Every year, the Brooks is honored to host what some artists have called the "championships for our young artists": the Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards. The exhibition at the Brooks brings you the winning works in varied media by the Mid-South’s brightest and best student artists. Featuring more than 135 artworks by area public, private, and independently schooled youth, this visual celebration of their creativity is sure to inspire and give you hope for tomorrow.
This exhibition brings together paintings, photographs, textiles, and sculpture by mainly self-taught African American artists from the museum’s permanent collection, spanning from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day. Each work explores the artist’s experiences as a person of color in the United States: while many were inspired by simple moments of everyday life, others drew from transformative experiences including imprisonment or religious visions. These artists, many of whom were born or practiced in the South, operated outside of the mainstream art world as defined by New York galleries and museums. For many, there was no choice, as the majority of the artists in this exhibition grew up during segregation and were unable to access higher education. Instead, these artists created the space to discover their craft themselves, defining and asserting their own artistic identity and vision in the process.
Contemporary Indigenous art comes front and center in Native Voices, 1950s to Now: Art for a New Understanding. The exhibition features over 70 artworks from the 1950s to today, including paintings, photography, video, sculptures, performance art, and more, all created by Indigenous U.S. and Canadian artists.
The Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards is an annual juried student exhibition presented by the Brooks and Brooks Museum League. As an affiliate of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, the Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards honors exemplary art by students in seventh through 12th grades, recognizing their outstanding achievements in a competitive annual exhibition and providing cash prizes and scholarship opportunities.
The Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards began in 1966 as the Junior Mid-South Exhibition. Since 1989, the Brooks has been proud to partner with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a national non-profit organization, to host the regional competition and exhibition for Memphis and the Mid-South area.
In The Tower of Babel: An Anthology, 1975, Claire Van Vliet (American, born Canada, b. 1933) observes the human condition by examining the origin of language. This unbound book of seventeen lithographs and one woodcut – on display for the first time – is shown alongside two prints by Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), whose expressive prints serve as inspiration for Van Vliet. In this series of prints, dramatic images of architecture and portraiture exemplify Van Vliet’s skill as a printmaker, while an overarching theme of human behavior connects the Biblical messages to the present day.
Photography in Memphis is both a celebration of and a reckoning with the history of the city through the work of 56 photographers. Spanning 1849 to today, the images capture places you’ve been, the people you know or wish you knew, and the events you experienced or were sorry you missed. Co-curated by chief curator Marina Pacini and Ciara Fisk, Studio Institute Summer Arts Intern, the exhibition includes artistic, documentary, and journalistic approaches to the medium. Organized thematically—portraiture, landscape, still life, daily life, and politics—many of the photographs straddle several subjects, which speaks to the fact that they often have a dual or complicated nature.
Albrecht Dürer (b. Nuremberg, 1471- 1528) has long been recognized as one of the most influential artists of the European Renaissance and one of the finest printmakers in the history of art. Thirty-five woodcut illustrations and the title page of Dürer’s Small Passion, a book published in 1511 representing scenes from the life of Christ, are currently on display on the Moss Mezzanine, along with an example from Dürer’s Large Passion (1497). Dürer’s masterful execution of these prints, combined with their wide distribution, cemented his reputation as a leading innovator and draftsman.
Fall of Man from the Small Passion, 1510
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; Gift of Madonna Circle 60.20.1
With baseball as the focus, from Little League through the Negro Leagues, this exhibition examines African American identity and representation as captured through the lens of noted Civil Rights-era photographer Ernest C. Withers.
Embark on a hands-on exploration of the basic visual components that make up a work of art; line, color, texture, and form. Through every day play, four interactive stations encourage careful observation, imaginative art making, and sensory awareness in all ages. On your mark, get set... PLAY!
A sculpture and sound installation by multimedia artist Terry Adkins.
Natural Curiosity: Beth Van Hoesen displays the artist’s process, from initial sketch to polished print. A highly skilled printmaker, Van Hoesen specialized in the intaglio processes of etching, drypoint, and aquatint. Van Hoesen’s drive for technical excellence is apparent in the many drawings and proofs she created in preparation for her final prints. Over the course of her career as an artist, Van Hoesen primarily focused on natural subject matter like insects, plants, and animals. Her attention to detail and sympathetic portrayal of wildlife offer inspiration to appreciate the quiet beauty of the natural world.
Curated by Donal Harris, Assistant Professor, English Department, University of Memphis and Julian Rome, Senior, University of Memphis
Painted Words: Poets and Painters in Print, 1870-1970 showcases three volumes that combine literary and visual art through printmaking. Since the late-nineteenth century, the tradition of peintre-graveur ("painter-engraver") in France imagined printmaking as a natural synthesis of the verbal, visual, and manual arts. The exhibited works, which range from Paris in the 1860s to New York in the 1960s, combine poetry and graphic work to test not only the bounds of each art form, but also the bounds of printmaking itself.
