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African Origins of American Art, and More

BasketCurrent exhibits at the University Museum

Located at University Avenue and 5th Street in Oxford, the University of Mississippi Museum is featuring a few current exhibits of interest.

Grass Roots: African Origins of American Art

Through January 11, 2013
This exhibition traces the histories of coiled basketry in Africa and America and explores the evolution of an ancient art. Featuring baskets from the low country of South Carolina and Georgia as well as from diverse regions of Africa, the exhibition traces the story of coiled basketry from the domestication of rice in Africa, through the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Carolina rice plantation, and then into the present day.
Visitors will experience diverse artifacts including baskets, basket-making tools and, historic rice cultivation artifacts. Grass Roots highlights the remarkable beauty of coiled basketry and shows how the market basket can be viewed simultaneously as a work of art, object of use, and container of memory. In this exhibition the humble but beautifully crafted coiled basket, made in Africa and the southern United States, becomes a prism in which audiences will learn about creativity and artistry characteristic of Africans in America from the 17th century to the present.
The exhibition has been made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art was organized by the Museum for African Art in New York City in collaboration with the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture in Charleston, SC. It was co-curated by Chief Curator Enid Schildkrout, Museum for African Art, and Curator and Historian Dale Rosengarten, College of Charleston. The exhibition is toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance through NEH on the Road. NEH on the Road offers eight different exhibitions for small to mid-sized communities across the country. Mid-America Arts Alliance was founded in 1972 and is the oldest regional nonprofit arts organization in the U.S. For more information, visit www.nehontheroad.org or www.maaa.org.
Admission to this special exhibition is $5 for the general public, $4 for senior adults, and $3 for students (ages 6-17). Admission is always free for UM students, UM Museum Members, and children under the age of five.

Rolland Golden, River and Reverie: Paintings of the Mississippi

Through December 8, 2012
In the words of Rolland Golden:
“I have always had an attachment to the Mississippi River. In the 1930’s and 40s, I grew up in various parts of Mississippi and also visited my Grandmother, who lived on Sixth Street in New Orleans.  We would sit on her front steps and listen to the ships’ horns, just five blocks away. Later, as an artist, my wife, children and I lived in the French Quarter, never more than 4 or 5 blocks from the river.
“The Mississippi River has a timelessness about itself; yet, it had a beginning thousands of years ago.  It is replete with history from end-to-end; yet, is stoic about its storied past.  When I stand and look at it, a strange sense of melancholy comes over me – I don’t know why. The river is immune to such emotions; but, it exudes them. It is beautiful, powerful, frightening and majestic – all at the same time.  It has spawned many things over its ancient past from the Delta lands or either side, along with countless lakes when it decided to change its course. Plantation homes wanted to be near to utilize it for shipping cotton to Europe.
“I have tried to capture the four aspects of this great river in my paintings: beauty, power, frightening and majestic.”

Time on Parchman Farm, 1930s

Through December 19, 2012

The Department of Archives and Special Collections at the University of Mississippi recently acquired the Martha Alice Stewart Time on Parchman Farm, 1930s Collection. Ms. Stewart was head nurse at Parchman Farm from 1930 until 1939. The collection consists of nearly 200 black-and-white photographs documenting life inside the prison as well as some of her personal documents. The exhibition at the University Museum, Time on Parchman Farm, will showcase items from the collection. For more information, please contact Pamela Williamson, Curator of Visual Collections and Assistant Professor, at pmw@olemiss.edu or 662.915.5851.
The University Museum is open to the public 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The Museum is closed on Monday and regular university holidays. Admission is free for the majority of the Museum, and parking is available behind the Museum. Special exhibitions are $5 for the general public, $4 for senior adults, and $3 for students (ages 6-17). Admission is always free for UM students, UM Museum Members, and children under the age of five.

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