George Caleb Bingham, “The Jolly Flatboatmen,” 1877-78, oil on canvas, Terra Foundation for American Art

More than 175 works by 100 artists inspired by Mississippi over the last two centuries feature during a major exhibition at the Mississippi Museum of Art. There’s definitely something here for every art lover!

“Picturing Mississippi, 1817-2017: Land of Plenty, Pain, and Promise” is a significant exhibition soon to be on view at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson. Opening December 9 and continuing through July 8, 2018, the exhibition commemorates the 200th anniversary of Mississippi’s statehood through more than 175 works by 100 artists.

“Illuminating the perception and depiction of Mississippi over more than 200 years, the exhibition showcases 175 works by 100 artists who either resided in the state, visited, or lived elsewhere and were compelled to respond to a multiplicity of subjects,” the museum says. “From Choctaw objects and sweeping landscapes to portraiture and contemporary work, the exhibition reveals that Mississippi has continuously resonated with artists in powerful ways as lived experience, memory, and imagination.

Louis Joseph Bahin, “Natchez Under the Hill,” 1852, oil on canvas, Morris Museum of Art

“The exhibition features individual masterpieces by artists seldom exhibited in the state, including James Audubon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Thomas Hart Benton, George Caleb Bingham, John Steuart Curry, Robert Indiana, and Andy Warhol, alongside works by indigenous peoples, as well as by native Mississippians such as William Dunlap, Sam Gilliam, George Ohr, and Eudora Welty. Other prominent artists with works on view include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Melvin Edwards, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, and Kara Walker.”

Robert Brammer, “Mississippi Panorama,” circa 1842-1853, oil on canvas, 29 x 36 inches, Private Collection

Mississippi Museum of Art Director Betsy Bradley said, “An unprecedented event for our state, ‘Picturing Mississippi’ provides the unique opportunity to look at our history through the creative lenses of artists working across time, place, and media. We are excited to share a diversity of impressions of Mississippi’s people, places, and histories. The exhibition and related programming reaffirm the seminal quote, attributed to native son William Faulkner, ‘To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.’ We hope the exhibition will inspire honest and wide-ranging conversation about where we’ve been, where we are, and where we hope to be.”

The robust exhibition is divided into eight different themes, including “A Contest Place: Native Americans and Europeans”; “Natchez: Culture and Slavery”; “From Statehood to Confederacy: Mississippi in Times of Peace and War”; “Art in the Age of Reconstruction”; “Land and Sea: Artists Explore Mississippi and the World”; “Mississippi, the Great Depression, and Regional Identity”; “Shaping the Future: Art of Mississippi Since 1950”; and “Art in the Age of Civil Rights.”

To learn more, visit The Mississippi Museum of Art.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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