6 p.m. on the evening of July 19. After the gallery talk, there will be a Sixties Party from 7 - 9 p.m. The Wes Lee Trio will play selections from the long list of musicians represented in the show, including The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, B. B. King, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Otis Redding and many more.

Guests are encouraged to participate in a Far-Out and Groovy Costume Contest to be held during the party. Dig out your go-go boots, mini-skirts, love beads, headbands, fringed vests and platform shoes! Decorations and food will follow the theme of the evening as well - - expect lava lamps, hula hoops and other memorabilia.

I hope you will join us for a fun evening celebrating the Sixties. As for the exhibit, anyone who remembers the Sixties or has heard the name "Woodstock" should see this show. The works are very honest and very intimate, revealing McCartney’s unique ability to capture her subject’s true essence and the sometimes fragile personalities of these cultural icons. You won’t want to miss it.

The Museum is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street in historic downtown Laurel and is open 10:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1:00 until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, call LRMA at 601-649-6374 or visit the Museum’s website,

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sculpture on the Grounds

For some time, Cor-ten Duo #3 by Arthur Silverman has been on display at Sawmill Square here in Laurel. We decided to move it to the museum grounds recently, which was quite a project since it's quite heavy. Not only is it a large steel sculpture, its base is a sheet of 2" thick concrete. At the mall, the concrete base sat upon a 10" carpet-covered wooden base.

After we decided to move it, we had to pick a spot on the grounds and have a concrete pad poured, then figure out how to orient the sculpture. Once the concrete pad was ready to use, we booked a local moving company to help us with a truck and about five moving men. They moved the whole thing (wooden base and all) all the way through the mall to the only set of wide doors. Thence by truck to the front lawn of the museum, where they picked it up off the wooden base and carried it across the lawn to the concrete pad.

It was quite an endeavor, and frankly I'm glad I had to be out of town for it. I would've cringed all morning long. George, Tommie, and Todd, who aren't nearly as nervous-nelly as I am, oversaw the whole project. I always think a museum looks more like a museum if there's a sculpture or two out front. This one certainly does the trick. Come visit and see for yourself!

Guest Blogger: Librarian Donnelle Conklin

LRMA Library to Present Bible Exhibition in July

Next month the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art’s Library will take a break from its annual summer postcard exhibits for a look into another interesting collection from its archive - the Bible collection. On display will be examples of early Bible translations, a page from the Gutenberg Bible, along with family Bibles with elaborate illustrations and tooled leather bindings.

Among the Bibles in the collection are several editions of the Book of Common Prayer. One is an 1893 edition that was donated by the museum’s neighbor, St John’s Episcopal Church. Another is a family Bible belonging to the Gardiner family.

The collection as a whole offers a glimpse into the varieties of Bible interpretations that history has influenced, and range from the ornate to the utilitarian. A time line will also accompany the exhibit to help visitors put each version into historical perspective.

The exhibit will be located in the Museum Reading Room, and will run the entire month of July. For more information contact Librarian Donnelle Conklin at 601-649-6374.

A Page from a Gutenberg Bible

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Temporary gallery closing

On Wednesday, June 27, the west side of the Lower Level Gallery will be closed for a Board Meeting until 1:00 pm.

This means approximately 1/3 of the Ethel Wright Mohamed exhibition will not be available for viewing that morning. We apologize for any inconvenience.

and you will know us by the piles of our pottery....

Mandy and Mark have been hard at work teaching summer pottery classes for the last two weeks. We had a kids' class and an adult class. They made pinch pots, threw on the wheel, slab-built, and glazed all kinds of cool stuff. Herewith, a few documents of that messy, messy time:

Don't forget, we still have two Free Family Art Days left:

Wednesday, June 20, 1 - 4 pm, in LRMA's Education Annex

Wednesday, June 27, 1 - 4 pm, also in the Education Annex

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Another Free Family Art Day...

Last week, LRMA educators Mark Brown and Mandy Buchanan helped visiting kids create "story people". The young artists cut out figures and decorated them with words and clothing to illustrate a story about themselves or someone they know. They used needle and thread to stitch their stories, just as Ethel Wright Mohamed did in her pictures, which are on display in LRMA's Lower Level Galleries.

