Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Hours

We will be closed this Thursday, November 27, for Thanksgiving, but we are open on Friday and all weekend.

We are also going to be closed on December 5-7 for our annual Gala.

Other closing dates:

December 24, 25, 31, and January 1.

If you've got family in town and y'all are looking for something to do, come on in.

Guest Blogger: Holly Dodd, Director of Marketing

At the Museum: LRMA a Hub of Holiday activity

As you watch your calendar rapidly filling with seasonal events and holiday parties, don’t forget to include your local museum and all it has to offer this time of year.

To kick off your holiday shopping with a flare, the LRMA Gift Shop will have a Holiday Open House on Tuesday, November 25. Along with unique items such as eclectic glassware and handcrafted pottery and baskets, there will be book signings by four Mississippi authors, including noted chef Martha Foose of Greenwood. There will also be a trunk show by jewelry artist Robbin Lee.

If the holidays inspire you to dance the night away, make plans to attend the Museum’s black-tie Gala on the evening of Saturday, December 6. The Can Can Ball: A Hip Cool Pop Art Gala will highlight the atmosphere of the 1960s Pop Art movement, made famous by artists such as Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns.

Not only will the decorations be candy for the eye and the food and music fabulous, but Gala patrons will be in for a real treat with the Live Auction. There will be lavish trips for the savvy traveler - one to the enchanting Emerald Isle and one to Nantucket for a week’s stay in a Victorian farmhouse. Ladies will swoon over a stunning diamond and pearl drop necklace from Juniker Jewelry of Jackson and can go home with their very own piece of jewelry created by Laurel native, Emily Ruffin of Taos, New Mexico. If something from the Far East strikes your fancy, then you’ll want to place a bid on an Oriental chest from S.D. Bateman Fine Furnishings. For the art collectors in the crowd, there will be works by Mississippi artists Pryor Graeber, Jackie Meena, Holly Wilson, and the late Lynn Green Root, as well as a watercolor by south Alabama artist Jo Patten. To attend the Gala, you need to be a member of LRMA at the Sponsor level or above. Call or stop by the Museum to become a member or to purchase your tickets.

If you’re looking for just one more outing for the kiddies during "the most wonderful time of the year," LRMA has you covered. There will be a free "Mommy and Me" holiday art activity Thursday, December 11, for little ones, and the following Thursday, December 18, there will be a Christmas Art Class for children in grades K - 6. There is a fee for the latter, so you’ll need to call the Museum to sign up.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is at its busiest and best during the holidays, and we hope you will make it the hub of your holiday outings.

LRMA 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,

Monday, November 17, 2008

Very Special Arts Festival

It's that time of year again! This past Friday, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art staff, along with the LRMA Guild, the Laurel Arts League, and the Laurel Junior Auxiliary, held the annual Very Special Arts Festival. This year's festival theme was "Superhero Spectacular" and spectacular it was! The kids created their own superhero capes, masks, mini-superheroes, and self-portraits. They also had their faces painted and took pictures with life-size painted superheroes. This festival is such a great program because it is only for students in special education, a group that is often overlooked and underserved. About 200 students participated, making this year's event a great success and a whole lot of fun!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Where does your candidate stand on the arts?

Arts Vote 2008 has gathered a tidy collection of links to the arts policies of the two main presidential candidates:

Arts Vote 2008

They also have created a checklist:

Arts Positions of the 2008 Candidates

It would be nice to know what the third party candidates have to say about arts funding, come to think of it.

Here's the Green Party Platform on the arts, scroll down the page to Section E.

And, unsurprisingly, the Libertarian Party has nothing to say about the arts in their platform, since they don't believe the federal government should be funding much of anything: Libertarian Platform.

Are there any other third party candidates I am missing? Let me know in comments, and I'll add a link.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Catching up on Summer Birthdays

Donnelle and Donna were offered several options, and chose to stick with the more traditional Birthday Tiara:

Our new office assistant Brittany, on the other hand, plunged forward into the future and chose the Non-Traditional Birthday Samurai Hat:

Sunday at the Museum with Sondheim

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will host the second installment of the 2008-09 Sunday Concert Series presented by The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Sunday, October 12 at 2 p.m. in the LRMA American Gallery.

The concert "Sunday in the Museum with Sondheim" will feature soprano Maryann Kyle performing music by Stephen Sondheim. Kyle will be accompanied on piano by Theresa Sanchez.

Maryann Kyle is Assistant Professor of voice at USM. A native Mississippian, she has appeared as a soloist with the University of Illinois Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, CamerOper Ensemble, Chattanooga Symphony, Louisiana State University Symphony, the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, and the Rome Symphony Orchestra. Some of Kyle’s major opera roles have included Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Mrs. Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff, the Countess and Susannah in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen, Musetta and Mimi in Puccini’s La Boheme, the title role in Floyd’s Susannah, and the Evil Queen in the premiere performances of Zaninelli’s Snow White.

Theresa Sanchez has presented recitals in the United States, Canada, and Europe and has performed as a soloist with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. She has been on faculty at Jones Junior College since 1995. Sanchez performed in the International Music Institute in Pontlevoy, France, and joined the Touring Artist Roster of the Mississippi Arts Commission in 2003.

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pastel Workshop next week

Landscape Pastel workshop to be held at Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

By Holly Dodd

In conjunction with its upcoming exhibit The Degas Pastel Society’s Twelfth Biennial National Exhibition, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will offer a three-day Landscape Pastel Workshop October 8 - 10.

The workshop will be taught by pastel artist and exhibition judge Terry Ludwig of Denver, Colorado.

Ludwig received his formal art education under William Mosby and Joseph Vanden Broucke at the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

His work has been featured in galleries throughout the Rocky Mountain Region and hangs in many private collections.

Students will work from photographs and on location at the Museum. The workshop will stress drawing skills, values and color.

Cost for the workshop is $275 for Degas Pastel Society members and $300 for non- members. To register contact Darlene Johnson at or by calling 504-392-0215.

Heritage Arts Festival this coming Saturday

Lauren Rogers to host 18th Heritage Arts Festival

By Holly Dodd, LRMA Director of Marketing

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will hold its 18th annual Heritage Arts Festival on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on the museum’s front lawn in recognition of National Arts and Humanities Month.

