Feb. 15 – Apr. 2, 2023
In honor of Oglethorpe University Museum of Art’s 30th anniversary, the museum presents works less often seen and will include several recent acquisitions, all with a goal of demonstrating the very broad range of voices and people represented in OUMA’s permanent collection. Nations represented in this exhibition include Haiti, USA, France, Spain, Germany, Acoma Pueblo, Navajo, Mexico, Cuba, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
One recent addition to the permanent collection is the painting entitled “hey, slim” by Atlanta artist Shanequa Gay, whose dreamlike exhibition “shanequa gay: thought and memory,” will transform the museum’s Skylight Gallery in to a landscape of her imagination. “thought and memory” is the culmination of the Atlanta artist’s much-celebrated semester as Oglethorpe University’s inaugural artist-in-residence. Alongside “hey slim” is Gay’s “la pieta” which was acquired in spring of 2019, as an initiative of the Black Student Caucus and Student Government Association in collaboration with OUMA.
“OUMA Collects 2023” displays the first gifts of art acquired by the museum created by First Nations people, including a small Navajo pot and a large Acoma Pueblo vessel. The latter is by E. & L. Vallo Jr. who is based in the Acoma Pueblo reservation in New Mexico. These objects and a Dutch still life by Herman Jacob van der Voort are recent gifts from Mr. Ian Gordon.
The exhibition also includes a selection of Japanese porcelains given to OUMA by Caroline Lee Jacobs Henderson, granddaughter of OU President Thornwell Jacobs. A salon-style wall is devoted to a selection of French drawings given to OUMA over many years by a variety of patrons including Drs. Yolanta and Isaac Melamed and Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schlossberg. Japanese and French works of art are a hallmark of OUMA’s collection.
The sculpture of Cuban American artist Alejandro Aguilera embodies his youth in Cuba and life in Atlanta, combining images of Cuban artists and deities carved of wood and packed with red Georgia clay. Aguilera’s sculpture was given to OUMA in 2013 by Shelley and Donald Rubin, whose generous charitable gift to Oglethorpe University sustains our yearly exhibition series and educational programming. Nearby is an evocative print by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo which was acquired in 2020. Our Cuban and Mexican collections speak to OUMA’s commitment reflect our Hispanic/Latino community, and our support of students and families impacted by immigration.
This atmospheric landscape by Georgia native Alexander Drysdale was recently given by Ellen Kierr Stein. Drysdale used an idiosyncratic process of highly thinned oils on artist board to create a unique surface texture and finish.
This exhibition was organized by OUMA Director Elizabeth Peterson Jennings.