Georgia is a treasure trove of culture, evidenced in the large number of museums dotted across the southeastern US State, many of which will be hosting exhibitions this winter.
Rich natural landscapes characterised by coastal beaches, expanses of farmland and imposing mountains, together with the historic significance of being among the first states to secede from the Union in 1861, ensure no shortage of inspiration for filling Georgia’s museums and cultural institutions with enticing exhibitions. If you’re planning to visit Georgia over the coming winter months, here are 10 to look out for.
Decade of Tradition
In 2012, Larry and Brenda Thompson gave 100 works of art by African American artists to the Georgia Museum of Art, mirroring the original donation of 100 American paintings by museum founder Alfred Heber Holbrook. In addition, they endowed a curatorial position to steward this collection to help fulfil the museum’s vision of an inclusive canon of American art. Featuring works from the 2011 travelling exhibition “Tradition Redefined,” as well as subsequent works added in recent years that have not been on view in other galleries, this exhibition celebrates the expansion of the museum’s permanent collection through this transformative gift of works by African American artists.
Georgia Museum of Art, Athens / Through 3 July 2024
Dorothea Lange & Pirkle Jones: Death of a Valley
Death of a Valley was a collaborative photography essay completed for Life Magazine by Dorothea Lange and Janie Jones in 1956. The goal of the project was to document the final year of the Berryessa Valley in Napa County California as the area was transformed into a lake with the construction of the Monticello Dam. Featuring in this exhibition are the resulting images as well as twentieth-century photographs printed in vintage silver gelatin, all serving as important historical and cultural documents.
Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville / Through 9 June 2024
Picture This: Highlighting Contemporary Art in Georgia
This exhibition features the work of twelve diverse painters living and working in Georgia who specialise in narrative art. The artists – each in their own distinctive, unique style – harness the power of paint and other media to tell stories by using stylistic interpretations, conceptual investigations, cultural messaging. From vivid depictions of everyday life to photorealist still lifes, these works are designed to capture the essence of contemporary art across Georgia and beyond.
Morris Museum of Art, Augusta / Through 18 February 2024
Awkward Family Photos
This unique exhibition has been created to generate laughter and nostalgia in equal measure by celebrating the wonderfully imperfect moments and quirks that define family life. A haven for hilarity, and just in time for the holiday season – a period when family photos are a cherished tradition – the exhibition features over 200 classic photographs, each framed in vintage, era-appropriate frames, capturing the essence of awkward family moments. As well as enjoying the photos on display, visitors can also delve into the “behind the awkwardness” stories shared by the actual families involved, as well as create their own awkward memories to take away with them at a dedicated ‘selfie station’.
The Columbus Museum, Columbus / Through 7 January 2024
Humans have called the area that now encompasses Augusta home for nearly thirteen millennia. Many of the same resources that attracted the first inhabitants continue to sustain today’s residents. The events, forces, and people that have shaped the community are presented in this award-winning permanent exhibition that chronicles 12,000 years of local history, spanning the area’s first Native Americans, the Federal Era, Antebellum period, Civil War, Reconstruction, the making of a New South, and more. Highlights include a full-scale diorama of Stallings Island culture, the CSA Second National Flag that flew over the Augusta Arsenal, a 12-pounder bronze Napoleon Cannon tube manufactured at the Augusta foundry, and an 1869 steam fire engine.
Augusta Museum of History, Augusta / Permanent
Reparative Justice: Hidden Histories
The work of symbolic reparations involves making visible aspects of the past that have not been fully acknowledged, either to be properly grieved or more formally recognized through scholarly historical research. This exhibit features photographs, portraits and historical artefacts that document the work of Wesleyan College – a private, liberal arts women’s college in the central Georgia city of Macon. Macon. It involves both scholarly research on Wesleyan’s history, as well as the work of Macon community members who are preserving the city’s multifaceted and often hidden African American histories.
Tubman Museum, Macon / Through December 2023
Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature
Ever since Peter Rabbit first scampered around Mr. McGregor’s garden and onto the page in 1901, Beatrix Potter’s storybooks have captivated millions of children around the world. Born in London in 1866, Potter was passionate about animals and the natural world. Although this sparked her career as a world-famous author and illustrator, it also led her to become a farmer, natural scientist, and preservationist. This exhibition follows Potter’s creative pursuits across illustration, scientific observation, narrative building, and preservation, inviting visitors to discover the boundless creativity, imagination, and curiosity of the woman behind the famous tales.
High Museum of Art, Atlanta / 7 January 2024
Nevin Aladağ: Refraction
This major new exhibition features Turkish-born visual artist Nevin Aladağ’s largest works to date. It expands on her Social Fabric and Pattern Kinship series, which connects disparate pieces of carpet from around the world into complex collages of amalgamated hybrid forms. In doing so, it shines a light on the Germany-based artist’s distinctive technique of overlapping laser-cut plexiglass layers, and juxtaposing a wide array of architectural motifs and ornamentation styles including various patterns referencing Savannah’s historic buildings. Visitors are invited to consider how the artist’s animated use of line, colour, and diverse sources reflects a playful exploration of hybridity and belonging as an expression of her experiences as an immigrant, and how objects from different cultures and geographical origins can be united to create a collective sense of vibrancy, beauty, and meaning.
SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah / Through 15 January 2024
For 20 years, Robert Claiborne Morris, Jr, the retired Chief Communications Officer for the Georgia Ports Authority, has dedicated himself to creating maritime art and messaging, often displayed at museums and galleries across the country. This latest exhibition draws upon Morris’s new life aboard “Grace”, the Swedish Storebro Royal Cruiser 34. As the signature piece for the show, “Outward Bound” is reflective of the nautical expression used to describe ships leaving the safety of harbour for the promise and adventure of the open seas and the famed survival course Morris attended as a teenager where he learned to employ the discipline of mind, body and soul to overcome extreme conditions.
Ships Of The Sea Maritime Museum, Savannah / Through March 2024
Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection
This exhibition presents 61 fine prints by 44 printmakers created from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s and inspired by ideals of the Chicano movement – a movement born in the 1960s which advocated social and political empowerment through cultural nationalism. Considered the most comprehensive survey of Latino artists’ contributions to post-1960 American printmaking to date, works in the exhibition focus on five distinct themes: Identity; Struggle; Tradition, Culture, Memory; Icons, and Other Voices.
Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Brookhaven / Through 31 January 2024