This year’s festival “Sounds of the South” will celebrate Mississippi’s musical heritage. Art activities will include a music-themed mural, guitar collage, bird puppets, and macaroni tambourines. Entertainment will be provided by the Cowboy Blues Band.

Families are invited to participate in the day of arts and crafts activities. The festival is free of charge, and pizza and soft drinks will be served while supplies last.

In the event of rain, the festival will be held at Sawmill Square Mall.

Heritage Arts Festival is generously sponsored by Laurel Arts League, Neel-Schaffer, Coca-Cola of Laurel, The First, and Hughes, Inc. The festival is also supported by the Mississippi Arts Commission.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street in Historic Downtown Laurel. For more information, please call 601-649-6374 or visit the museum’s website at

Bronze Sculptures at the Museum

Although the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art’s American and European art collections are best known for their paintings and works on paper, the Museum does have a small but excellent group of representational bronze sculptures on display in the hallway between the lobby and the American Gallery.

Hermon Atkins MacNeil is probably best known today for his public monuments of American heroes such as George Washington and his design of the 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter. However, the Paris-trained sculptor focused almost entirely on Native American subjects from about 1891 to 1910. His Chief Multnomah (about 1904) depicts a man once thought to be legendary; in fact he was a powerful 18th century leader in the area that is known today as Portland, Oregon. This image is entirely speculative, as no portraits of the man himself exist today. Our small bronze is related to one of the two figures in a lifesize sculpture known as The Coming of the White Man which is situated on a hill in Portland, Oregon, overlooking the Columbia River Gorge by which Lewis and Clark had come through the Rockies. MacNeil was also an influential teacher of sculpture at several institutions in New York City.

The Hungarian-born Louis-Paul Jonas began his career as a taxidermist, and then trained at the New York Academy of Design under sculptor Herman Atkins MacNeil. His Chief Eagle Head depicts a Sioux who was a member of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Jonas met him in Denver, which was Buffalo Bill’s home base, and arranged for a sitting. Eagle Head came by his name because of his deep set eyes and keen sense of observation, according to a letter from Jonas in the Museum files.

Anna Hyatt Huntington, like Louis Jonas, was a student of Hermon Atkins MacNeil in New York. She is best-known for her carefully researched animal sculptures. Huntington’s studies of animal anatomy and behavior are evident in her intimate look at an everyday event in a horse’s life, Feeding Time. This work was produced early in her career, when she was only 21 years old. Her work is very much in the academic vein of representational sculpture, rather than in the expressive mode that was more popular in Europe at the time. At the early age of 31 she completed her equestrian sculpture of Joan of Arc, a literally monumental accomplishment. Though troubled by tuberculosis after 1927, she would go on to create medals, small sculptures, and public monuments for nearly 70 more years. She continued to work in lighter media (such as aluminum) and to explore more modernist modes almost until her death at 97.

The academically-trained French sculptor Ary Jean Léon Bitter was a product of the École des Beaux-Arts in Marseille, France. His early works, such as the Museum’s See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil, tend to the representational, while his later works exhibit an fluid Art Deco tendency. He specialized in animal imagery and languid female figures in bronze, though he occasionally worked at a monumental scale as well.

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. Admission is free; please call ahead to ensure that a docent will be available for tour groups. For information about LRMA exhibitions and programs, call (601) 649-6374 or check our website at

Jill R. Chancey, PhD
LRMA Curator

Are you registered to vote?

Sunday, October 5 is the deadline to register to vote in Mississippi. This *really* means you need to submit your registration by Friday, October 3. For information on how and where to register:

Mississippi Voter Information

Friday, September 12, 2008

Concert this Sunday

LRMA Sunday Concert Series - Sunday, September 14, 2008, 2:00 p.m.

American Gallery

Marcos Machado, double bass. Concerts are free and open to the public. A reception will follow the concerts.

Monday, September 08, 2008

More Arabian photos!

A view of the box office:

A return to the vibrant colors of the twenties - notice the Egyptian scarab:

The lobby is still being repainted. Check out the great light fixture:

Another scarab detail, with a vibrant red wall behind:

The view from the lift, which, I am telling you, was WAY UP THERE:

As you can see, all of the chairs have been removed and will be replaced. As it happens, you can help renovate the theater by "sponsoring" a new cushy chair; click here for details.

This little theater is a terrific example of 20s theater architecture and an important piece of Laurel history. I look forward to visiting in November when the renovation is complete.

Joyce Bradley Painting Workshop

For anyone interested in learning a new hobby or becoming more skilled at an old one, LRMA is offering a painting workshop with Hattiesburg artist Joyce Bradley. Participants will paint along with her as she offers her "tricks of the trade" and her hands-on assistance. Everyone will walk away with their own oil painting and some new techniques to try at home. The class will be held on Saturday, September 27 from 10 AM-2 PM in the Carriage House Studio on Seventh Street. Supplies and lunch are provided in the fee, which is $50 for non-members and $45 for museum members. Joyce is a skilled painter and is excited to share her love of painting with others! Please go to to check out some of her work.

A visit to the Arabian Theater

A few weeks ago, several staff members walked down to the Laurel Little Theater's home, the Arabian, to visit. George Jackson and his crew were working very hard to restore the Arabian to its original neo-Egyptian glory. The Arabian originated as a 1920s Saenger-owned movie palace, and was designed by Emile Weil, who also designed the Saenger Theater in New Orleans. In the 1970s, a renovation added a stage and other equipment areas necessary to the production of live theater. The Jim Crow balcony (in other words, for African-Americans only during the years of legal segregation) was repurposed and filled with lighting and other theater equipment, as it was angled too high for a good view of the stage.

The building has seen 80 years of hard use as a movie theater, and then a live theater venue, so a thorough renovation was in order. The folks of the Laurel Little Theater organization have worked hard to raise some money and get this project on its feet. George says they are scheduled to finish in November.

George gave us a ride on the lift, which, frankly, was shaky and tall and terrifying, not to mention on a slanted floor! It gave us a great view of the original wall paintings uncovered during the recent renovations, which were the object of our visit. The paintings had not been visible for decades, as they were covered in a soundproofing material.

