Current

This exhibit is on a temporary break from now through Feb. 20, 2018, to accommodate the 2018 Museum Ball Presented by Cabell Huntington Hospital. We are sorry for any inconvenience.


A high tea opening reception for this exhibit takes place on Sunday, September 17, 2017, from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission to the opening reception is free.

Some of the most beloved holdings of the Huntington Museum of Art are found in the collection of British portraits and silver.

The silver holds a special place in the history of the museum, as most of it was collected by museum founder Herbert Fitzpatrick and it was showcased as a regular feature after the museum opened its doors in 1952. It includes works by many of the finest British silversmiths of the Georgian period, including Paul Storr, Paul de Lamerie and Hester Bateman. Most of the portraits were added in the 1950s when George Bagby donated a group of works by some of the leading portrait artists who were active in 18th century Great Britain.

The 18th century was a time that saw expanding empires and trade along with great wealth among the privileged class in Great Britain. To showcase this wealth the upper classes increasingly called upon the nation’s silversmiths to fashion fine objects that could be conspicuously displayed in their lavish homes. These items reflected the stylistic fashions of the day and were used in a culture where eating and drinking became the ultimate pleasures and fostered elaborate dinner rituals that required a multitude of specialized utensils. Dinners could sometimes last 4 to 5 hours and were often seen as the major activity of the day. Portraiture served as yet another means of displaying wealth. Painters such as Joshua Reynolds, Henry Raeburn, and George Romney were kept busy creating likenesses of the social elite. No stately home was complete without a collection of portraits to adorn the walls, since these paintings provided a visual reminder of the family heritage that was so keenly prized by the upper class.

In addition to the silver that is part of the museum collection, a special group of silver vinaigrettes from the collection of Ashland native Ronald Polan will be a featured part of the exhibition. Vinaigrettes were small containers that were used to hold aromatic substances that were often dissolved in vinegar. Although used by both sexes in the earliest days, by the late 18th century they became an accessory carried almost exclusively by women. Their function was to mask offensive odors or to take advantage of the restorative powers of the substances that were carried in the container. Their appeal extended into the early 19th century, but by 1840 they had faded in terms of popularity.

The items in this exhibition present a link to an era when the fine and decorative arts served the needs of the wealthy through objects that were both rare and splendid. Though more than two centuries have passed since they were created, they still retain the stunning beauty that made them so desirable to the owners who commissioned them.

This exhibit sponsored by

Alex Franklin

S.J. Shrubsole

This exhibit supported by

Adam Booth, In Memory of Jeanne Kaplan Dunn

Dr. Peter and Clare Chirico, In Memory of Raffaella Del Guerico

Jean Eglinton and Steven Snyder, In Memory of Stuart H. Snyder

Oliver and Gaye Fearing, In Memory of Janet Ensign Bromley

Dennis and Lindsay Lee, In Memory of Laura Weber

Iris K. Malcom, In Memory of Arthur Malcom

Tamara S. Nimmo, In Memory of Edith and Christine Nimmo

Sally B. Oxley

Betsy H. Wilson, In Memory of Elizabeth Mitchell

Additional support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Domestic Delight: British Silver, Portraits and Decorative Arts

Courtyard Series: Mike Bowen

October 28 - March 11, 2018

Anthem for an Old Tomorrow, a large-scale work created by Mike Bowen in 2010, will be the latest in a series of sculptural works on display during the winter months in the museum’s courtyard. Bowen, who holds an undergraduate degree from Marshall University and a graduate degree from the University of South Carolina, has exhibited his work in a number of juried and invitational shows. He teaches at both Shawnee State University and Marshall University.

Anthem for an Old Tomorrow uses futuristic architecture to represent the connections we make in our lives, and the efforts we make to maintain them,” Bowen says. “Each time the piece is exhibited it takes on new form as elements are added to the original piece. However, even as the new creation takes form, nature, time and the elements wear away and decay the surface, creating the need for constant attention and maintenance.”

Bowen maintains a studio at his home in Huntington with wife Allison, son Benjamen, and three dogs.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Courtyard  Series: Mike Bowen

Ray Smith will speak about his work and sign copies of his book at HMA as part of the 4th Tuesday Tour Series on January 23, 2018, at 7 p.m. This is a Macy’s Free Tuesday event.

In the summer of 1974, Ray Smith set out from New Haven, Connecticut, with a friend and two medium-format, twin-lens cameras to see and photograph America. They traveled in a VW Beetle for six weeks until the car broke down in Kansas City. Smith then returned home and took a job taking photographs of students around the country for their campus identification cards. Between assignments and during breaks he continued photographing for this project through September.

With a tight budget for film throughout the year, Smith carefully selected people, places, and things to photograph, amassing about 750 frames of 2¼” x 2¼” black and white film. He promptly processed the film and printed about two hundred of the images, exhibiting and publishing several of the photographs over the years. Since 1979, few of his images have been seen by anyone but the artist until recently.

Now, more than 40 years after Smith’s sojourn, he shares 52 of his photographs that document the journey. The artist has sequenced the images so that the ensemble is more than the sum of the parts, and he has independently produced a book that illustrates the photographs with insightful commentary by two historians of art and culture.

