Opening reception takes place on July 29, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free.

From his mountaintop home in Hardy County, West Virginia, painter Robert Singleton has a splendid panoramic view of the surrounding countryside in one of the state’s most picturesque regions. For nearly 40 years, Singleton, a “West Virginian by choice” has sought privacy and uninterrupted time to work and be introspective, and the space to breathe freely and search for life’s answers in this remote location.

Now approaching his 80th birthday, his journey through the years has followed a fascinating path that saw him go from an esteemed and celebrated position in the art world with numerous awards and museum shows to a deliberate retreat into solitude in which he bid farewell to the fame and acceptance he once sought.

Although he continued to work as a painter, his focus turned more to nurturing human relationships, especially as they relate to end-of-life experiences. Singleton embraced the work and personal friendship of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, whose influential book On Death and Dying helped strengthen the modern hospice movement, and he provided compassionate care for a number of family members and friends during their last days, especially those who were victims of the AIDS epidemic. “I personally feel the single beneficial motivation of life centers upon the compassion of the connections we share with our fellow humans,” he said.

While Singleton’s attention was occupied for many years by the demands of caregiving, the urge to get back to his artwork eventually resurfaced. “In the summer of 2012, after more than a 10-year hiatus from painting, I rediscovered the pure joy of the creative emergence,” and he immersed himself in developing new work. He not only returned to his studio but began an active exhibition schedule, including a 30-year retrospective at the
Landes Art Center in Petersburg, West Virginia, in 2015 and a recent gallery showing in Lewisburg, West Virginia.

The Huntington Museum of Art will host an innovative showing of Singleton’s work in an exhibition that will feature several large-scale paintings accompanied by dynamic lighting in a darkened environment, along with original music composed by German musician Dan Morro.

Singleton said the exhibition will capitalize on the half-century of his experiences as an artist. “I seek a means of involving all human beings, not as viewers, but as participants in the ageless impact of the creative emergence.” He hopes the installation will be “a means of uncovering the core of our intuitive understanding and cumulative experience ingrained and transmitted through generations since the dawn of time… (serving
to) document my search for our shared universal awareness.”

Click here to learn more about the artists

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

This program is being 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.

For the Joy of Light: Paintings by Robert Singleton & Soundscapes by Dan Morro

Opening reception takes place on Saturday, August 12, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free. This exhibit will be accompanied by a catalog, which will be available for purchase from the Museum Shop.

In the latter months of 1967, a shipment of precious cargo arrived at the Huntington Museum of Art. Included in the delivery were works by a number of the most important artists who were active in late 19th and early 20th century America, along with many stellar examples by European artists. Three watercolors by Andrew Wyeth, two oil paintings by Childe Hassam (including an example from his renowned “flag” painting series), paintings or prints by all of the members of the group known as “The Eight,” etchings by Rembrandt and Whistler, a watercolor by Winslow Homer, as well as a host of equally impressive works of art were included in the shipment. They were all given to the museum by Mrs. Ruth Woods Dayton, a resident of Lewisburg, West Virginia, and were together known as The Daywood Collection. The gift immediately elevated the status of the collection of the museum to one of national renown.

The receipt of the Dayton gift was part of an amazing sequence of events that occurred in the mid-1960s that would forever alter the destiny of the museum. The catalyst for all the good fortune was a grant of $1 million from the Doherty Foundation, a charitable organization whose leadership had ties to Huntington, for the purpose of expanding the museum’s facility. A second stroke of welcome news came when the famed architect Walter Gropius agreed to design the addition to the museum in partnership with his firm, The Architects’ Collaborative.

Mrs. Dayton and her husband, Arthur, had entered the collecting world in 1916 when they received a gift of the painting Munich Landscape, by Ross Sterling Turner, as a wedding present. That would be the beginning of a collection that would eventually number more than 200 works of art, including more than 80 paintings. They developed close relationships with some of the leading commercial galleries of the period, especially New York’s Macbeth Gallery, and acquired works by many prominent artists. A number of pieces were acquired after being seen at major exhibitions of the day, including the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, a city that Arthur Dayton visited often in his work as an attorney. Collecting art was a passion for the Daytons, and they enjoyed doing research on the objects and writing to artists to find out more about their newest finds. Many of the works are modest in size, deliberately chosen to fit comfortably in their Charleston, West Virginia, residence.

Following Mr. Dayton’s untimely death in 1948, Ruth Dayton moved to Lewisburg and in 1951 opened a small facility called The Daywood Gallery as a memorial to her husband (the name Daywood is a combination of the couple’s family surnames, Dayton and Woods). Between 1951 and 1966, Mrs. Dayton continued to add to the collection through donations and purchases. The collection attracted the attention of a number of supporters of the Huntington Museum of Art in the early 1960s and several overtures were made to Mrs. Dayton to make a gift of her collection to the institution, but these pleas went unheeded because of the inadequate size of the existing facility. Following the Doherty Foundation grant and the promise of a sparkling new, Gropius-designed exhibition space and accompanying storage areas, Mrs. Dayton at long last agreed to give her collection to the Huntington Museum of Art. It was her wish that the collection that she and her husband had been so carefully assembled would remain in the state and be made available to the people of West Virginia, a place the Daytons had called home for their entire lives. An agreement was drawn up and signed by both parties in December, 1966, and the majority of the works were transferred to Huntington later in 1967 (a few objects remained in Mrs. Dayton’s home during the last years of her life and were later sent to the Huntington Galleries after her death in 1978).

This exhibit is presented by City National Bank, with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

Additional support comes from The Katherine and Herman Pugh Exhibitions Endowment.

This program is being 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.

The Art of Patronage: 50th Anniversary of The Daywood Gift Presented by City National Bank

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

Reach for the Sky

November 4 - February 4, 2018

Artists have often turned to the beauty and mystery of the sky as sources of inspiration. From the rich blue canopy seen on a summer day to the dark, menacing look of an approaching storm, the majestic brightness of the moon and stars, or the calming effect of a peaceful sunset, the emotional pull of the heavens is a strong attraction. Reach for the Sky brings together a group of works from the HMA permanent collection that features the shifting appearances of Earth’s upper atmosphere and sometimes even the realms beyond Earth.

From the masterful skies of Charles Harold Davis to the otherworldly views of famed science fiction artist Chesley Bonestell, the exhibit will feature not only paintings and prints but also decorative arts such as glass and furniture. A wide variety of eras and artistic styles will be included, such as 19th century paintings by Charles Daubigny and Eugene Boudin, work by 20th century masters such as Sonia Delaunay, Rockwell Kent and Ralph Blakelock, and contemporary painters such as Donald Sultan and Tula Telfair.

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.

Reach for the Sky

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