In this view, you can see that there are neo-Egyptian decorative paintings directly on the wall, alternating with niches with Moorish arches. Originally, each niche had a painting on canvas, but these have been taken down for restoration. We recommended finding funding to bring in a professional paintings conservator, but for the time being these terrific wall paintings will stay on display for the first time in decades. The canvas pieces will be stored until they can be conserved, and it's likely that replicas will be installed in the niches. This kind of Egyptian-influenced decoration was very popular in the 1920s, inspired by the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1921. Also visible are the fantastic original light fixtures, which are still installed throughout the building:

For more information about this exciting and much-needed project, please visit the Laurel Little Theater website.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Guest Blogger: Tommie Rodgers

At the Museum
At the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, the end of the summer break means the beginning of school, newly installed exhibits, hurricane watching, and emergency responder tours. Certainly since Katrina, emergency preparedness has become a hot topic among Mississippi museums and libraries.

While Katrina prepped us for other emergency issues, we continue to build on our knowledge and refinement of preparedness. We have stocked recovery and cleanup supplies and maintain links to the outside world in case of disaster.

Three years ago, we began offering behind-the-scenes tours to the local fire and police departments. We have just finished the scheduled tours with the Laurel Fire Department and the Jones County Sheriff’s Department. In keeping with the theme of preparedness, the LRMA has recently installed a new security and smoke detection system and is in the process of installing a generator.

We hope the services of these organizations will never be called upon but we know the tours provide an added familiarity with every area of the building for those who might respond should a disaster be in the Museum’s future.

In addition to our visits, we have created a new disaster plan that will aid us in areas of response, recovery and rehabilitation. The Museum will soon participate in a Risk Evaluation and Planning Program sponsored by Heritage Preservation of The National Institute for Conservation.

The Museum is one of only fifteen museums from Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas that were selected to participate in a two-day site visit by a conservator and a local emergency responder. After the visit, a report will be compiled and provided to the Museum with recommendations for improved emergency response and preparation. The museums will provide feedback to Heritage Preservation concerning the process as well as gain valuable advice from these professionals. Our site visit will take place in October and will be led by Vermont conservator Mary Jo Davis and local Jones County Emergency Management Director Don McKinnon.

With the height of hurricane season upon us, it is time to check on supplies for the Museum as well as our homes. We should remember to have important papers in a safe, dry and accessible place; back up important computer documents; keep cars filled with gas; gather supplies of bottled water, canned food, non-perishables, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, batteries and hand sanitizer. Also make sure medications are in supply and take care to have items for special needs individuals such as children and the elderly. Have cash in bills of $20 or less and have a plan to contact out-of-state family members before and after an impending disaster.

In preparation for imminent hurricanes, you may soon see LRMA staff moving paintings into storage and tying down or moving outdoor sculptures. With skylights on the top floor of the building, we are prepared for water leaks with extra garbage cans and “kiddie” pools to catch water.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is open Tuesdays - Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. Call 601-649-6374 for information or check out the Museum’s website for programs, classes and exhibitions at

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

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hurricane Update

As you probably are aware, Laurel, MS was in the path of the eastern edge of Hurricane Gustav. We battened down hatches, moved paintings, tied down sculptures, and set our disaster plan into effect over the weekend. Fortunately, except for one leaky skylight, the museum suffered no damage. We had moved artwork out from under that part of the ceiling, so a new coat of wax on the floor will hide all signs that Gustav blew our way.

Laurel suffered high winds, scattered street flooding, a number of tornado warnings, and scattered minor power outages, but we are in much better shape than we were three years ago. We expect wind & rain for the next few days, but the worst is behind us.

I understand that the national media has gone on to other subjects, so I'd like to let our out-of-state readers know that the Gulf Coast, New Orleans, and South Louisiana are still feeling the impact of Gustav. Power is out to thousands of people, street flooding occurred throughout the region, and the entire city of New Orleans is still closed to all but first responders and medical and utility personnel. This means that many evacuees are waiting, wondering what they're going to come home to. Folks from the Gulf Coast are also being discouraged from returning until power is restored and the street flooding has receded.

We'll return to our regularly scheduled museum blogging shortly.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Coming Attractions

We are about to unpack and start installing "American Masters of the Mississippi Gulf Coast," featuring works by Richmond Barthé, George Ohr, Dusti Bongé, and Walter Anderson.

The exhibit opens in the Stairwell Gallery on Friday, with a reception on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm. Exhibition curator Patti Carr Black will be giving a talk in the gallery during the reception, which we are very excited about. I don't think anybody in the world knows more about Mississippi art than Patti Carr Black.

For a little more background, see Sherry Lucas' article in the Clarion Ledger.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reminder - Peoples of the Plateau

Tonight, July 31, 5:30 - 8:00 pm, we have a lecture by exhibition curator Steve Grafe, followed by a reception.

Tomorrow, Friday August 1, basket scholar Dawn Glinsmann will speak at 10:00 am, followed by Wasco weaver Pat Courtney Gold at 11 am. Ms. Gold will present a demonstration and trunk show at 2:00 pm as well.

All events are free and open to the public.

See you there!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Birthdays

Liz had a birthday recently, and was the last to wear the birthday tiara for a while.

Why, you ask? Because everyone's worn it now. It's time for a change. Wes bravely accepted the challenge, and models here the giant origami samurai hat:

I'm not sure anyone else will be willing to model kung fu hands, but if I can tweak the fit a little bit, it'll be this year's birthday hat.

Why an origami samurai hat? Because it was one of our hands-on kid projects for the Floating World exhibition.

Which, by the way, is over and done.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guest Blogger: Donnelle Conklin, Librarian

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Library will display a selection of bookplates from its collection in November and December. The Library boasts a collection of over 2,000 bookplates, many collected during the 1920s and 30s by Ms. Ella Bradley, the Museum’s first librarian. Others were acquired from a donation from the collection of Mrs. Katherine Loveland. Most of the bookplates were produced sometime between 1890 and 1940, the period considered the “Golden Era” of bookplate design. The Library also houses a large number of books on the subject, and many will be available to visitors who would like to learn more about the variety and history of the bookplate.

The exhibit will be located in two glass cases located in the Museum lobby and will run through January.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Guest Blogger: Allyn Boone

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is conducting its annual membership drive, and we invite area residents to take advantage of this opportunity to experience all that the Museum has to offer.

LRMA members are first to receive information about exhibitions and programs. They receive personal invitations to Museum activities as well as a subscription to the LRMA News, which describes upcoming opportunities and provides information about art, artists and other timely topics.