Friday, June 01, 2007

In case you're going to Mexico City this summer

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - The 100th birthday of artist and feminist icon Frida Kahlo will be honored with the largest-ever exhibit of her paintings, the Museum of the Fine Arts Palace in Mexico said Tuesday.

"The 354 pieces will be the largest exposition of Frida Kahlo," director of the National Fine Arts Institute Teresa Franco told reporters.

It will also be Kahlo's first comprehensive exhibit in Mexico, she said. After Mexico proclaimed Rivera paintings to be national cultural heritage, foreign owners feared lending her work to Mexico.

Besides one-third of her artistic production, manuscripts and 50 letters that have not been displayed previously, she said.

Works are on loan from Detroit, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Nayoga, Japan.

Kahlo (1907-1954) twice married muralist Diego Rivera (1886-1957) and was a close friend of Russian communist leader Leon Trotsky.

She suffered intense emotional pain inflicted by the philandering Rivera and physical pain after being stricken by polio and bus crash.

Pain and her inability to have children were common themes in her paintings, many of which were shocking, bloody self-portraits.

After her death, Frida became "first a legend, then a myth and now a cult figure," Hayden Herrera wrote in a 1992 biography of the Mexican artist.

The most recent international exhibition of Kahlo's work was in 2005 by the Tate Modern in London, which brought together 87 works.

The exhibit is tentatively slated to open June 13 until August 19. The museum is open 10:30 am to 6:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday.

Well this is interesting...

Apparently, the limestone blocks that make up the Great Pyramids are made of reconstituted limestone, not blocks chiseled from quarries. In other words: a kind of limestone concrete, made on-site.

Here's the link: The Surprising Truth Behind the Pyramids

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Free Family Art Day, May 30, 2007

Today was our first Free Family Art Day of the summer. We are holding a kind of "open house" in the Education Annex every Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. from now through June. Today's activity: A Night-time Garden.

The kids drew in day-glo crayons on black paper, and then used needle and thread to produce a stitchery work over the drawing. This art project is inspired by our current exhibition, The Needle's Song: The Folk Art of Ethel Wright Mohamed.

Guest Blogger: Allyn Boone, Director of Development

At the Museum
Allyn Boone

This month, we begin our annual membership campaign at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. Membership is important to the Museum, constituting a significant source of income that is used to present exhibitions, offer education programs and care for our nationally recognized collection of art.

Thanks to the generosity of our members, LRMA is able to provide Art Trunks to schools throughout the state free of charge, offer Third Grade Tours to students in a six-county area, and present community events like Heritage Arts Festival and Very Special Arts Festival. LRMA has never charged an admission fee, and our membership campaign allows us to make the Museum open and welcoming.

Our members are critical to our ability of serve our community, and we make sure that they know how important they are. Members receive personal invitations to exhibition openings and priority announcements about classes, programs and trips offered by the Museum. They also receive the LRMA News, an informative newsletter with articles about exhibitions, programs, trips, activities and more.

LRMA offers a membership level that is right for every person. From our $15 student membership to our $2,500 Laureate membership, the Museum has a variety of membership categories, each with its own special benefits.

Depending upon the membership category, members receive discounts on art classes and Museum Shop purchases, and they may also receive special catalogue mailings and invitations to the LRMA Gala Preview Party. Members at the Sponsor ($100) level and above have the opportunity to purchase tickets to attend the annual LRMA Gala, an elegant evening that ushers in the holiday season in Laurel. Memberships beginning at $1,000 include complimentary tickets to the Gala.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art was opened in 1923 as a gift to the community. Considered one of our area’s cultural treasures, the Museum has developed through the years into a dynamic institution devoted to presenting the best examples of the visual arts for the enjoyment and education of our community. When you join the Museum, you become a shareholder in the vision that created LRMA and continues to drive it today. To be the best that we can be, we need the commitment and support of our community.

We invite you to join LRMA and be part of the exciting future that awaits our organization. We are committed to excellence in our collections, exhibitions and programs, and we hope that you will join with us in this quest. To join the Museum or request more information about LRMA membership, please call us at 601-649-6374. We look forward to hearing from you and adding your name to our membership roll.

