Memphis 2021

May 23 - July 11, 2021
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions 
Organized by the Dixon Gallery and Gardens 

Memphis has long been a national center for innovative cultural production. That tradition continues today, with visual artists working in a variety of genres and media across our city. Memphis 2021 celebrates the vibrancy and originality of artists working in Memphis in this third decade of the twenty-first century through more than fifty colorful paintings, prints, sculptures, examples of fiber art, and a special installation work, all by artists who have chosen to call Memphis home and invest in the local arts community.

The work on view in Memphis 2021 emphasizes color, texture, and scale, but also ingenuity, a sense of place and community responsibility, and an exciting look at what’s to come in Memphis in the 2020s. Come see new work by some of your favorite artists, and discover emerging artists already making their impact on the Bluff City.

RICK NITSCHE, The Milwaukee Road Jesse Davis, n.d. Ink and marker on paper. Courtesy of Eggleston Projects 

America’s Impressionism: Echoes of a Revolution


January 23 – May 9, 2021
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions 
Organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Brandywine River Museum of Art, and San Antonio Museum of Art 

From the late nineteenth century to World War II, American painters adapted Impressionism to their own ends, shaping one of the most enduring, complex, and contradictory styles of art ever produced in the United States. Americans were largely introduced to Impressionism in 1886 through a major New York exhibition spearheaded by the Parisian art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. Whereas French Impressionism burst onto the Paris scene with a shocking exhibition in 1874, in the United States, the style arrived after more than a decade of discussion and debate. America’s Impressionism: Echoes of a Revolution explores the nation’s embrace of Impressionism, the innovations Americans brought to the Impressionist experiment and its resonance across two generations of American painting. As American artists interpreted Impressionism, they effectively created a new genre and passed it down to subsequent generations of American artists. Through more than fifty paintings, the exhibition presents an original and nuanced history of the American engagement with the French style, one that was both richer and more ambivalent than mere imitation. 

In re-examining the transfer of a European style to the United States, the selected works in America’s Impressionism offer a window into the complex act of translation as Impressionism was introduced, imitated, and modified over a period of fifty years. The style eventually spread across the country with regional distinctions. For many, American Impressionism finds its ultimate expression in Northeastern locales, such as Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Shinnecock on Long Island, yet there were artists applying the Impressionist aesthetic to the American landscape as far west as Texas and California. America’s Impressionism: Echoes of a Revolution presents the fascinating story of American artists coming to terms with a new modern style as seen through paintings of the rural and suburban landscape, sentimental scenes of women and children, and architecture of bygone eras. 

WILLARD METCALF, Poppy Field (Landscape at Giverny), 1886. Oil on canvas. Collection of J. Jeffrey and Ann Marie Fox. 

Charging Station

January 24 - May 9, 2021
Tommy and Liz Farnsworth Education Building, Interactive Gallery

Everyone needs time to reset, recharge, and keep moving! Charging Station encourages pause and the search to reconnect with self and others through reflection, movement, music, laughter, and more. 

Jimpsie Ayres: Learning to be Astonished 

January 10 – April 4, 2021
Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries 

Memphis native Jimpsie Ayres provides a space for her audience to transcend their own experience and dwell in the realm of the beautiful. She takes solace in painting moments of quiet beauty in the natural world, from ripples on the surface of a lake to the spectrum of color found on a shaded lawn. 

Learning to be Astonished is a collection of Ayres’s most recent work created during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing her title from a line in a poem by Mary Oliver, “Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished,” Ayres sought inspiration from her own neighborhood. When she was unable to travel to the picturesque countryside in Provence, Ayres took daily walks in Midtown Memphis. She photographed neighbors walking their dogs, patronizing farmer’s markets, and working in their gardens. These observations coalesced into the source material for much of the painting in Learning to be Astonished

Ayres feels a kinship with the Impressionist painters, both for their commitment to chronicling the zeitgeist and their commitment to truth and beauty. Her sense of connection to these earlier artists is palpably represented in the paintings in this exhibition. Ayres’s tranquil Impressionistic landscapes are punctuated by her keen insight into daily life in 2020. Learning to be Astonished encompasses the ideal and the familiar, bridging the space between the aspirational and that which already exists. 