LRMA is known throughout the nation for its world-class collections and exhibitions, which bring thousands of visitors to our community each year. Your LRMA membership shows that you support the cultural well-being of our city, state and region.

This year, in addition to joining the Museum, community residents will also be able to help school children visit LRMA. The Museum has begun an Adopt-A-Bus program to help schools defer the high cost of transportation, which threatens to keep children from taking field trips.

Members may add a gift of $25, $50, $100 or other amount to their membership contribution. The funds will be used to provide transportation stipends for schools that bring students to LRMA for tours and activities. We are certain that this program will make a difference by increasing the number of students who are able to visit the Museum and experience the visual arts.

Membership is an important source of income for LRMA. Through the membership program, LRMA is able to offer exhibitions of regional and national significance while meeting the needs of the children and families of our area. We send Art Trunks to teachers throughout the state, sponsor Third Grade Tours for children of our community and nearby counties, and provide special programs for children of the Laurel Housing Authority and other groups. We offer Heritage Arts Festival and the Very Special Arts Festival, along with a host of other events, through the generosity of our members and supporters.

Please consider becoming an LRMA member. Membership will connect you directly with our exhibitions, programs, permanent collection, and other activities.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is a backyard treasure, and membership is the best way for residents of our community to take advantage of this outstanding arts institution. To receive information about joining LRMA, call the Museum at 601-649-6374 or visit our website at

Allyn Boone is Director of Development at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Guest Blogger: Tommie Rodgers

At the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, we have the opportunity to look back at Laurel’s history in the making, as well as the personal glimpses into life in the early 1920s. While the Museum is abundant with photographs, letters, and historical documents that share important days in the lives of Lauren Rogers, his parents and grandparents, we can only imagine how life would have been different if Lauren had lived past the youthful age of twenty-three.

Museum photographs provide images of an oak tree-lined dirt road we now call Fifth Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. George S. Gardiner built the massive white house seen in the same image. The stately home now serves as St. John’s Day School.

The Museum’s founding family documents mark the era of growth in the timber industry, the founding of the Laurel Presbyterian Church, as well as the building of local schools and parks evidenced in the Catherine Marshall (Mrs. George S.) Gardiner papers.

Lauren Rogers’ great-aunt Catherine Marshall (Mrs. George S.) Gardiner left behind her legacy with not only her Native American Basket Collection, but also her desire to preserve the history she was making. Letters from Native American dealers and other collectors show us how harsh life could really be for Native weavers living in the early 1900s.

Other documents share the memorial services that were held for some of these early Laurelites. One such individual was Wallace Brown Rogers. Very little is known about Mr. Rogers other than he was Lauren’s dad. He worked quietly and tirelessly behind the scenes to help provide the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art its institutional stability and artistic heritage. We credit him with the building of the Japanese woodblock print collection and we have been recently introduced into his world of collecting in the 1920s.

On Wednesday, June 25 at 1:30 p.m., the community had the opportunity to hear a lecture by the essayist for the Museum’s newest publication The Floating World.

Dr. Hans Bjarne Thomsen of The University of Zurich presented a lecture titled "Images of the Floating World: Placing the Ukiyo-e Collection of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art." Dr. Thomsen researched the Museum’s collection of letters penned by Frederick Gookin to Mr. Rogers and has studied other collections amassed in the early 1900s by Gookin.

The Museum’s catalogue shares much information about collecting at that time and provides the reader with the knowledge that the founding family members excelled in drawing together a rich collection of fine art with the quality that can rarely be amassed today.

While Mr. Rogers went about his tasks without fanfare, his life was memorialized by Mr. W. S. Welch on the September 9, 1943 meeting of the Trustees of the Eastman Memorial Foundation. The statement began, "The great heart of Wallace Brown Rogers has ceased to beat. The love and esteem that we had for him will live always in the hearts of all of us.

His splendid mind was always at work on some project for the advancement of the interests of the community in which he lived. He was always generous. He was generous not only with the material things he possessed, but he was generous in what is vastly more important. He was generous with his very great talents and with his time. He was a thinker–an original thinker; and he never took things for granted."

The statement continues with more beautiful accolades than one could expect. "He was endowed with qualities of leadership and with a desire to be of service in the most self-effacing manner. He was always ready to give credit to another for what he alone had accomplished."

We thank Mr. Rogers for his foresight and generosity and for the legacy of this great collection representing beautiful images of Japanese culture.

The exhibition and catalogue are generously sponsored by Evelyn and Michael Jefcoat.

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

[Originally published in the Laurel Leader-Call]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Baby's First Steps

One of our most important European artworks is Jean-François Millet's First Steps (pastel/paper, c.1858, 12 3/4" x 17"). It is currently on display in our Asian Gallery for the summer, where I have put together a little show of works on paper from the permanent collection. Since all of the Japanese prints are downstairs, I thought I'd pull out some of our more delicate works and put them up. The Whistler pastel, the Homer print, and the Millet pastel are probably the highlights of this little group.

I ran across a blog post recently about images of "First Steps" in art, which includes our Millet and an image of the van Gogh's interpretation of it:

Les premiers pas dans l’art , le dessin, la peinture : voilà un sujet qui me semble intéressant !

[tr: First steps in art, drawing, and painting: here is a subject which interests me!]

Yes, yes, it is written in French, so dust off your French 101 and practice! Or, just look at the nice pictures.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Blues Bash 2008

Over 400 people enjoyed beer, barbecue, and blues by Howl-n-Madd Perry and his band last Friday on the lawns of the Museum and the Rogers-Green House in historic Downtown Laurel.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Curating Art at Home

As a museum curator, I get a lot of questions about the art in people’s homes. In this column, I’ll be addressing some of the more common questions. For example, I am often asked: “How do I take care of an artwork I just [bought/inherited/had framed]?” Ideally, artwork should be installed in a climate-controlled building with 50% humidity, low or zero UV light, and a 24-hour security system. What’s that, you say? You don’t live in a museum? Okay, here are the basics. Artwork should not be hung in direct sunlight. When framing, choose acid-free matting and UV glass or plexiglass. Ask your framer for specific advice on materials and methods. Make sure the nails are well-anchored in the wall and the hanging hardware is solidly attached. Use a stud-finder (available for $10+) and a level when installing. A laser-level is a nifty gadget, but only necessary if you find yourself doing a lot of rearranging.