This article originally appeared in the Laurel Leader-Call.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I can't believe I'm linking to this....

because I say "um" a few too many times, but it's a good short video about the museum history and collections, so I guess I'll have to deal:

My American Lifestyle interview

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Guest Blogger: George Bassi, LRMA Director

This is George Bassi's column for the Laurel Leader-Call this week:

At the Museum

A new exhibition, The Needle’s Song: The Folk Art of Ethel Wright Mohamed, has opened in time for Mother’s Day in our Lower Level Galleries. Ethel Wright Mohamed, who died in 1992, is one of Mississippi’s premiere folk artists, and we will be hosting a show of her hand-stitched creations until July 8. The family’s gallery, “Mama’s Dream World,” in Belzoni, Mississippi, is dedicated to Mohamed’s work.

Mohamed’s colorful life in the Mississippi Delta is the focus of the majority of her pieces, many of which tell family stories. She also had a love of history and recreated in needlework many events throughout the history of our country. Often referred to as the “Grandma Moses of Mississippi,” Mohamed is important to our state’s culture, and the exhibit is surely one that will appeal to all generations.

I am particularly grateful to Carol Ivy, Curator of Mama’s Dream World, who was instrumental in assisting us in organizing this exhibition and to the Mississippi Humanities Council for providing grant support.

Exhibitions come to the Museum through a variety of sources, and all are approved through a committee of the Museum’s Board of Directors. The support from our Board is tremendous, and they are an integral part of our public programs.

Recently, three new members were elected to the Board of Directors. I am pleased to welcome Read Diket, Clay Johnson and Eugene Owens to the Museum’s governing authority and look forward to working with them in fulfilling the cultural and educational mission of LRMA.

With the election of new Board members, I want to thank the three members that they are replacing on the Board. Stewart Gilchrist, Pat McLean and Al Rosenbaum are rotating off the Board, and each has served the Museum admirably.

In fact, Pat McLean leaves the Board after serving the past three years as Chair. She has been a tremendous leader and, with her husband Bill, an avid supporter of the Museum and its education program. The Essmueller Company Education Endowment Fund, created by the McLeans, will provide support for the LRMA education program for years to come.

In working with non-profit Boards for almost twenty years, I have learned that some Board members simply cannot be replaced. Stewart Gilchrist is stepping down after 50 years of service to this Museum. It is rare to find such dedication, commitment and passion for an institution, and LRMA will always be grateful to Stewart for his invaluable insight, especially in the areas of collections, governance and finance.

LRMA is a better place because of Stewart, and I wish him and his wife Gene all the best as they move from Laurel this summer. The Gilchrist name has been in our town for more than a century, and it is hard for me to imagine Laurel without them.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Two new exhibitions opened this week

- In the Stairwell Gallery, The Town that Timber Built, an exhibition of historic photos from the LRMA Archives, which is our contribution to the celebration of Laurel's 125th anniversary this year.

- In the Lower Level Galleries, The Needle's Song: The Folk Art of Ethel Wright Mohamed, featuring over 30 works by the Belzoni, MS stitchery artist.

For more info, visit the museum website.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Two American Landscapes

At the Museum: Two American Landscapes
by Jill R. Chancey, PhD

As you enter the American Gallery of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, it’s likely that the painting that first catches your eye is Thomas Moran’s “A Glimpse of Long Island Sound from Montauk.” Painted in 1907 and purchased by Lauren Chase Eastman in 1908, it hangs centered at the far end of the gallery. Its vibrant sunset (or is it a sunrise?) glows in oranges, reds, and yellows over rolling hills and verdant fields. The swirls of color might bring to mind the paintings of the 19th century British artist, J.M.W. Turner, who was a great inspiration to Moran. Turner was a master at depicting the vortex of flame, cloud, and smoke. Light and air were Turner’s inspirations, and clearly they inspired Moran as well.

In the near distance, a small creek surrounded by rocks leads the eye to the intermediate wetlands, which again lead the eye to the waters of Long Island Sound, shimmering in the distance. Long Island has been inhabited for centuries, by Native Americans and then by Europeans, but this pretty piece of landscape shows no intervention by human hand. The mossy rocks, verdant greenery, and gnarled trees appear to be arranged by nature only. Today, Long Island is densely inhabited, but in 1907, it was best known as a summer retreat for city-dwellers. Moran and his wife, Mary Nimmo Moran (whose work is also in the LRMA collection), had a summer home in East Hampton. This scene was painted near his home, and is one of many works inspired by his surroundings. When Mr. Eastman purchased this painting, Moran wrote to him, saying, “I think it among the best of my works. The picture was painted from the north shore of Montauk, L.I. [Long Island] looking across the sound toward the Connecticut shore.”

