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Upcoming

Wheels

July 3 - October 3, 2021

The wheel is one of civilization’s greatest inventions. Though derived from a simple shape, the construction of a working wheel took great ingenuity, and it was only within the last six millennia that a wheel-and-axle combination appears in the human record. This development was a significant advancement in technology as it allowed more efficient agricultural cultivation and vastly revolutionized transportation. It also was utilized in many other applications, such as pottery making and food processing.

HMA will celebrate this remarkable device with an exhibition of works that feature images of wheels in use. From the creations of folk artists such as Herman Hayes’ whimsical sculpture Large Star Wheel With Four Supporting Figures and Evan Decker’s Cowboy With Bells, Wheels, Squirrels, Hens to Huntington photographer Levi Holley Stone’s images of automobiles and bicycles, a variety of wheel-themed works are included.

Pop culture is represented in original artwork for comic books and strips depicting the Batmobile and Little Orphan Annie, while John Baeder’s Royal Diner illustrates the prevalence of the automobile in American culture. The exhibition features a wide range of mediums and will allow the viewer an opportunity to step back and look at a common object from a new perspective.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

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

The Huntington Museum of Art has enjoyed a rich history during its lifespan of nearly seven decades, thanks in large part to the wide support it has received from the local community. In addition to the generous gifts of land and art that were made by museum founder Herbert Fitzpatrick before its opening in 1952, there have been a multitude of supporters who have stepped up to provide financial assistance and make gifts of artwork to the museum. One of the most impactful gifts in terms of the museum’s collection has been the Sarah Wheeler Charitable Trust, which provides funds for art purchases in memory of Sarah Slack Wheeler and her husband, Steve Wheeler.

Sarah Wheeler was born in Huntington in 1917, the daughter of Elizabeth and Frank Slack. She led an adventurous life, especially after her marriage to Steve Wheeler, whose work as a mining engineer took the couple on travels around the world. They lived overseas for lengthy periods of time, with extended residential stays in Paris, Venice, Monaco and Beirut. Her travels gave her access to a wide range of cultural experiences, including visits to some of the world’s most important museums.

Both Steve and Sarah were practicing artists as well, so the arts were deeply ingrained in their lives. The couple lived out their retirement years in Huntington, where members of Sarah’s extended family still resided. Following Steve’s passing, Sarah made plans to establish a trust to support three institutions that she felt were vital to the well-being of Huntington: Marshall University, the Cabell County Public Library, and the Huntington Museum of Art. The museum’s funds are dedicated to the purchase of paintings that were created in the year 1940 and earlier.

Among the key works that have been purchased with the funds include paintings by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Thomas Doughty, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Guy Wiggins, Edith Wilkinson, Blanche Lazzell, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Frederick Peto. A selection of the works purchased with funds from the Wheeler bequest will be showcased in the Museum’s Switzer Gallery, a space that was named in honor of former Huntington Mayor Rufus Switzer, whose own trust has provided key funds for the operation of the Museum since its founding.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Katherine & Herman Pugh Exhibitions Endowment.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

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

While most prominent art collections grow from an abundance of personal wealth, Dorothy and Herbert Vogel proved that even ordinary citizens can make their mark on the art world and build a noteworthy collection. Early in their life together, the couple decided to use Dorothy’s pay as a librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library for their living expenses and Herbert’s salary from his work at the United States Postal Service to purchase art. With an initial focus upon drawings, the couple slowly amassed a stunning group of artworks.

Beginning in the 1960s, they spent their free time attending gallery openings and getting to know young artists whose work was of interest. They would typically buy directly from the artists themselves and would form lasting friendships with them – relationships that continued even as many of the artists rose to fame. As time went by, they accumulated more than 4,000 objects with a focus upon minimalist and conceptual art, including work by luminaries such as Sol Lewitt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Tuttle, Chuck Close, Lynda Benglis, and Robert and Sylvia Mangold.