What about rules for decorating with art? Ideally, hang with the center at eye level or as near as possible without butting up against the furniture below. Slight asymmetry is better than strict symmetry. Think in terms of color families, composition or subject similarities rather than rigorous matching. You may want to group all of your pictures of flowers, for example, or everything with red in it, or four or five square things. These would make good groupings with perhaps unexpected results. I often find that I see an artwork differently when I hang it with new companions.

Don’t be afraid to rearrange when you get tired of your current look. You can often redecorate by shopping in your own home. Just take everything off the walls of one or more rooms and look through closets and behind doors for framed things or plaques or anything you may have stashed since you last decorated. Lean the works against the wall and start playing with them or use a large table to arrange groups. You could also measure each object, cut out a piece of craft paper in the shape of each one and tape them on the wall in the arrangement you’re considering. Rearrange until you’re happy with the look and only then start hammering nails.

You can also look for beautiful or sentimental items in your cabinets or on bookshelves and highlight them. You may have a plate or a jug hidden away that would look terrific on display. If you have a collection, honor it. Buy or make display shelving and bring out your collection of antique teacups or your family collection of embroidery or cross-stitch pieces. Children’s artwork can also be charming and need not be elaborately framed.

On the other hand, if you don’t love a piece of artwork, put it away for a while. You can always bring out that picture of a lighthouse again if you find you miss it terribly. It’s better to have a small quantity of artwork, decorative arts and photos on display that you really love to look at than a clutter of things you don’t care if you ever see again. Don’t be afraid of open spaces!

Framing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can certainly spend on custom framing, acid-free mats, and UV glass if you are framing a one-of-a-kind piece that is meant to last forever. In fact, I highly recommend it for original works of art. It’s sort of like making insurance payments on your new car; consider quality framing an insurance policy for your new work of art. However, if your budget is low and you’re framing something inexpensive, such as an LRMA exhibition poster, you can also find simple, reasonably priced frames at big box hobby stores. Sometimes I will buy inexpensive frames but pay extra for a nice custom mat that really suits the artwork, which is my frugal compromise. Here at the Museum, we tend to use simple frames in subtle metals or wood, painted black or white, with acid-free mats in neutral tones for contemporary works of art. If you use colored mats, you may find you need to re-mat the work in 10 or 20 years, as color trends will go in and out of style. On the other hand, at LRMA we are framing for posterity, and you are framing to please yourself.

If you are looking for art but don’t have a big budget, shop at the local frame shops, the LRMA Museum Shop and arts festivals such as Day in the Park, where you can support your local artists. You can often buy original works of art for less than the cost of framed poster-prints sold at outlets and decor stores. You can also buy inexpensive art at student shows such as those at Jones County Junior College and the University of Southern Mississippi. Above all, buy art that you love, and live with it for as long as you love it.

Jill R. Chancey, PhD
LRMA Curator

[originally published in the Laurel Leader-Call, 6/8/9]

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Guest Blogger: George Bassi

The summer months are upon us at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, and that means lots of visitors traveling through the area, including people from Ireland, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands just this past week. Summer also brings lots of children and adults taking part in art classes either here at the Museum or in outreach activities throughout the community.

One of our more popular summer art activities is Free Family Art Day, which will be held on Wednesday afternoons, June 4 through July 2. At any time from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., children and their families participate in free “make and take” hands-on art activities with different themes each week, including origami, animals, collages and printmaking. No registration is required for these Wednesday afternoon classes, which attracted more 150 people each week last summer.

Of course, summer at LRMA would not be complete without our popular Blues Bash, which will be held on Friday, June 6, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. It is hard for me to believe that this will be our 15th annual event, which we have moved from mid-August to early June this year.

Blues Bash started in 1994 as a way for LRMA to celebrate Mississippi’s blues heritage and attract younger audiences to the Museum. Held in conjunction with the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the first few events brought in blues musicians from around the Mississippi Delta. Originally staged on the Museum’s front lawn, the event now encompasses the front lawns of LRMA and the Rogers-Green House as well as the closing of 5th Avenue.

Past performers include a who’s who of blues talent, including James “Super Chikan” Johnson, Blind Mississippi Morris, Kind Edward and Walter “Wolfman” Washington. This year should prove to be another crowd-pleaser with Mississippi blues guitarist and singer Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry. Born in Abbeville, Mississippi, Perry has 35 years of entertainment experience, including performances at the Apollo Theater in New York City and the Palladium in Hollywood. A regular at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Perry hosts a weekly blues television show, Blues Trekkers, in Oxford, Mississippi.

Tickets to this year’s Blues Bash are on sale now for $20 each at the Museum (601-649-6374). Besides a night of soulful blues music, you also get a barbecue dinner by The Smokehouse of Laurel and beverages from Southern Beverage Company and Coca-Cola of Laurel. Other sponsors are BancorpSouth, Cellular South, Ellis & Walters Dental Care, Gholson Burson Entrekin & Orr PLLC, Kim’s Chrysler Toyota, The Koerber Company, Stinson Petroleum Company, Laurel Leader-Call, Rock 104, and WDAM-TV.

I hope you will bring a blanket or lawn chair and join us for a night of Mississippi Delta Blues under the oak trees of the Laurel Historic District.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Blues Bash, now in June!

We've had Blues Bash in August for quite a few years now, and with rare exceptions, it's just way too steamy-sticky-hot in August. So, we're trying a June date. June 6, to be precise, which is just a few weeks away.

Here's the 411:

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will hold its 15th Annual "Blues Bash" Friday, June 6 from 6:30 - 10:30 p.m. on the Museum front lawn.

This year’s event will feature blues guitarist and singer Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry of Tupelo, Mississippi. Perry’s 35-year career has taken him across the United States and abroad. He has played venues such as the New York City’s Apollo Theater and the Palladium in Hollywood, California and was one of the first singers to appear on Soul Train.

Tickets are $20 per person and include a barbecue dinner from Smokehouse of Laurel. Tickets may be purchased at the Museum or reserved by calling 601-649-6374 by Wednesday, June 4. Guests should bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy the fun. In case of rain, Blues Bash will be held at the Cameron Center.

Blues Bash is sponsored by Southern Beverage Company, BancorpSouth, Cellular South, Ellis and Walters Dental Care, Gholson Burson Entrekin & Orr, PLLC, Kim’s Chrysler Toyota, The Koerber Company, Stinson Petroleum Company, Coca-Cola of Laurel, Laurel Leader-Call, Rock 104, and WDAM-TV.