Moran is best-known for his panoramic paintings of the American West, which were instrumental in persuading Congress to establish Yellowstone National Park. Interestingly, the rather placid landscape of Long Island is rendered with the same visual drama as Moran’s views of the wild and untamed beauty of the West. It may be instructive to compare Moran’s view of Long Island with William Merritt Chase’s “Shinnecock Hills,” which also hangs in the American Gallery. This subdued but exquisite view of Long Island, from only a few years earlier, captures the quietness of the sandy rolling hills, without the drama of Moran’s vivid sunset and rich greenery. Chase, another artist-resident of Long Island, frequently painted “en plein air” (outdoors), so this little panel was likely painted on the spot. In contrast to the Moran, one does see evidence of human habitation: a dirt road and, possibly, a bit of black in the far distance indicates a building in the distance. Where the colors of the Moran call to you from across the gallery, the Chase calls for closer, more intimate looking. Stand a minute in front of the Chase and one can almost smell the salt air, feel the sand beneath one’s feet, imagine the rough surface of the rocks strewn about.

Moran rejected the Impressionists, seeking representational accuracy, while Chase, in this small format, treats color and form optically, as did the French Impressionists. In other words, if he saw a smudge of green in the distance, he didn’t paint in leaves, branches, and twigs he could not see from that far away. Instead, he painted the green as he could see it. Moran, while not obsessively detailed, delineates one plant from the next, one tree from the next. Both artists, however, use the landscape as an expressive subject. “A Glimpse of Long Island Sound, Montauk,” evokes the sublime moment just before sunset; “Shinnecock Hills” evokes a more meditative, peaceful moment in nature. Both artists, like the Romantics before them, had an emotional relationship to their surroundings and were sensitively attuned to the varieties of natural beauty.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and on Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Check the website for upcoming Summer events and classes. For information about LRMA exhibitions and programs, call (601) 649-6374 or check our website at

This article appeared in the Laurel Leader-Call on Sunday, April 29th.1

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Call for Papers

I think this Call for Papers deserves wide dissemination:


National Women's Studies Association Journal

New Orleans:

A special issue on gender, the meaning of place, and the politics of displacement

The editors of a special issue of the NWSA Journal seek contributions from a variety of disciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives offering feminist analyses of the meanings that New Orleans as a place has assumed in both historical and contemporary contexts-especially the contexts created by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. New Orleans has long evoked a unique sense of place, a distinctiveness that was spotlighted and arguably hyper-realized in public discourses surrounding the disaster.

Since the fall of 2005 New Orleans, as a place-name alone, prompts debates around race and class and has come to stand in for a host of issues and topics that go beyond the physical space to which the name refers. We invite scholars as well as artists, writers and poets to submit work that explores the specifically gendered dimensions of the experience of place endured by inhabitants of the city of New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, and other affected regions as it relates to the hurricane. We also welcome contributions that use feminist analytical tools to illuminate the varied meaning of New Orleans as a place set in various historical, comparative, and global contexts.

Potential topics include:

* Nationalism, regionalism, public history, public art and heritage in New Orleans
* Sexualized and gendered associations with contemporary and historic New Orleans women, architectural engineering/design in New Orleans and the Gulf region

Send one e-copy and two print copies of your manuscript (20-30 pages, doubled spaced), with parenthetical notes and complete references page formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style to:

Laura Gelfand

Myers School of Art

The University of Akron

Akron, OH 44325-7801


Antiquities and the law

Reprinted from an article in the Laurel Leader-Call:

At the Museum: Antiquities and the Law
Jill R. Chancey, PhD

Many objects in museum collections, including those at the LRMA, are what we might call “stand-alone” objects; many modern paintings, for example, are self-contained and make just as much sense in a museum as in a gallery or private home. Yet certain objects require context for understanding. For example: an altarpiece designed for a specific church loses some of its meaning when transferred to the secular environment of a museum or gallery. Why? Perhaps the altarpiece painting includes images of the patron saint of the church, or the church members who paid for it. Perhaps it was designed to complement the church’s architecture and decor. If the altarpiece winds up in a museum because the church is gone, or perhaps the church fathers decided to replace the altarpiece with something more up-to-date, then the viewers should be aware of the original context of that painting. This kind of contextual information contributes to the understanding and appreciation of artworks once they have been removed from their original locations. Placing artworks in context is one of the primary activities of the art historian and museum curator.

