2017 has been another rich year for adding art to HMA's permanent collection, often though not always through generous gifts. The first work acquired, through purchase in January, was the oil painting Riverscape by local painter Haddie May Leonard Deal (1884-1969). She was a Hickory resident whose father was the local sheriff for some years and whose daughter Evelyn Rhodes was the mother of local jewelry-maker Dusty Rhodes. Thus, the scenes that Haddie painted were no doubt also local along with being accomplished.
Several of the works added by HMA in 2017 celebrated a person or event. In turn, four of those works were acquired to mark Lisë Swensson's retirement as HMA's Executive Director. (Displayed above in the order they are described below. More here on three of these works.)
- A work by Lisë’s artist husband Dan Smith, the abstract collage Caduce U.S. Birdhouse, was donated by Preston and Sandy Bryant in Lisë’s honor. Preston was at one time the HMA Board President.
- To thank Lisë, HMA's 2016-2017 Board approved the Museum's purchase of Leo Twiggs 2016 batik painting White Cow Down Have Blues.
- Francis Hopkinson Smith’s Untitled 1887 watercolor scene from Venice was given anonymously for Lisë. Smith (1838 – 1915) was an American author, artist and engineer who built the physical foundation for the Statue of Liberty, wrote many stories and received awards for his paintings.
- Lisë herself donated a fourth work, folk artist Patti Fenick's Cream of Andy, a Warhol appropriation that had graced Lisë's HMA office for much of her time there.
In May, Barry Huffman donated a George Pearse Ennis (1884 -1936) undated watercolor titled Village Carpenter. The gift, she said, celebrated the appointment of Jon Carfagno as the fifth Director of HMA. (More here)
Helgi and Buck Shuford made a gift in July in honor of John and Sally Ross, on the occasion of John Ross' retirement as director of the Western Piedmont Symphony after 27 years as its Music Director and Conductor. The painting, In a Summer Garden by Hobson Lafaytte Pittman (1899-1972), was one of more than fifty works commissioned in the 1940's by different artists and all inspired by musical compositions. (More here)
Three more 2017 acquisitions are below, two pastel gifts from Sandra and Henry Lohr (the undated Rocky Cove by William Partridge Burpee (1846-1940) and Wolf Kahn's 2010 Evening on the Matt Farm, Marlboro, Vermont) along with an undated oil by George Loftus Noyes, another gift from Helgi Shuford. In total so far in 2017, more than 60 pieces have been added to HMA's steadily growing collection.
A rotating exhibit of recent new acquisitions will be displayed in HMA's second floor Windows and Objects galleries through the rest of 2017 and continuing until July 15th 2018.
Post by Karin Borei, HMA Project Coordinator, writer and editor as needed, and HMA blogger since March 2015.