Proceeds from Blues Bash support the Museum’s education program. To purchase a ticket for Blues Bash or for more information, call LRMA at 601-649-6374.

Anybody who's been to Blues Bash knows it's one of the best entertainment values in Laurel.

See you there!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Floating World: Ukiyo-e Prints from the Wallace B. Rogers Collection

Our latest Gallery Walk, courtesy of WDAM TV:

Guest Blogger: Mandy Buchanan

At the Museum --

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Education Department has a busy summer art program planned with a variety of classes for all ages.

"Free Family Art" will be offered Wednesdays June 4 - July 2 from 1 - 4 p.m. in the Museum Annex. These classes will feature a variety of free art experiences for children and families. No reservations are required for these make-and-take summer classes.

LRMA will provide free art activities at the Townley Center as part of the Laurel Housing Authority’s summer program. These classes will be offered from 11 a.m. -1:30 p. m. on Mondays and Wednesdays June 2 -July 30.

"Summer Art Camp" will be held July 15 - 18. Children in K5- 3rd grade will meet from 10 a. m. - noon and 4th - 6th graders will meet from 2 - 4 p. m. The theme for this year’s camp is "Around the World with Art." Students will explore artwork from around the world and experiment with a variety of art materials. Projects will include batik, printmaking and clay. Registration is required.

We are excited about the new LRMA Seventh Street Art Studio which will open in June. In the new space we will offer pottery for children and adults and studio art classes for middle school, high school students and adults.

Pottery classes will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays June 17, 19, 24, and 26. Children in K5 - 3rd grade will meet from 10 a.m. - noon and 4th - 6th graders will meet 2 - 4 p.m. Adults will meet from 5 - 7 p.m. Participants will create functional and sculptural pottery using hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques.

Two new studio classes will be offered for ages middle school students to adult.

"Basic Drawing" will be offered in the Seventh Street Studio Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. until noon. Students will be introduced to basic drawing techniques using different drawing media. Supplies are included. Registration is required for these classes.

"Introduction to Painting"
will be offered Wednesdays July 2 - 30 from 10 a.m. until noon in the Seventh Street Studio. Students will be introduced to basic painting techniques and different paint materials including watercolor, acrylic and oil paint. Registration is required.

LRMA has art programs for everyone in the family. Also, a tour of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is a great way to beat the heat on a summer afternoon!

For more information, please contact Mandy Buchanan or Angie King at 601.649.6374.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art 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.

Mandy Buchanan is the Curator of Education at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Guest Blogger: Donnelle Conklin, Librarian

At the Museum

Beginning on Tuesday, April 15th, LRMA Library will again host its video series featuring a new addition to the collection, “Craft in America”. The series is divided into three categories: “Memory”, “Landscape” and “Community”, and together they explore the variety and history of American craftsmanship through the work of artists working in a variety of media across the country.

One video from the series will be offered each week on Tuesdays, April 15, 22, and 29 at 2:00 p.m. in the Museum Reading Room. 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.

Additionally, books from the Library’s collection of Japanese print books will be on display in glass cases during the Museum’s exhibit, The Floating World: Ukiyo-e Prints from the Wallace B. Rogers Collection. The two cases will be located in the Museum Reading Room, and will run for the duration of the print exhibition.

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

not the usual

This is a little out of the ordinary for us here at Live from LRMA, but Cole Pratt was a good friend of the museum and an essential member of the arts community in New Orleans and the Gulf South. He was a Mississippi native, too.

Cole Pratt, 53, art gallery owner
Monday, April 21, 2008
By Doug MacCash
Staff writer

Cole Pratt, the affable owner of Cole Pratt contemporary art gallery on Magazine Street, died Saturday at Touro Infirmary as a result of a heart attack April 13. He was 53.

Born in Greenwood, Miss., Mr. Pratt was a lifelong art lover. His mother, Rita Pratt, recalled that "when he first picked up a pencil, he started to draw." Though Mr. Pratt studied studio arts at Delta State University, he never considered himself talented. He once jokingly told his longtime companion, Roy Malone, that after five years the university agreed to "give him a degree if he promised not to paint."

Instead of creating art, Mr. Pratt's talent lay in selling it. After working at Bryant Galleries in Jackson, Miss., and New Orleans in the 1980s, and Wyndy Morehead Fine Arts in New Orleans in the early 1990s, Mr. Pratt struck out on his own, opening a gallery in a corner storefront at 3800 Magazine St. in December 1993.

The space was small, but sunny, with a welcoming, neighborhood feel -- a contrast with the cooler tone of many Julia Street galleries.

"Cole consciously chose not to be on Julia," said Erika Olinger, the director of Cole Pratt Gallery for 14 years. "He believed Magazine was a great shopping street. He wanted the gallery to be amidst other stores. He didn't want art buying to be intimidating. He wanted an environment where the average customer could be walking by the store and be enticed to come in."

Mr. Pratt dedicated his space exclusively to Southern artists, but he did not restrict the style of art he showed. Everything from the traditional plein air paintings of Phil Sandusky to the illusionistic abstractions of Richard Johnson was welcome.

Artist Randy Asprodites said that Mr. Pratt was unusual among art dealers in that he made himself an authority on each artist he represented.

"The first day he wanted to know everything about me," Asprodites said. "It was rare. He asked real questions about my work and me as an artist."

Collector and friend Jim Lestelle said that Mr. Pratt's interest in his individual artists was matched by his interest in individual clients.

"He was good at recognizing what your interests were," Lestelle said. "He would show you art that you'd like and would be meaningful to you."

Cole Pratt was one of the first art galleries to reopen after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Mr. Pratt sold a painting to a collector on Oct. 8, while there were still National Guard patrols in the streets. He was among the first to recognize the unexpected art-buying boom that followed the storm, making 2006 his best-selling year.

Mr. Pratt is survived by his mother, Rita Pratt. Memorial arrangements are pending. Contact Cole Pratt Gallery at (504) 891-6789 for information.

. . . . . . .

