Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

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Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is an art museum on the campus of Auburn University, and is the only university art museum in Alabama. Opened on October 3, 2003, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art contains six exhibition galleries within its 40,000 square feet (3,700 m 2) of interior space. In addition to the galleries, the museum facility includes an auditorium, cafe, and museum shop. Outside the main building, the grounds encompass 7 acres (28,000 m 2) of land, including an expansive lake. The museum is named after Jule Collins Smith, the wife of Albert Smith, who graduated from Auburn University in 1947. Smith donated $3 million to the project as a gift to his wife, in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary.

Exhibits

Permanent collection
The museum's permanent collection focuses mainly on 19th and 20th century American and European Art. The museum includes works by Romare Bearden, Ralston Crawford, Arthur Dove, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, John Marin, and Ben Shahn, within its Advancing American Art collection. Within the museum's Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon Collection are 114 prints by naturalist John James Audubon. In addition, the museum contains the Bill L. Harbert Collection of European Art collection. This exhibit contains works by Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí­, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Exhibition Highlights
In addition to its changing displays of works in the permanent collection, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art has hosted several notable loan exhibitions. In fall 2005 JCSM presented The Quilts of Gee’s Bend , an exhibition of 70 quilts “created by four generations of artists from the isolated community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama,” described as “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced.” Curated by JCSM Director Marilyn Laufer for the Georgia Museum of Art , The Spirit of the Modern: Drawings and Graphics by Maltby Sykes, on view summer 2006, featured works on paper by the former Auburn University professor. The exhibition of more than 50 objects charted Sykes’s technical experimentation in printmaking and followed his progression from American Scene imagery in the 1940s through his mid-1970s work in abstraction. From March 24, 2006 through May 28, 2006, the museum displayed an exhibit on loan from the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia.The exhibit featured drawings from 19 and 20th century artists such as Charles Burchfield, Giorgio de Chirico, Elaine De Kooning, and Robert Motherwell. The drawings were a representation of Modernism, with images from the Renaissance to modern times. Beginning in May 2006, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art unveiled another exhibit with the assistance of the Georgia Museum of Art. Entitled The Spirit of the Modern: Drawings and Graphics by Maltby Sykes, the exhibit featured work by Maltby Sykes. Known for his work in both paint and print, Sykes was represented by more than fifty objects. Together, the works are indicative of his development from social realism through modern abstraction and remained on display until July 30, 2006. In 2007, JCSM organized an important exhibition of the work of Alabama native Roger Brown, guest curated by Sydney Lawrence. Roger Brown: Southern Exposure highlighted the southern roots and connection to family that mark the highly distinctive art of this celebrated Chicago Imagist painter. The exhibition traveled subsequently to American University in Washington, D.C. and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. Fall 2008, JCSM presented The Indian Gallery of Henry Inman, a collection of 19th-century portraits of southeastern Native American leaders and warriors. Originally assembled by the High Museum in Atlanta, the exhibition of 13 oil paintings created by one of America’s most noted portraitists, was augmented at Auburn by hand-colored lithographs published after the paintings and contemporaneous Creek and Seminole beadwork. During the years since it opened, the museum has also featured traveling exhibits displaying ceramic work by Eva Zeisel, architecture inspired by Sambo Mockbee, and paintings by Hugh Williams.