Going farther back in history, even the most ordinary objects, such as spear points, arrowheads, and pottery sherds, are valuable sources of information if we know where they came from. How deep was that arrowhead buried? What was it buried with? How many layers of material were above it? Were there ashes, animal bones, or other organic material in the same layer as the arrowhead? Where exactly was it buried? The answers to these kinds of questions contribute to the body of knowledge about human history, and the development of culture. Unfortunately, an artifact without this kind of information represents a real loss of cultural knowledge. This is true of all antiquities, from marble statues to stone tools.

This is why, then, that Mississippi state, federal, and international laws do not allow anyone to “injure, disfigure, remove, excavate, damage, take, dig into, or destroy” mounds, graves, or archeological sites. “Pot-hunting” might sound like a fun Saturday afternoon for a history buff, but only a trained archeologist can legally get a permit to dig for artifacts, even on private property. The kind of cultural information that is lost when an amateur digs up a site belongs, properly, to the community, which is why a permit for digging must come from both the government and the property owner. An archeologist is trained to gather all of the data that would be lost otherwise; once the artifact has left the ground, the data is lost forever and cannot be reconstructed.

This kind of cultural information is so important that museums cannot ethically collect antiquities that have not been acquired with governmental licensure and approval. In fact, several major museums in the United States have recently had to return antiquities to Italy because they were bought from dealers who acquired the items illegally. International dealers in antiquities, and at least one high-level museum curator, are finding themselves facing prison time and hefty fines due to their flouting of these laws. Fortunately, here at the Museum, we do not collect antiquities so we do not have to worry about disreputable dealers selling us looted artworks. We do, however, ensure that our Native American acquisitions come to us through legal, ethical channels, conforming to the multitude of state and federal laws that cover Native American cultural property. Awareness of the developments in cultural and antiquities law is one of the many responsibilities of museum staff in the US and abroad. However, it’s important for citizens to be aware that important historical and cultural information can be lost if amateurs don’t leave the exploration of archeological sites to trained professionals.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and on Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. For information about LRMA exhibitions and programs, call (601) 649-6374 or check our website at

Monday, April 23, 2007

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith - only one more week!

If you've been meaning to visit Made in America, this is the week to do it. The exhibition closes on Sunday, April 29th.

Visitor hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am - 4:45 pm, and Sunday from 1-4 pm.

Guest Blogger

Today, an article from guest blogger, Tommie Rodgers, Registrar at the Museum. This article also appeared in the Laurel Leader-Call:

May Day: Saving Our Archives

The phrase “May Day” can reference a day of fun around the maypole as people celebrate the arrival of Spring or it can mean a call for help from pilots and ship captains. But for museums and libraries, it means a little of both. The Heritage Emergency National Task Force asks institutions to celebrate May Day on May 1st to remind us to be prepared for natural disasters that could occur during the upcoming hurricane season or any time of year. Cultural institutions are being asked to set aside this day to take action to be prepared for unknown disasters. And while our preparations are different than the preparations you might take at home, I ask that you also set aside this day to plan to protect yourself, your collections, your family photos, your home, and most importantly, your family from natural disasters.

Here at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, I am currently working on revising our Disaster Plan and incorporating the new information that we’ve gleaned from our past hurricane preparations. We’ve learned that our building is a fortress against powerful winds and we can offer temporary storage assistance to museums along the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. We’ve become quite efficient in knowing which art objects to move, where to move them and when to tie down or move outdoor sculptures. During the 2005 hurricane season, we “prepared” the collection for a hurricane four times during that Summer but Katrina became our only real threat.

We also learned that being in downtown Laurel, we are fortunate enough to receive the needed electricity quickly to keep the collections at a reasonable temperature to prevent mold and mildew from growing. And, while meeting with other museum and library staff across the state in the past year, I’ve become aware that our own circumstances are much better than many other institutions.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is also in the preparation phase of re-accreditation by the American Association of Museums. This process requires us to address, review, update, or create policies every ten years. One step in updating the Disaster Plan includes the purchase of disaster supplies. Most supplies such as plastic sheeting, cardboard sheets, flashlights, garbage cans, plastic bags, etc. are usually here but not necessarily put in one place. There are other items that need to be added to the list such as extra mops, masks, extra batteries, rubber gloves and boots. Items such as waxed paper for wet paper documents and plastic crates for wet books are materials that we may need. According to the recommended list, there seems to be no way to have on hand all the extras for every possible disaster, so we’ll have to make choices in what we obtain.

