Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art Re-Open and Displaying Exhibitions Honoring “The Year of the Woman”
The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University will reopen its doors with a new blockbuster touring exhibition and several added features on Tuesday, Aug. 11.
In alignment with Auburn’s schedule and operations model, the 40,000-square-foot facility will be back in business with a maximum capacity of 30 visitors at a time in phase one of its reopening, with face coverings required at all times and visitors asked to adhere to a six-foot social distancing requirement. Admission to the museum is free, and it will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST, with extended hours offered on Thursdays until 8 p.m. Phase two of the museum’s reopening will involve a timed ticket entry and online pre-registration later in the semester.
The touring exhibition “L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters!” highlights the museum’s return. Nearly 60 posters will be part of the exhibit, which is organized by International Arts & Artists of Washington, D.C.
The colorful lithographic posters will fill a trio of galleries within the museum and feature the works of five “grandmasters” of the art form—Jules Cheret, Eugene Grasset, Alphonse Mucha, Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The touring exhibition is the work of curator Jeannine Falino and organized by The Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago.
“L’Affichomania” explores the achievements of these artists in concert with the poster’s role in French society, which includes its effect on the life of the Parisian street, the rise of advertising, the entertainment district of Montmartre and the changing representations of women. Its representation of women aligns with the museum’s 2020 exhibition theme—the cultural contributions of women in recognition of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
“The remarkable lives and stories of the women immortalized by these acclaimed artists are as dynamic as the prints themselves,” said Cindi Malinick, director and chief curator. “Many of these subjects received France’s highest order of merit, developed theatrical innovations and fought for social justice on a world stage. To present such a high-quality exhibition and once again welcome visitors to campus are some of the ways the museum remains an integral part of the university’s cultural life.”
In addition to the new exhibition, museum guests also can enjoy “Nurture—Audubon’s Nesting Imagery,” as well as a student-curated practicum exhibition titled “Impressionism—Translating the Modern World” that is a collaboration with the Auburn University Department of Art and Art History. The museum also is displaying a poster collection titled “Underground Images: A Half-Century of SVA Subway Posters Created by Women” from the School of Visual Arts in New York and its popular outdoor exhibition “Out of the Box” that has been extended through the spring of 2021.
Visitors may notice evidence of an ongoing experiment in the museum’s pond that is a partnership with the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences. The research project is aimed at improving the health of aquatic ecosystems, and the graduate student team tasked with the project—led by Professor Alan Wilson—is exploring the best ways to control harmful algal blooms, which can negatively affect ecosystems by producing poisonous toxins.
Children who make their way to the museum can get some fresh air and exercise on a new climbing gym that is a partnership with the School of Industrial and Graphic Design.
The Museum Shop will be open, but its café, Luster, remains temporarily closed. Anyone with questions regarding museum policies for the reopening should consult its FAQ page for more information.
Courtesy: Neal Reid, Auburn University