Charlotte, NC painter Romare Bearden (1911-1988) was another of HMA's artists who served in WWII. His experience of service was an example of the continuing effects of racial discrimination in the United States, even during war. He joined the United States Army in 1942 and served until 1945 in the (all-black) 372nd Infantry Division of the 15th Regiment.He is pictured in uniform and later with his cat.Read More
Jack Perlmutter was one of the HMA artists who served in World War II, and as such, he was part of the series of 2014 exhibits that celebrated the Museum's 70th anniversary of its founding. His attention-getting self portrait now attracts visitors to the Museum from a billboard on Rt. 40.Read More
Burke Mountain, Vermont was the very first painting bought for the Museum's collection. Supposedly Alex Shuford said to his friend Paul Whitener that “If you’re going to have a museum, you’ve got to have paintings” and then Shuford volunteered the funds for that first purchase in March 1944.Read More
Paul Whitener's painting of his wife Mickey is currently on display in HMA's Whitener Gallery, along with other of his works and his painting tools.
By the early 1940's, Whitener had become an accomplished artist; and he continued to paint even as he pursued his growing passion first to establish an art museum in Hickory and then as its director for fifteen years. How did this Hickory native who went to Duke University on a football scholarship and married a local girl become a painter and art entrepreneur?Read More
The Hickory Museum of Art opened in 1944, in a then relatively small and relatively isolated Western North Carolina town caught up in both World War II and a major polio epidemic. The Museum celebrated the 70th anniversary of that beginning with a series of exhibitions and programs throughout 2014, focusing on the local community’s memories and artifacts along with selections from the Museum’s collection of almost 2,000 pieces of American art. So, how did this founding of an art museum happen specifically in Hickory?Read More