JIMPSIE AYRES, Cypress, 2020; Oil on panel; Courtesy of the artist. 

Illuminating the Word: The St. John’s Bible

October 11, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Organized by Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota

Illuminating the Word: The St. John’s Bible
is dedicated to a single work of art: The St. John’s Bible, a contemporary masterpiece of Medieval craftsmanship. In 1996, the community of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, began planning and working on The Saint John’s Bible – the first handwritten, illuminated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in five hundred years. The actual pages were created by a team of twenty-three professional scribes, artists, and assistants in a scriptorium in Wales, under the artistic direction of renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson. This extraordinary presentation of one of the world’s great religious texts was conceived as an expression of faith relevant to the modern world. It is a visual record of a new generation’s perception and artistic interpretation of an age-old historical and literary document. Handwritten on vellum using hand-cut quills, ancient inks, natural pigments, and 24-karat gold, silver, and platinum, but following a computer-devised layout, this singular undertaking combines a centuries-old tradition of craftsmanship with new technologies.

In the Middle Ages, monumental Bibles were made for daily use in monastic communities, and carefully preserved for future generations. The Saint John’s Bible is the modern representative of that great tradition, and it aspires to be ecumenical as well—to unite humankind, not further divide it. The incorporation of motifs from several religious traditions, including Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam, as well as Native American, Middle Eastern, and South Asian cultures, imbues The Saint John’s Bible with a multicultural resonance for people of all faiths and backgrounds. It the first handwritten Bible that interprets and illustrates scripture from a contemporary perspective. In addition to biblical stories and figures, the illustrations include references to the flora and fauna, like the butterflies that are native to central Minnesota where St. John’s is located, contemporary architecture, such as the buildings of St. John’s campus, and recent events, like the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible presents the story of the book’s creation, exploring the relationship between faith, art, and the written word.  The exhibition features more than thirty original unbound folios, including illustrations for the scriptural accounts of Creation, Esther, the Genealogy of Christ, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Alongside the folios, the exhibition presents a selection of tools, materials, and sketches used in the project. A small number of rare books and manuscripts provide a historical context for the manuscript tradition and serve as a testament to the durability of the traditional methods and materials used in the project.

Ecclesiastes Frontispiece (Ecclesiastes 1:1 – 2:11), Donald Jackson (artist, scribe), Copyright 2006, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, Copyright 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Memphis Calligraphy Guild: The Beauty of Calligraphy

October 4, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Mallory/Wurtzburger Exhibition

Calligraphy, the art of writing beautifully, is an ancient tradition with historical roots in Middle Eastern, East Asian, and European cultures. Founded in 1987, the Memphis Calligraphy Guild celebrates calligraphy and the resulting gestural art. The non-profit society promotes the study, practice, and appreciation of calligraphy and related arts, holding regular meetings and offering frequent workshops. The Beauty of Calligraphy brings together nearly forty examples of calligraphy from seventeen members of the guild, both past and present. Ranging from envelope calligraphy to larger illustrations, the exhibition encompasses a wide variety of examples of this highly individualistic practice that makes manifest the relationship between visual art and written language.

List of artists participating: Linda Boswell | Holly Combs | John Covey | Carole Foster | George Harmeling | Sandra Hudson | Cameila Johns | Keith Kunkel | Peggy Kunkel | Patricia Landers | Judy Meagher | Beth Mitchell | Maggie Naylor | Ann Rabinovitz | Dixie Ryall | Maggie Sherard | Bill Womack

John Covey, Opportunity, 2003; Gouache, charcoal, gilding on paper


For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design 

July 19 – September 27, 2020
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions

Organized by the American Federation of Arts and the National Academy of Design.
Support for the national tour is provided by the JFM Foundation, Monique Schoen Warshaw, and Steph & Jody La Nasa.

Founded in 1825 by a group of forward-thinking individuals, the National Academy of Design has a simple yet powerful mission: to provide means for the training of artists and the promotion and exhibition of their art. Since its founding, the Academy has upheld a rule from its first constitution: any elected National Academician must donate a work of art to the Academy’s collection. In 1839, the Academy decided that any individual nominated to the preceding rank of Associate National Academician must also present a portrait of themselves for the collection, whether painted by their own hand or that of a fellow artist. Such gifts of “diploma works” and “diploma portraits” are the defining feature of the Academy’s collection and the focus of this exhibition.

