Curated by Guest Curator Dana Holland-Bieckert
Private Memphis showcases over 75 extraordinary works of art from over twenty private collections in Memphis. The paintings, works on paper, and photography in the exhibition, on view for a limited time only, date from the 17th to the 21st centuries and are drawn exclusively from private collections.
Today we take private collecting for granted, but in the 15th century things were the opposite. Religious institutions were the primary patrons and private collecting or support of the arts and artists was almost non-existent -- except for the occasional commissioned portrait. The family to change all that was the Medicis, the wealthy banking family in Florence, Italy who built a dynasty unequalled in the patronage of the arts.
Their legacy lives on, and today investment in the arts flourishes in both the public and the private sector. Private Memphis celebrates the spirit of this tradition, and showcases some of our city’s private collectors, those who have purposely built a collection around a theme, historical time period or style. For some, collecting has been a quest, buying and selling to slowly improve the quality of their collection. And still others simply have a passion for preserving our history through art.
Although diverse in origin and content, these collections feature works by nationally and internationally recognized artists including William Merritt Chase, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Edgar Degas, Childe Hassam, Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt, to name a few.
Dixon visitors will get a first-hand glimpse into over 20 private collections in Private Memphis, including paintings, works on paper and photography dating from the 17th to the 21st century. The works in this exhibition are exclusively drawn from private collections; for the most part, unknown to the public, having rarely been seen by anyone other than invited guests. So, this spring, please accept our invitation to take a stroll through the private collections of Memphis.
EXHIBITION SPONSORS: Rose M. Johnston, Nancy and Steve Morrow, Irene and Joe Orgill, Louise and Jeff Mann, Dina and Brad Martin, Marsha and Henri Wedell