The Morris Museum of Art Embarks Upon Reinstallation of Its Permanent Collection

The Morris Museum of Art has begun closing galleries in preparation for Phase I of the reinstallation of the museum’s permanent collection. This is a three-phase reinstallation plan, which highlights works of art that have not been exhibited for some time or have never been exhibited at all. The galleries will be opened on, Friday, March 5, 2010, for the Morris Museum’s Seventeenth Annual Gala. This is the first time since the museum opened its doors in September 1992, that a complete reinstallation of its permanent collection has been undertaken.

“This is a watershed moment for the Morris Museum,” said Kevin Grogan, director of the Morris Museum of Art. “It reflects the earnest commitment of the board and staff to the institution’s core mission and values—the continued examination of the visual culture of the American South and its relationship to a larger American culture and sharing that knowledge in meaningful ways with as large an audience as we can reach. When the reinstallation is completed, I believe that even the most casual visitor will experience the museum’s wonderful permanent collection in a different way, one that is informed by seeing individual works of art in new settings and new relationships with other works of art. Suffice it to say that we look forward to this ourselves with the keenest anticipation and highest expectations.”

Phase I began on Monday, December 14, when the museum closed galleries devoted to 19th and 20th century landscape painting and Contemporary Painting. Phase II begins on January 24, 2010, with the closing of galleries devoted to Antebellum Portraiture, Images of the Civil War, Genre Painting, 19th and 20th Century Still Life Painting, Impressionism in the South, Regionalism, and Abstraction in the South. Phase III involves the closing of the museum’s temporary exhibition galleries on February 1, 2010, when the special exhibition Response and Memory: The Art of Beverly Buchanan comes to an end. Through the month of February, the museum’s Coggins Gallery, which currently features Deep Sea: Drawings by William Golding, and its first floor Education Gallery will be open, and there will be a full and active roster of public programs taking place. Such popular museum activities as Art at Lunch, Film on Friday, Toddler Time, and Music at the Morris will continue without interruption. During the Spring of 2010, curatorial staff will also re-hang works of art in the stairwell gallery leading to the museum’s second floor.

In addition to the reopening of the permanent collection galleries on the night of the Morris’s annual Gala on Friday, March 5, 2010, the museum will also open a special exhibition that night. As museum director Kevin Grogan has noted, “this year it is a very special exhibition indeed—Regional Dialect: American Scene Paintings from the John and Susan Horseman Collection, a selection of fifty-seven important works of art by forty-three of the most influential artists who worked outside the major art centers between the world wars. Though their styles differed, they shared a common commitment to the portrayal of American life—everything from Depression-era sharecroppers in the rural south to monuments of industry in the upper Midwest. We look forward to welcoming Susan and John Horseman to Augusta and to sharing their collection with a large, eagerly interested, local audience.”

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