Click here for the original link to Doug MacCash's obituary.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Emerging Artists: High School Clothesline Show

These images are from our Emerging Artists: High School Clothesline Show which took place on Thursday afternoon, April 17. This show allows area high school students to showcase their work on the front lawn of the museum. Local students played their music during the show, adding to the festive atmosphere. This show is held every spring near the end of school, and it is a great opportunity for people from the community to see what talented local students are doing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A few installation photos of The Floating World

For the opening reception, we have borrowed a lovely 45-year-old juniper bonsai for the night, which you see in the photos. The reception is from 7-9, and the galleries are looking gorgeous.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Floating World

Our latest exhibition, The Floating World: Ukiyo-e Prints from the Wallace B. Rogers Collection opens tomorrow, April 10! We are going to have some great educational activities in the gallery for kids and adults, including origami. The exhibition will be open until July13, and we have a beautiful exhibition catalogue that is hot off the press. Be sure to stop by on Friday, April 11 for our Symposium from 10-12 in the American Gallery.

Friday, March 28, 2008

a little local art-related news

News from the Mississippi Arts Commission:

The top four contestants at the 2008 Poetry Out Loud Mississippi Finals.

Pictured from left: Winner Grant Cochran from Washington School, Verneshia Heidelberg from Laurel High School, David Hudson from Ridgeland High School and runner-up Shaniqua Wesley from Water Valley High School.

Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. By encouraging high school students to memorize and perform great poems, Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English class. This exciting new program, which began in 2005, helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

More information at the MAC website.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Two More Birthday Tiaras

Tommie's birthday was back in December, but her picture kind of got lost in the shuffle for a while there.

Angie K. is our new Education Outreach Coordinator and, lucky lady, got red-velvet cupcakes from Theresa's Bakery! We LOVE red velvet cake, but red velvet cupcakes! Delicious AND cute! (note: cupcake at bottom left corner)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Guest Blogger: Tommie Rodgers

At the Museum: Spectacular Achievements

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is proud to feature an exhibition of hand-colored lithographs by artist and naturalist John James Audubon. Spectacular Achievements: Audubon’s Animals of North America is certainly one of accessibility for all visitors. The images are beautifully executed and naturalistic in their representation. While a self-taught artist, Audubon thrived on presenting his animal and bird paintings as realistic as possible.

Born in 1785, Audubon departed his childhood home in France and moved to America at the age of eighteen. To escape his involvement in Napoleon’s war, he was sent to care for his father’s farm in Pennsylvania. Interestingly, he had no ambition to care for the farm but instead spent most days studying and watching birds. Birds became an obsession. His bedroom walls were filled with drawings that he made of the local birds. Every year on his birthday, he would take a visual inventory of the drawings and burn the ones that he considered to be poor examples. Of course, as his quality increased, he destroyed fewer and fewer drawings.

Audubon was not a wealthy man and was actually destitute most of the time. But his passion and determination to document the birds led him to be the first person in America to tag baby birds before they left their nest for the winter. He was excited to find the same baby birds returned to the area the next spring to build nests of their own and the adults returned to the same nests they inhabited the previous summer.

Drawn late in his life and completed by his son after his death, the seventy hand-colored lithographs featured in this exhibition showcase the quadrupeds west of the Mississippi River. Small animals such as rats, moles, weasels, rabbits and squirrels are drawn to show the animals with their families and in their natural setting. Large animals such as cougars, bears, deer and fox are featured in their hunting or grazing habitat.

The labels contain scientific information such as the animal’s Latin name along with a description of its hunting or nurturing habits and its general location on the continent. This exhibition is a combination of science and art and can be used to enlighten us about animals that may be extinct or endangered.

Audubon did not become aware of his own contribution to the extinction of some birds until late in his life. He regretted the fact that he killed as many as several hundred birds in one day of hunting. His notes describe the sky as being completely black with the abundance of birds as they flew south for the winter. It’s interesting to note that we never see the sky filled with that many birds today.

Audubon made artistic and scientific contributions that have not been surpassed in the study of birds. His name continues with organizations that now protect animal existence such as the Audubon Zoo and the National Audubon Society. And, of course, his prints are held in many museum collections worldwide.

To learn more about Audubon’s life and work, come by and visit the exhibition between now and March 26th. You can access WDAM’s Midday Gallery Walk featuring Thomas Jones, director of the Museum of the Southwest, from our web site or here on the blog.

Come by on Tuesday, March 11th and visit with the Audubon Zoo’s Zoomobile. Their staff will be on the front lawn to introduce their animals to children and adults.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. The Museum is closed on Mondays.

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

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

At the Museum: Sculpture on the Museum Grounds

Now that the weather is getting better, it’s a good time to come visit the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and stroll around the grounds viewing the numerous sculptures on display outdoors. Five works are in the sculpture garden, and eight more are distributed around the building.

On the north side of the North Garden is the “Torso of a Young Woman” by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). Rodin is perhaps the best-known figurative sculptor of the modern era. This small bronze torso was created in 1909, just a year after he moved to the Hôtel Biron in Paris, which is today the Musée Rodin. It was, like many of his sculptures, not cast until after his death; in this case the Torso was cast in 1959.

On the east side of the garden is “Eve”, by the American sculptor Laura Ziegler (b.1927). Ziegler clearly works within the figurative sculptural tradition she shares with Rodin. However, Ziegler seems interested in expressing a particular emotion on the part of the subject - the anguish Eve felt on being banished from the Garden of Eden. Rodin’s work, on the other hand, is expressive of the artist’s interest in form and content; in other words, it is more about the artist than the subject. In Eve the viewer is drawn into the emotional world of the subject, not the artist.

Nearby, the visitor will find Donald DeLue’s “Spirit Triumphant” (1971), a one-third size model from the State of Louisiana memorial at the Gettysburg battlefield. This bronze represents the survival of the spirit; the split laurel tree represents the South and the North, which are eventually united by the dove of peace spanning the two branches.

Recently, we added Atlanta artist Andrew Crawford's "Fiddlehead," a steel sculpture donated in 2002. It evokes both the curve of a violin and the organic quality of the fiddlehead fern.

Eight sculptures by David Hayes are on display outdoors at LRMA until August 31, 2008. Hayes has developed a unique formal vocabulary of biomorphic forms. The surprisingly organic-looking assemblages contrasts with the material: flat plates of unbending industrial-strength steel. The works in the “Screen Sculpture” series are painted solid black, while the rest of the sculptures on the Museum grounds are painted. The scale of the steel works is comfortably human; ranging from about 4' - 8' high. The works do not tower over and dominate the average person, but are not so small they can be deemed inconsequential. Repeated viewing over the course of the next year, in different seasons, times of day, walking or driving by, and under varying skies, will result in different experiences with the sculpture. Don’t forget to walk all the way around the back of the museum to see “Grenouille,” which faces 4th Street and the LRMA parking lot.