In Time We Shall Know Ourselves is a remarkable achievement. It was instigated by Smith’s love of photography, nurtured by his formal education in American Studies, and focused by his keen appreciation of Robert Frank’s The Americans (1958)—perhaps the most influential book of photographs published in the 20th century—and his profound respect for photographs by Walker Evans, his mentor at Yale whose American Photographs (1938) and Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (with James Agee, 1941) rival The Americans.

Evans and Frank have informed Smith’s work, but In Time We Shall Know Ourselves stands as an independent statement about America and about photography in Smith’s times and places. He has written that his photography is “more closely related to literature, especially fiction…than it is to the other visual arts,” and that the “portrait is primary, and the photograph is a short story exploding beyond its frame.”

Here and now, these vivid short stories explode into an epic travel narrative, a great American novel set in the 1970s but with its culmination in its publication and exhibition today. The photographs, book, and exhibition serve not only as windows through which we see an earlier age, but also serve as a mirror in which, in time, we may learn something of ourselves.

This exhibition is organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.

This exhibit is presented by Macy’s.

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

In Time We Shall Know  Ourselves: Photographs by Raymond Smith Presented by Macy’s

The Huntington Museum of Art lost a longtime friend and patron in 2014 when Malcolm Goldstein passed away at the age of 89. He had donated a number of artworks to the collection, beginning with a gift in 1976 of a suite of six prints by Cy Twombly, Roman Notes I-VI.

Over the next several decades, he donated important works by contemporary artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Rivers, Lee Bontecou and Jim Dine to the collection. Though he moved to New York many years ago, he visited Huntington often and never forgot his hometown and its museum.

When the Huntington Museum of Art published a catalog in 2002 in celebration of its 50th anniversary, Malcolm contributed an essay which praised the museum as a “vital source of enjoyment and intellectual enrichment for the community and region.” Following his death, he left a sizable bequest to benefit the museum and its programs.

Goldstein was born in Huntington in 1925, the son of Jack and Lydia Cohen Goldstein. After attending local public schools during his younger years, he attended Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts. Following his graduation, he enrolled at Princeton University in the summer of 1943. His time there was interrupted by military service in World War II, but he returned after his discharge and graduated in 1949. He then went on to earn graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in English Literature, from Columbia University. After a brief stint as an instructor in the English Department at Stanford University, he moved on to teach at Queens College in New York, where he worked until his retirement in 1991. He authored a number of books on the history of English and American theatre, including books on Alexander Pope, Thornton Wilder and George S. Kaufman. His final published work was Landscape With Figures: A History of Art Dealing in the United States, a topic that reflected a lifelong interest in art and art collecting.

To celebrate the contributions of Malcolm Goldstein to the Huntington Museum of Art, this exhibition will showcase 14 works of art that he gave to the institution. With the exception of an historic print by John James Audubon, the remaining works are by 20th century American artists. Together these works form an important part of the contemporary art holdings of the Huntington Museum of Art and serve as a lasting memorial to a dedicated friend and patron.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

A Gentleman and a Scholar: Gifts to the HMA Collection by Dr. Malcolm Goldstein

Andy Brayman’s ceramic works are internationally recognized for their unique combination of traditional craft, industrial processes, and contemporary art strategies. Brayman borrows from ceramic history and cleverly reinvents traditional domestic objects through the manipulation of form, incredible design, craftsmanship and strong conceptual content. Decals, slip casting and other manufacturing processes typically associated with industry are his primary methods of fabrication. Brayman’s works may be functional, sculptural, or purely decorative, but they consistently demonstrate an object’s potential to be simultaneously beautiful and cerebral.

Ceramic artist Andy Brayman holds a BA in sociology and a BFA from the University of Kansas (1996) and an MFA in ceramics from Alfred University (1998). In 2005, Brayman founded The Matter Factory in Kansas City – equal parts artist studio, laboratory, and factory. In addition to producing objects of his design, guest designers and artists are invited to collaborate and develop objects for production that might otherwise have trouble finding an eager manufacturer. Brayman also owns and operates a ceramic decal printing company called Easy Ceramic Decals, which helps support his other endeavors.

Walter Gropius Master Artist Series Presents: Andy Brayman

The Artstream Nomadic Gallery is a traveling exhibition space housed in a restored 1967 Airstream trailer. Artwork by various ceramic artists in the Artstream is for sale. The Artstream Nomadic Gallery will visit the Huntington Museum of Art on March 9, 2018, and Pullman Square in downtown Huntington on March 10 and 11, 2018. The Artstream Nomadic Gallery strives to place contemporary studio pottery into the hands and homes of the public, and has made stops in more than 300 locations across the country from New York City to Los Angeles, Houston to Minneapolis.

The Artstream Nomadic Gallery has been putting contemporary studio pottery on the street for years. Based in Carbondale, Colorado, and founded in 2002 by past Walter Gropius Master Artist, Alleghany Meadows, the Artstream has exhibited work by more than 125 national, international, and emerging ceramic artists. An exhibition featuring 26 artists, 13 of whom are past visiting artist at the museum, will be on display at the Huntington Museum of Art from February 24, 2018, through May 20, 2018.

Artstream Nomadic Gallery Retrospective Exhibition