Over the decades, these submissions have grown into a distinctive collection of American art that today includes nearly every major American artist. For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design is the first exhibition to highlight this pivotal aspect of the collection—the joint presentation of an artist’s portrait with his or her diploma work. In showcasing artists’ portraits alongside representative works from their own hand, this exhibition provides a stunning opportunity to consider the ways in which a group of American artists have viewed themselves and their peers for the past two centuries. Featuring one hundred paintings, For America presents not only a visual document of the Academy’s membership but a singular history of American painting from 1809 to the present as told by its makers.

Sponsored by: Karen and Preston Dorsett | Anne and Mike Keeney | Nancy and Steve Morrow Ann M. Mullis | Gwen and Penn Owen | Chris and Dan Richards Trish and Carl Ring | Barbara and Lewis Williamson 

Hughie Lee-Smith, Self-Portrait, 1964; Oil on canvas; National Academy of Design, New York

Maritza Dávila: Journey

July 19 – September 27, 2020
Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries

Maritza Dávila has been a fixture in the Memphis arts scene for more than three decades. Born in Puerto Rico, Dávila moved to the United States to study print- making at the Pratt Institute from where she holds a Master of Fine Arts. She moved to Memphis in 1981 and almost immediately began teaching at Mem- phis College of Art, where she remained for more than thirty-five years, serving as the head of printmaking for much of that time. Her passion for printmaking is paralleled by her passion for teaching; working with students is embedded in her growth as an artist. Now a Professor Emerita, she continues to be a strong advocate for her students. She is also the owner and director of Atabeira Press, a fine arts studio where she creates and leads workshops.

Dávila’s dedication to printmaking is rooted in her love of process. She sees each important step that goes into creating one of her works as part of a voyage. The title of the exhibition, Journey, is evocative of ideas that are important to Dávila and are themes in her practice: the notion of travel, both spiritual and physical, the concepts of becoming, of growing into, of development and maturity. Her identities as an artist, wife, teacher, mother, and grandmother, all factor into her creations. The work in Journey reflects Dávila’s versatility as a printmaker, bring- ing together a wide range of her printed works, including artist’s books, collo- graphs, silk aquatint, and screen print, sometimes all together in one piece.

Maritza Dávila, Anatomía de un lenguaje, 2020; Collagraph, screen print, collage; Courtesy of the artist 

Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman

January 19, 2020 – March 22, 2020 
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions
Organized by Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens

Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman celebrates the work and legacy of one of twentieth-century America’s most influential artists. Augusta Savage (1892-1962) was a Black woman artist from the South whose career as a sculptor led her north to Harlem in 1921. Her talent, ingenuity, and determination led to her prominence and a successful career during the Harlem Renaissance. In addition to her own artistic practice, she worked tirelessly to challenge art galleries and museums to recognize Black artists. Savage’s work as an educator and activist in the Harlem community galvanized a younger generation of African American artists.

This landmark exhibition features more than fifty works of art, including sculptures, paintings, photographs, and drawings, by both Savage and the artists she taught, championed, and inspired. It is the first exhibition to consider Augusta Savage’s contributions to art and cultural history in light of the twenty-first-century concept of the artist-activist. August Savage: Renaissance Woman re-examines Savage’s place in the history of American sculpture and positions her as a leading figure who broke down the barriers she and her students encountered while seeking to participate fully in the international art world.  

This exhibition is curated by Jeffreen M. Hayes, PhD and organized by the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sotheby’s Prize.