In the Museum Annex courtyard is Bruce White’s stainless steel “Untitled” (1972). White, a New Jersey native, now lives and works in Chicago. Bruce White's work has been described as "an elegant union of ancient symbolism and contemporary science." His preferred materials are stainless steel and aluminum, although he has created works in bronze and granite--essentially materials which lend themselves to permanance. In addition to sculpture for residential and commercial interiors, he has done numerous large scale exterior public works.

Finally, on the South side of the front lawn is Arthur Silverman’s “Cor-Ten Duo #3” (1981). Silverman is a New Orleans-based sculptor who has long been fascinated with the mathematical and aesthetic qualities of tetrahedrons. This sculpture may be familiar to mall-goers, as it was in display at the Sawmill Square Mall for several years. I’d advise giving it a second look in a natural setting, however, as the expansive space and natural light really work to the sculpture’s advantage.

The loan of the Rodin and Zeigler sculptures from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. was made possible by the Museum Loan Network - a national collection-sharing program funded by the John. S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, and administered by MIT’s Office of the Arts. The Sculpture Garden is open during regular LRMA hours: 10:00 am to 4:45 pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00 to 4:00 on Sunday; the rest of the sculptures are accessible year-round. For more information about museum programs and exhibitions, call (601) 649-6374 or check our website at

Friday, February 08, 2008

One step forward for LRMA-kind

We now have a Youtube account, thanks to Librarian and WebMaster Donnelle Conklin, and our first video is an interview with Thomas Jones, director of the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas. Our director, George Bassi, interviewed him about Spectacular Achievements: Audubon's Animals of North America, the exhibition featured in our Lower Level Galleries through March 23, 2008. The video was shot by WDAM for their Midday show, so thanks are due to WDAM.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Guest Blogger: Holly Dodd

AT THE MUSEUM: Calling All Gardening Enthusiasts

February is not only the time for valentines and candy but also an opportunity to look forward to warm days, spring planting, and all things that bloom. In celebration of that theme, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will host an event for those who are avid gardeners and those of us who wish we were.

LRMA will present its annual Garden Lectureat 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 7, in the Museum’s American Gallery. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Laurel Garden Club, a member of The Garden Club of America.

The speaker for the event will be Rebecca Frischkorn of Washington, D. C. A graduate of Princeton University, Frischkorn has designed gardens professionally for more than 30 years and lectures widely on landscape design. She is a trustee of The Cultural Landscape Foundation and the Shenandoah National Park Trust.

Frischkorn’s talk will focus on a ten-episode series for the Public Broadcasting System titled Garden Story: Inspiring Spaces, Healing Places, for which she is executive producer and host. The series explores how gardens create positive social change and explains the need for stewardship of our natural environment. Garden Story examines how community gardens reduce crime and renew cities, how gardening can promote healing, and how gardens teach children to care for the natural world.

The garden lecture will be followed by a luncheon at the Rogers-Green House. Tickets for the event are $35 per person. To purchase a ticket or for more information, call the Museum at 601-649-6374.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art 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,

-- Holly Dodd is the Director of Marketing at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Well, THAT was unexpected

We had a real snow here in Laurel last weekend! It stuck for a couple of days, kids built snowmen galore, and I, for one, had to dig deep in the closet for my winter boots, which are a relic of my years in Kansas at grad school.

At the left, you see two sculptures by David Hayes which are inhabiting the jasmine beds through August.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Guest Blogger: Donnelle Conklin

At the Museum: LRMA Library Offers Spring Activities

Beginning January 27th, The Lauren Rogers Museum will present the exhibition, Spectacular Achievements: Audubon’s Animals of North America. LRMA Library will offer a glass case exhibit showcasing the volumes of Audubon’s books from the Library’s collection, which will be located in the Museum Reading Room. The exhibit will run through March 23rd. During this time the Library will also present the video, John James Audubon: The Birds of America, a 30-minute video on loan from the National Gallery of Art. Using his journal writings and illustrations interwoven with nature photography, the video traces Audubon’s development as an artist and his efforts to publish The Birds of America.

In April, LRMA Library will host its annual Video Series featuring a new edition to the collection, Craft in America. The series is divided into three categories: “Memory”, “Landscape” and “Community”, and together they explore the variety and history of American craftsmanship through the work of artists working in a variety of media across the country.

One video from the series will be offered each week on Tuesdays, April 15, 22, and 29 at 2:00 p.m. in the Museum Reading Room. 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.

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

back from oblivion

Or, really, back from the holidays. We've all been in and out quite a bit over the last few weeks. We've recovered from Gala, installed paintings in the Stairwell Gallery and travel posters in the Lower Level Galleries, taken down the Christmas decorations, and had our annual staff retreat. skets.

So, it's back to work, where it's just one darn thing after another. Our Native American basket exhibition, which had traveled to nine venues during 2006-2007, came back, and now we have to find a place for a lot of custom-made crates, not to mention proper storage for the baskets.

My next project is installing Spectacular Achievements: Audubon's Animals of North America. We've got a lot planned around this exhibition: a visiting speaker & reception, the Audubon ZooMobile will be here during Spring Break, a teacher workshop, and more. We also have Board and Committee meetings coming up on the double, so we are hitting the ground running this week.

Until I have pictures to post, I thought I'd point interested parties to this useful tool:

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States

This chart lays out the extent of copyright and conversion to public domain for published works, sound recordings, and architectural works. When it comes to artworks, several copyrights are in play: both that of the artist (or her estate), and that of the photographer. If you wish to publish an image of an artwork, you must get permission from the artist and the photographer. Even if you take your own picture, you need the artist's permission. (Fair Use for educational purposes is exempt from this permissions process). Museums generally control access to reproductions of work in their collections, so if you are looking for a poster or print of a work of art you're fond of, find out who owns it and get in touch with that museum. The museum will have sorted out the reproduction rights already.

The LRMA Gift Shop doesn't do much trade in posters or reproductions, but we do have prints of several works available for sale: Millet's First Steps and Winslow Homer's The Fisherman's Wife.