Now there’s another issue of having a staff member on site during the disaster. We don’t normally keep a stocked kitchen, but someone may need to stay here for days at a time if another hurricane threat is favorable, so food and bedding will be supply items as well.

Here are a few tasks that you can do on May Day to prepare yourself:

Make sure your insurance records, birth certificates, social security cards, and other important documents are in plastic and can be retrieved to carry with you to another location and have a set of copies in a different location.

Stock your food pantry with non-perishables.

Stock up on bottled water.

Put family photos in a lidded plastic container that can be moved away from the floor, basement, attic or upper room.

Have a month’s supply of medication in a zip-lock bag.

Make an evacuation plan and contact out-of-state family in case you need to leave the area.

Keep a full tank of gas in your car and don’t wait until the last minute to fill up.

Have a family drill and discuss your actions.

Stock up on batteries and flashlights.

Buy a portable radio.

These are a few things you can do to remind yourself that taking the threat of a disaster seriously is important and being prepared is smart. Remember to celebrate May Day with positive thoughts of knowing that you’ll be ready should you be in harm’s way in the future.

May Day is a project of The Heritage Emergency National Task Force and is co-sponsored by Heritage Preservation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Tommie Rodgers is the registrar at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Audubon's Animals of North America

Next January, we'll be featuring an exhibition of 70 hand-colored lithographs by John James Audubon. At the moment, however, the American Museum of Natural History is exhibiting a selection of those lithographs, and the oil and watercolor paintings that were the precursors to the prints.

Learn more about the exhibition here.

Read a New York Times review of the exhibition here.

Grandma Moses on tour

LRMA's Grandma Moses painting, The Daughter's Homecoming, has been on tour for a while, and is currently on exhibit at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, NC. For more information, click here.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith video

Our pal and video-master, Kevin J, has posted a video on his Myspace page that features artworks currently on display at LRMA.

Check it out.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

my daily dose of art news

Arts Journal online

If you're looking for a good daily roundup of arts news (visual, literary, and performing), Arts Journal is my recommendation. There are also literate, professional critics blogging about their specialties. I'm fond of Artopia by John Perreault, and CultureGrrl by Lee Rosenbaum

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

partial gallery closing

On Wednesday, March 28th, one side of the Lower Level Galleries will be closed for meetings. This constitutes approximately 1/3 of the exhibition Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Made in America, so if you are coming for this show, you may want to come another day so you can see the whole thing.

Spring Break Art Break 2007

The theme for this year's Spring Break Art Break was "Self-Portraits." Students made self-portraits in collage, ceramic, and other media. They also made a "symbolic self portrait," using abstract imagery. We had a lot of kids in the morning, a more intimate class in the afternoon, and gorgeous weather most of the week.

*And in case you were wondering, the boy in the middle picture's Red Devil is Stringer's mascot.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

LRMA on the radio

LRMA on the radio

Scroll down to the February 1 show for a radio feature on LRMA's collections and exhibitions.

*thanks to Larry Morrissey at the Mississippi Arts Commission for the interview and the podcast.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Baskets on tour!

The traveling version of our exhibition, "By Native Hands: Woven Treasures from the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art" will be opening soon in Portsmouth, Virginia. Here at the museum we have about 225 baskets on display; the traveling show consists of 60 baskets from all regions of North America. For more information, visit the Portsmouth Museums website and scroll down the exhibitions page.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

new blog feature

The Google Calendar feature is new, and I haven't got all events added yet, but it is usable. Click on the "Google Calendar" link to the right, and you can find out what events are coming up at the Museum. I'll be working on adding events and dates, and you can always check our main website as well: LRMA Programs.

Monday, February 05, 2007

interviews with artists

I just found this on the Mississippi Arts Commission website:


Here you can find archived radio interviews with artists, musicians, storytellers, and more from around the state of Mississippi.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Made in America

We have had a great week here, unpacking and hanging Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Made in America, which is our next exhibition. The work is terrific, it looks great, it's humorous, it has pointed political commentary, references to spirituality, history, pop culture. I'm really looking forward to spending even more time in the gallery than I have already.