Augusta Savage, Gwendolyn Knight, 1934–35; recast 2001; Bronze; Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art & Augusta Savage, Gamin, ca. 1930; Plaster; Museum purchase, 2013.2

Sponsored by: Preston Dorsett | Nancy and Steve Morrow | Joe Orgill Fund for Exhibitions | Gwen and Penn Owen | Chris and Dan Richards | Trish and Carl Ring | Barbara and Lewis Williamson | Ann M. Mullis 

Under Construction: Collage from The Mint Museum

January 19 – March 22, 2020
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions
Organized by The Mint Museum

Under Construction investigates the dynamic medium of collage. Although this artistic technique, in which materials are cut, torn, and layered to create new meanings and narratives, gained acclaim in the early twentieth century through the groundbreaking work of such artists as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Kurt Schwitters, and Jean Arp, it experienced a renaissance (particularly in America) after World War II. African American artist Romare Bearden is widely credited with rejuvenating and reinvigorating the technique. His work serves as the point of departure for this fascinating exhibition.

Featuring more than thirty international artists, Under Construction explores the growth of the collage technique and aesthetic in the work of Bearden and his colleagues from the 1950s to the present. It includes numerous works by Bearden, as well as examples by such notable artists as Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Sam Gilliam, Howardena Pindell, Robert Rauschenberg, and James Rosenquist. The impact of the collage aesthetic in the fields of painting, printmaking, photography, and assemblage work is considered as well.

Presenting Sponsor    Organized by  

Sponsored by: Preston Dorsett | Nancy and Steve Morrow | Gwen and Penn Owen | Chris and Dan Richards | Trish and Carl Ring | Barbara and Lewis Williamson | Ann M. Mullis 

Romare Bearden. Evening of the Gray Cat, 1982; Collage on board; Collection of The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, Gift of Bank of America. 2002.68.3. © 2019 Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY, New York. and Sheila Gallagher. Ghost Orchid Plastic Nebula, 2018; Melted plastic on armature; Collection of The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, Museum purchase with funds provided by Wells Fargo. 2018.48


William Eggleston and Jennifer Steinkamp: At Home at the Dixon

January 26 – March 22, 2020
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions
Organized by the Eggleston Art Foundation with Dixon Gallery and Gardens

Over the fireplace in the Dixon Residence Living Room hangs A Memory by William Merritt Chase (1849-1916).  The painting, created around 1910, depicts a woman seated in a genteel domestic interior opening on to a sunlit Italian garden.  In subject matter and style, the painting speaks to a particular appreciation of “the beautiful” that has not lost its appeal more than a century later.

Inspired by Chase’s painting and the specific architecture of the Residence galleries, the Dixon has invited two pioneering American artists, William Eggleston and Jennifer Steinkamp, to present their work in unexpected conversation.

William Eggleston and Jennifer Steinkamp: At Home at the Dixon juxtaposes floral, garden, and still life imagery in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century painting with photographs by William Eggleston and computer animations by Jennifer Steinkamp that focus on similar themes.  Each artist’s chosen medium allows them to make new commentaries on these traditional subjects, making an intriguing connection between historic and contemporary art.

William Eggleston, Untitled, c. 1976; Dye transfer print; Courtesy the artist and Eggleston Art Foundation 

Jennifer Steinkamp, Diaspore 2, 2014; Computer animation; Variable dimensions; Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong and geengrassi, London

Sponsored by: Preston Dorsett | Nancy and Steve Morrow | Joe Orgill Fund for Exhibitions | Gwen and Penn Owen | Chris and Dan Richards | Trish and Carl Ring | Barbara and Lewis Williamson | Ann M. Mullis 

abstract oil painting by dzubas  
Friedel Dzubas: The Ira A. Lipman Family Collection  

October 27, 2019 - January 5, 2020
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions
Organized by the Dixon Gallery and Gardens 

After arriving in the United States at the start of World War II, German-born American artist Friedel Dzubas (1915-1994) began experimenting with large-scale abstract painting. Dzubas’s canvases, characterized by vibrant, colorful surfaces, are among the most ambitious abstract paintings of the second half of the twentieth century. Most often associated with Color Field painting, or what his friend Clement Greenberg called Post-Painterly Abstraction, Dzubas is frequently referenced alongside other artists in the New York School, like Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, and Kenneth Noland. Nevertheless, his works are distinct among his peers. His output is rich in expressive paintings with an intense emphasis on both the saturation of color and the actual texture of the surface, a quality that distinguishes his work from his contemporaries. While the artist’s style subtly evolved as his career progressed, Dzubas was committed to the mastery of painterly technique, from the dramatic physicality of gestural abstraction to the reduced elements of Color Field painting to the rhythmic brushstrokes of lyrical abstraction.