Federico Uribe (Colombian, b. 1962) creates magical creatures and playful installations from everyday objects. For the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, he has installed a large-scale site-specific environment in the museum’s rotunda. Uribe produces immersive and dreamlike landscapes by transforming materials such as books, colored pencils, wood fragments, and discarded clothing into animals and natural habitats.
Comprising around 40 works by the French academic painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), this exhibition explores the artist’s remarkable popularity in the United States. Bouguereau’s modern and highly polished interpretations of classical subjects—including heroic men, sensuous goddesses and playful cupids—as well as his intimate and idealized portrayals of peasant life, were avidly sought by American collectors. This exhibition focuses on Bouguereau’s paintings in US collections and how they reflect the tastes, beliefs, and ambitions of America’s elite.
Memphis artist Ted Faiers (1908-1985) is featured in an exhibition of woodcuts, selected from the permanent collection. Faiers is best remembered for his large relief paintings with figures that project off the surface and that are colorful, insightful and satirical; the people are defined by flat shapes and patterns, each relevant to their time. His woodcuts, which span the life of his career, reflect the same inventiveness and approach to form. This exhibition includes prints from his early abstract period in the 1950s as well as his representational art of the 60s and 70s. As in his paintings, his figural woodcuts present powerful observations of the human condition, provide commentary on American social issues, and examine local culture. They also attest to Faiers great affinity for woodworking and his mastery of the medium
The Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards is an annual juried student exhibition presented by the Brooks and Brooks Museum League. As an affiliate of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, the Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards honors exemplary art by students in seventh through 12th grades, recognizing their outstanding achievements in a competitive annual exhibition and providing cash prizes and scholarship opportunities
Pioneering American modernist Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) conveyed a distinct sense of place with innovative depictions of her surroundings, from stark New Mexican landscapes to New York cityscapes. Yet flowers and plants were subjects that engaged O'Keeffe throughout her career. This landmark exhibition offers a rare focus on 20 of O'Keeffe's depictions of Hawai'i from a nine-week sojourn in 1939 while on commission to produce images for a Hawaiian Pineapple Company promotional campaign.
The sculptures of Gaston Lachaise, Robert Laurent, Elie Nadelman and William Zorach embody the vitality and vision of four modern artists who—arriving as immigrants in the United States from the growing turbulence of pre-war Europe—responded to the challenges and excitement of American life with extraordinary creativity.
To mark the Brooks’ 100th anniversary, our dedicated, generous patrons and support groups have gifted the museum more than 100 spectacular works of art. Ranging from ancient coins to contemporary glass, from paintings to quilts, the exhibition will display all of these gifts in glorious profusion.
Featuring rarely seen works by major American artists—including James Peale, John F. Peto, Thomas Hart Benton, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andrew Wyeth—this exhibition celebrates the history of still-life painting in the United States.
The Rhode Island artist collective Tape Art, known for creating over 500 temporary murals installed around the world, ends our centennial celebration with a massive installation on the Brooks’ façade.
The Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards is an annual juried student exhibition presented by the Brooks and Brooks Museum League. As an affiliate of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, the Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards honors exemplary art by students in seventh through 12th grades.
Grooms’s treatment of New York City and Tennessee provides the focus for Red Grooms: Traveling Correspondent. The distinct bodies of work reflect time spent in these radically different environments, specifically those that most define him as a person and an artist.
This influential Memphis artist was represented by 28 paintings spanning 1956 to 2016. The emphasis was on her recent luminous paintings of night skies populated with moons, clouds, and shimmering light. These poetic images represent what the artist herself feels are the zenith of her career
This extraordinary exhibition highlights American folk art from New England and the Midwest made between 1800 and 1925. Among the paintings are portraits, still lifes, landscapes, and allegorical paintings, while the objects include sculptures, commercial signs, furniture, and household objects.
As part of the Brooks Museum’s centennial, New York artist Kurt Perschke brought his world-traveled RedBall Project to Memphis April 28 – May 7. During its performance run in Memphis this fun and provocative installation was strategically placed in ten different sites in the city, personally selected by Perschke during his visit to Memphis in December 2015.
This exhibition showcased Moroccan-born, UK-based artist Hassan Hajjaj and the eclectic group of nine musicians from around the world whom the artist sees as his own personal “rock stars.”
Featuring DAT gifts in glorious profusion, the exhibition will include both recent acquisitions such as a rare French Renaissance platter from the workshop of Bernard Palissy and a pair of fine New York Federal chairs, as well as old favorites such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s starkly beautiful Prairie-style chair and Tiffany & Company’s pair of elaborately decorated sterling ewers.