We have two events scheduled for this show:

The Opening Reception is Thursday, February 8 (that's a week from today) from 5:30 - 7 pm.

Even more exciting is a lecture by the artist herself on Wednesday, March 7, at 1:30 pm. This is a great opportunity to see an internationally renowned artist speak about her work, and that of other contemporary Native American artists.

Both of these events are free & open to the public.

Garden Lecture tomorrow!

We still have a few tickets available for our annual Garden Lecture tomorrow (Friday, February 2), featuring Mary Palmer Dargan:

Mary Palmer Dargan is author of The Early English Kitchen Garden: Medieval Period to 1800. She has served on the National Advisory Committee of the Garden Conservancy and is a former garden editor of Charleston Magazine. The Dargans first received national attention in the mid-1980s for their re-creations of 18th and 19th century gardens in Charleston, South Carolina. Their projects, as well as their own garden in Atlanta, Georgia, have been featured on CNN and Home & Garden Television and in several prestigious publications, including the New York Times.

The lecture begins at 10:30 am, with a luncheon afterwards at the Rogers-Green House. Tickets are $45. Call our front desk for more information: 601-649-6374

Monday, January 22, 2007

Art Talk last week

We had a great crowd for the first Art Talk of 2007. Since our current exhibition, Views from the Vault, includes a number of works by Gulf Coast modernist Dusti Bongé (1903-1993), we invited David Houston to come tell us about her life and work. David is curator of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. Julian Brunt, director of the Dusti Bongé Foundation in Biloxi, brought a selection of artworks owned by the estate to show the audience.

Here's David (who is actually flanked by two Maltby Sykes prints):

And here's Julian showing us a rarely-seen work from the foundation's collection:

David also updated us on the ongoing recovery efforts at the Ogden and in the New Orleans art community in general. The Ogden is open three days a week, is within walking distance of the World War II Museum (the former D-Day Museum), and well worth the trip.

Views from the Vault

We are holding over "Views from the Vault" for a few days; you can still come see it on Tuesday, January 23.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Mississippi Arts Commission town hall meetings


The Mississippi Arts Commission is coming to your community!

We hope you will join us to share your thoughts and ideas as we plan for the future. These valuable public networking opportunities will help improve the services offered by the Commission.

We are still in the planning phase, but we want you to mark your calendars now

To participate in one of these "town hall" meetings call 601/359-6030 or email There is no charge to attend and lunch will be served.

January 12 – Laurel ( Facilitators: Kim Whitt (Leader), Judi Holifield, Diane Williams)
Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, 5th Avenue at 7th Street

January 23 – Brookhaven (Facilitators: Allison Winstead (Leader), Kim Whitt)

January 26 – Booneville (Facilitators: Kim Whitt (Leader), Malcolm White, Judi Holifield)

January 30 – Clinton (Facilitators: Lee Ann Powell (Leader), Judi Cleary, Maureen Donelly)

February 5 – Cleveland (Facilitators: Judi Cleary (Leader), Diane Williams, Kim Whitt)

February 6 – Oxford (Facilitators: Diane Williams (Leader), Judi Cleary, Judi Holifield, Morrie Warshawski)

February 6 - Louisville (Facilitators: Larry Morrisey (Leader), Kim Whitt, Judi Cleary, Morrie Warshawski)

All meetings will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with the exception of the Louisville meeting. It will take place between 6-8 p.m. Meeting locations are still being established, but please feel free to contact any one of our program directors/leading facilitators for more information.

Morrie Warshawski is the consultant that is working with the Mississippi Arts Commission and the townhall meetings. Arts Commission board members will also be in attendance.

For more information, contact:

Diane Williams
Arts Industry Program Director - Accessibility Coordinator
Mississippi Arts Commission
501 North West Street
Woolfolk Building - 701B
Jackson, MS 39201
(601) 359-6529
(601) 359-6008

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

baskets on tour!

A selection of our Native American baskets are now on display at the Booth Western Museum in Cartersville, Georgia (north of Atlanta). I'll be speaking about the collection & the baskets on Saturday night at the members' opening.

Click here for more info.