Drawn from the Ira A. Lipman Family Collection, the largest privately held collection of Dzubas’s painting, this exhibition traces the artist’s subtle yet palpable stylistic shifts through twenty-six beautiful, fully-resolved works, from the beginning of the artist’s career to some of his final paintings created in the early 1990s.

Catalogue will be available in the museum store.

Sponsored by:          

Theodore W. and Betty J. Eckels Foundation | Kate and Michael Buttarazzi | Karen and Preston Dorsett | Andrea and Doug Edwards | Amanda and Nick Goetze | Anne and Mike Keeney | Ellen and William Losch | Nancy and Steve Morrow | Irene Orgill | Gwen and Penn Owen | Trish and Carl Ring | Sue and Al Saltiel | Jeff and Mary Baird Simpson | Craig Simrell and Mark Greganti | Irene and Fred Smith | Adele Wellford | Barbara and Lewis Williamson 

Friedel Dzubas (American, born Germany, 1915-1994), Accord, 1970; Oil on canvas; Ira A. Lipman Family Collection 

abstract oil painting by artist Willem de Kooning    
Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution, Selections from the Haskell Collection

October 27 2019 – January 5, 2020
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions
Organized by the Tampa Museum of Art

Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution focuses on the rise of a new generation of artists active in post-World War II America whose works challenged the institutional status-quo and altered the course of art history. The artists in this show, such as Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko, though never formally associated, are unified by their rejection of academicism and commitment to pushing the boundaries of modern art. These artists, today called Abstract Expressionists, abandoned narrative painting, focusing instead on relationships between color, gesture, and texture.

Additionally, the exhibition examines a group of artists whose works express the legacy of Abstract Expressionism and the effect it had on the art of the late twentieth century. The work of artists like Sam Francis, Judy Pfaff, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella signifies the indistinct boundaries between art movements and builds on the complexity of mark making established by the earlier generation.

Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution is divided into three sections: Abstraction and Revolution, Abstractions and Repetition, and Abstraction and Its Legacy. Through these categories, the exhibition interrogates how the artists expanded the language of abstraction and experimented with new materials and methods. Exemplary works by twenty-five artists reveal how these men and women, while working in their own distinct abstract styles, together forged a significant turning point in art history.

Catalogue will be available in the museum store.

Sponsored by:          

Theodore W. and Betty J. Eckels Foundation | Kate and Michael Buttarazzi | Karen and Preston Dorsett | Andrea and Doug Edwards | Amanda and Nick Goetze | Anne and Mike Keeney | Ellen and William Losch | Nancy and Steve Morrow | Irene Orgill | Gwen and Penn Owen | Trish and Carl Ring | Sue and Al Saltiel | Jeff and Mary Baird Simpson | Craig Simrell and Mark Greganti | Irene and Fred Smith | Adele Wellford | Barbara and Lewis Williamson 

Willem de Kooning, Woman II, 1961; Oil on paper mounted on canvas; The Haskell Collection. © 2018 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York & Mark 


Laurel Sucsy: Finding the Edge 

October 13 - January 5
Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries

Organized by the Dixon Gallery and Gardens 

Laurel Sucsy is an artist based in Memphis, Tennessee, and New York. Inspired by nature and the objects she encounters in her daily life, she explores abstraction in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture and photography.

Sucsy’s exhibition in the Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries this fall spotlights her recent work, which ranges from dynamic, colorful abstractions in oil to thoughtful, monochromatic photographs.  Regardless of the medium, all her works are characterized by a sense of spatial tension that enlivens them as it shrouds them with a dreamlike quality.

Sucsy’s paintings are rooted in organic forms, which she breaks down into a series of loosely connected shapes that result in kaleidoscopic and energetic abstractions.  In contrast, her photographs are much more meditative—they are records of small studio sculptures formed by marrying raw canvas with wet plaster.  These white-on-white images are quietly powerful studies in texture, form, and light and shadow.  Though these bodies of work are seemingly disparate, Sucsy’s paintings and photographs are both rooted in her relentless quest to discover and understand the fundamentals of structure, color, weight, and surface as they exist and harmonize in the natural world.

