Friday, February 26, 2010

Spring Break fun for the kids!

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will hold its third annual Spring Break Festival on Tuesday, March 16 from 1 - 3 p.m. on the museum's front lawn. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science will showcase a variety of reptiles and other animals, and music will be provided for the event by Mark Brown. Art activities include solar prints, masking tape mosaics, playing card paintings, and more. The festival is free and open to the public and intended for the whole family.

The Museum will also hold its annual "Spring Break Art Break" classes March 17 - 19 in the Museum annex. The schedule will be 10 a.m. until noon for K5 through third grade and 2 until 4 p.m. for fourth through sixth graders. Participants will create multi-media crafts inspired by the LRMA collection. Cost is $35 per child for LRMA members and $45 for non-members. As space is limited, reservations will only be held with payment. To reserve a space contact the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art at 601-649-6374 or

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guest Blogger: Allyn Boone

In 1903, Nina and Wallace Rogers built an elegant redwood home in the Prairie style of architecture on Laurel’s beautiful Fifth Avenue. There they raised their son, Lauren, and participated in the life of the community, managing one of the town’s lumber companies and entertaining friends and business associates in their well-appointed home.

Upon Lauren’s untimely death at the age of 23, his parents and grandparents created the Eastman Memorial Foundation to operate a museum and library for the town. As a result, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art opened in 1923 across the street from the Rogers house, and the Museum continues to serve as the cultural heart of the city of Laurel.

In 1950, the Rogers house passed to Gardiner Green, Sr., who was Lauren’s second cousin, and his wife, Eleanor. In 2003, the house became the property of the Eastman Memorial Foundation through a generous bequest from the Greens, who had been longtime supporters of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and its programs.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a pivotal structure in the Laurel Historic District, the Rogers-Green House is highly significant in terms of its age and its architecture. A rare example in Laurel of the Prairie style, the house stands as one of the primary examples of the Belle Epoch period. Outstanding features include original Tiffany light fixtures and extensive leaded glass windows.

The Rogers-Green House has become an indispensable part of the community. Five museum offices are situated on the second floor of the building, and LRMA utilizes the main level and grounds for numerous Museum events.

Additionally, the house has become a popular site for a wide variety of community celebrations including parties, weddings and receptions. The rental income from these festive occasions helps offset the expense of operating and maintaining the 7,000 square-foot structure, and the community enjoys the opportunity to utilize the house for special occasions.

Initial renovations to the house were funded by a Mississippi Arts Commission Building Fund for the Arts grant and contributions from generous individuals in Laurel and as far away as San Francisco and New York City. The common denominators among these donors were a connection to Laurel, a love of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, and an appreciation of this fine old building.

Thanks to the donors’ generosity, the Rogers-Green House is the center of activities ranging from LRMA planning and administration to festive parties and elegant receptions. As we look to the future, we envision renovating a small guest cottage on the grounds for LRMA overnight guests including lecturers and artists-in-residence. Other needs include roofing improvements for the Carriage House Studio and an endowment fund for future Rogers-Green House repairs.

A Taste of Art & Wine on Friday, April 16, at the Rogers-Green House will provides an opportunity to have fun and raise money for the Rogers-Green House. The annual event is presented by the LRMA Guild of Docents & Volunteers and features gourmet food and wine, a silent auction, and music and dancing. Area businesses and individuals have the opportunity to become sponsors for the event and be recognized on the invitation and in other publicity.

Later this year, we plan to unveil a plaque that will list the generous individuals and businesses who helped us restore and renovate the Rogers-Green House for LRMA and the community. Categories range from the 1903 Society for gifts of $1,903 to the Redwood Society for gifts of $50,000 or more. For more information about these and other giving opportunities, please call George Bassi or Allyn Boone at the Museum, 601-649-6374.

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

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Monday, February 01, 2010

Garden Lecture Thursday, February 11

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and the Laurel Garden Club will present Gardening Through the Seasons by Dr. William E. Barrick, Executive Director of Bellingrath Gardens on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

Gardening Through the Seasons will focus on creating landscape displays that provide color throughout the seasons of the year using examples from Bellingrath Gardens and Home, well known for its imaginative and creative use of annuals, tropicals, and perennials.

Dr. Barrick received BS and MS degrees from Auburn University and a PhD in Landscape Horticulture from Michigan State University. Since 1999, he has served as the Executive Director of Bellingrath Gardens and Home, located in Theodore, Alabama. He was Executive Vice-President and Director of Gardens in Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, for almost 20 years before going to Bellingrath. Dr. Barrick is a past President of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, past Chairman of the American Horticultural Society, and a recipient of the Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal.

The lecture will be held in LRMA’s American Gallery. Following the lecture, lunch will be served at the Rogers-Green House which is located across the street from the Museum. Tickets are $35 per person and include lunch. Seating is limited. For reservations contact LRMA at 601-649-6374 or

Gardening Through the Seasons is presented by Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and the Laurel Garden Club, a member of The Garden Club of America.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street in Historic Downtown Laurel. The Laurel Garden Club is a member of The Garden Club of America.

Top picture:
Bellingrath Gardens: The Rose Garden in May

Bottom picture:
Bellingrath Gardens: The Mirror Pool

For more information on Bellingrath Gardens, visit their website at