As the collection grew, it began to strain the bounds of their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. The solution to their lack of storage space came when they agreed to donate their entire collection to the National Gallery of Art. The transfer of the work took five full-size trucks to move the work to Washington, D.C. Even the National Gallery found the size of the collection to be overwhelming, so eventually a plan was hatched by one of its curators, Ruth Fine, (with approval from the Vogels) to gift fifty of the works to one museum in each of the fifty states as part of a program known as Fifty Works for Fifty States. In West Virginia, the Huntington Museum of Art was chosen to receive one of the distributions of what Fine called a “mini-Vogel collection.” Included in the HMA selection are drawings by Richard Tuttle and Robert Mangold, sculpture by Lynda Benglis and Donald Sultan, and a selection of paintings by a diverse group of artists that present a snapshot of the Vogels’ remarkable collection.

This exhibit is presented by Community Trust Bank.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

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

American Paintings

September 4 - February 13, 2022

The Huntington Museum of Art stands fortunate among its similarly sized peers to have developed a permanent collection wide enough in scope to offer a survey of American painting. Built across generations, this legacy reflects the generosity of many donors and benefactors – and the cultivation and maintenance of those connections – as well as the sharp curatorial maneuverings of dedicated staff members over the years.

Although every artist responds to their unique moment in history, our creative efforts reveal larger patterns of shared cultural experience. Beginning with examples from the American colonial period and culminating with some of the latest contemporary paintings ushered into our permanent collection, this exhibit will illustrate an evolution in style and approach to subject matter as American painters from sea to shining sea seek to establish and redefine their artistic practice.

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

Huntington Sesquicentennial Exhibit

September 18 - January 16, 2022

Reception planned tentatively for Friday, October 22, 2021, which is the 200th birthday of Collis P. Huntington.

The Huntington Museum of Art will participate in the City of Huntington’s yearlong celebration of its 150th birthday with a special exhibit and publication of a new art reference book that both feature the work of Huntington artists.

The Huntington Sesquicentennial Exhibit will be on view at the Huntington Museum of Art from September 18, 2021, through January 16, 2022. An opening reception for this exhibit is tentatively planned for Friday, October 22, 2021, which is the 200th birthday of Collis P. Huntington.

Beginning with a bronze portrait of city founder Collis P. Huntington by famed sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, the exhibit will include early landscape paintings that depict the genesis of the built environment in Huntington and move forward to more contemporary representations by artists such as former Marshall University professor Stan Sporny. A selection of decorative objects that were made in Huntington will also be included, such as pottery from the Wyllie China Company and glass from manufacturers such as Huntington Tumbler Company and Rainbow Glass Company. 

The primary focus includes artists who have lived and worked in the city, ranging from familiar names such as Chuck Ripper and Adele Thornton Lewis, to former Huntington barber Billy Scott, whose paintings depict the lives of the city’s African-American residents in bygone days. Covering the entire timespan of the city’s existence, the show will also highlight work in a variety of media from the late 19th century to contemporary artworks by June Kilgore, Theresa Polley-Shellcroft, Vernon Howell, Klaus Ihlenfeld, Tina Williams Brewer, and Don Pendleton.

HMA is pleased to announce that a new biographical dictionary on all known artists who have lived in Huntington will be released during the city’s anniversary year. Titled “Eclectic Rhythms: The Artists of Huntington, West Virginia 1871-Present,” the book is dedicated to noted art historian Chris Petteys (1927-2006), who authored the groundbreaking work titled “Dictionary of Women Artists: An International Dictionary of Women Artists Born Before 1900.”

The new book contains nearly 600 biographies of artists of every type who made their home in the city at some point during their careers. “Editing a book about the artists of Huntington, West Virginia, was both a daunting and rewarding task,” said HMA Executive Director Geoffrey K. Fleming. “Huntington has been blessed with a number of talented artists and I believe this book highlights the talents of each one of them while providing a valuable research tool for anyone interested in the city’s artistic past.” 

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This exhibit has been made possible in part by a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council. This project is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations do not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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

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