Laurel Sucsy, Macula, 2019; Digital print; Courtesy of the artist


I Could Make That!

October 27, 2019 - January 5, 2020
Liz and Tommy Farnsworth Education Building
Organized by the Dixon Gallery and Gardens 

I Could Make That!  is a Dixon interactive experience that complements Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution and Friedel Dzubas: The Ira A. Lipman Family Collection, on view in the main galleries.

Abstract Expressionism was an art movement in American painting that began in the late 1940s. It flourished in New York and is sometimes referred to as the New York School. The movement comprised many different styles varying in both technique and quality of expression. Abstract Expressionist paintings share many characteristics; most are abstract, spontaneous, and show personal emotional expression.  

Some of the most prominent American Abstract Expressionist painters, also known as action painters, are featured in the current exhibitions at the Dixon. Painters such as Helen Frankenthaler, Willem De Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko have paintings in the galleries. These artists created incredible works of art that challenged tradition and pushed the boundaries of modern art. Their spontaneous and energetic work was created with innovative materials and on large canvases that boldly declared the new forms of self-expression and personal freedom within their work.

Often, when observing Abstract Expressionism, people try to understand how the painting was created and determine that it seems like a fairly easy way of making art. You may have heard someone say, “I could make that!” in front of abstract works of art.

In this gallery you can learn about the different elements that an artist has to consider when creating abstract art. Through hands-on components, you can experiment with some of the elements: Color, Shape, Line, Texture.  Finally, you are invited to try your hand at making art in our Process component, using digital art.

Enjoy the show and be sure to check our programs for additional demonstrations, workshops, and pop-up experiences in this gallery!

 painting of an African woman and child
Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection

On view now – October 13, 2019
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions
Organized by the Johnson Collection

Spanning the decades between the late 1890s and early 1960s, this exhibition examines the particularly complex challenges female artists confronted in a traditionally conservative region during a period in which women’s social, cultural, and political roles were being redefined and reinterpreted. Whether working from dedicated studio spaces, in spare rooms at home, or on the world stage, the artists showcased made remarkable contributions by fostering future generations of artists through instruction, incorporating new aesthetics into the fine arts, and challenging the status quo.

Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection features the works of forty-two women artists working in and inspired by the American South, including works by such diverse artists as Kate Freeman Clark, Loïs Mailou Jones, Ida Kohlmeyer, Adele Lemm, Augusta Savage, Alma Thomas, and Helen Turner. The exhibition encompasses a variety of media including painting, sculpture, and works on paper.

This comprehensive endeavor is drawn from the holdings of the Johnson Collection, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  The Johnson Collection was founded in 2002 as a private collection for public good with the goal of illuminating the rich history and diverse cultures of the American South. Spanning the eighteenth century to the present day, the collection seeks to emphasize the dynamic role of the art of the South within the larger context of American art.

Sponsored by: 

Kate and Michael Buttarazzi | Karen and Preston Dorsett | Andrea and Doug Edwards | Rose M. Johnston | Anne and Mike Keeney | Ellen and William Losch | Nancy and Steve Morrow | Irene Orgill | Gwen and Penn Owen | Irene and Fred Smith | Adele Wellford | Vance and Willis Willey | Barbara and Lewis Williamson

Loïs Mailou Jones (1905-1998), Africa, 1935. Oil on canvas board. The Johnson Collection 2016.10.02

Kate Freeman Clark

On view now – October 13, 2019
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions
Organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens

This exhibition brings together nearly forty paintings by Southern-born Impressionist Kate Freeman Clark (1875-1957). Working mostly in New York, Clark produced an impressive and varied body of work between the years of 1893 and 1923. In the fall of 1894, Clark, born and raised in Holly Springs, Mississippi, enrolled at the Art Students League of New York, where she studied painting under William Merritt Chase. Between 1896 and 1902, Clark spent consecutive summers at Chase’s Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art, creating over three hundred paintings during her time there. Nearly all of the works Clark produced at Shinnecock were impressionistic landscapes created en plein air using unexpected materials like burlap to reinforce the rustic scenery she painted.

Kate Freeman Clark spent the first decade of the twentieth century submitting her paintings to prestigious juried exhibitions, using the name “Freeman Clark” to hide her identity as a woman artist. Despite these successful showings, Clark never sold any of her paintings, out of respect for her family’s disapproval of women’s involvement in business. Clark abandoned painting, along with her artistic career, when she returned to her native Mississippi in 1924. Her oeuvre, as well as her talent, was virtually unknown to her Mississippi community during her lifetime. It was not until her death in 1957 that her paintings were located in New York’s Lincoln Warehouse. Clark willed her entire body of work, approximately one thousand paintings and drawings, to her hometown, along with funding and plan to build a gallery dedicated to her life and work. Established in Holly Springs in 1963, the Kate Freeman Clark Art Gallery is the result of her bequest.

Kate Freeman Clark highlights the artist’s rich body of work, defined by her intimate portraits of family and friends, bucolic landscapes, and compelling still life paintings.

Sponsored by: 

Kate and Michael Buttarazzi | Karen and Preston Dorsett | Andrea and Doug Edwards | Rose M. Johnston | Anne and Mike Keeney | Ellen and William Losch | Nancy and Steve Morrow | Irene Orgill | Gwen and Penn Owen | Irene and Fred Smith | Adele Wellford | Vance and Willis Willey | Barbara and Lewis Williamson

Kate Freeman Clark, Bishop Barns, ca. 1896–1902. Oil on canvas. Collection of the Kate Freeman Clark Art Gallery.

abstract oil painting with blues and reds  
Elizabeth Alley: Place Shapes 

On view now – October 6, 2019
Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries

*Elizabeth Alley will be giving the Tours at Two on Sunday, October 6. 
To watch Elizabeth's Insights video please click here

Native Memphian Elizabeth Alley has been carefully observing and recording the world around her for the entirety of her career.  Producing work ranging from intimate yet incisive sketches to beautifully rendered paintings in both watercolor and oil, she has been a leading force in the twenty-first-century Memphis arts community. 

Alley’s exhibition in the Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries this summer will highlight her most recent work—brilliant, expressive oil paintings that capture the diverse and sometimes extreme landscapes she has experienced in her travels to Iceland, Newfoundland, and Portugal.  These paintings reveal her interest in discovering and capturing the way humans interact with nature around the world.  Equally studied and spontaneous, Alley’s paintings from each location coalesce to form a continuous narrative of her personal experience in the landscape and more universal panoramic view of some of the most remote yet majestic parts of the world.

Elizabeth Alley, View from the Grotto, 2019; Courtesy of the artist. 

Countess de Castiglione: The Allure of Creative Self-Absorption

April 28, 2019 – July 14, 2019
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions
Organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens

In 1854, a sixteen-year-old newlywed named Virginia Oldoini Verasis (1837-1899) assumed the title of the Countess of Castiglione, and made that new identity her own. A great beauty, grande horizontale, and mistress to Napoleon III, the Countess was an iconic figure of the glamorous Second Empire. In an era when the average person might be photographed once in his or her lifetime, the Countess commissioned more than 400 images of herself from the Parisian studio photographer Pierre-Louis Pierson and others. She spent much of her fortune, even going into debt, in pursuing this creative endeavor.

Countess de Castiglione: The Allure of Creative Self-Absorption features over thirty of these photographs surrounding the Dixon Gallery and Gardens’ own rare 1864 terracotta bust of the Countess by the French sculptor Albert Ernest Carrier- Belleuse (1824 – 1887). In extending this concept of feminine creative self-representation, the exhibition also includes examples of four important twentieth-century artists who shared the Countess's proclivity for self-examination, Cindy Sherman (b. 1954), Francesca Woodman (1958-1981), Gillian Wearing (b. 1963), and Nikki Lee (b. 1970). The Countess herself recorded obsessively from early beauty too much later in life, leaving an important body of work that continues to inspire artists today.

An exhibition catalogue authored by guest curator Robert Flynn Johnson will be available for purchase in the museum store.

Sponsored by: Kate and Michael Buttarazzi | Karen and Preston Dorsett | Rose M. Johnston | Anne and ike Keeney | Nancy and Steve Morrow | Irene Orgill | Gwen and Penn Owen | Irene and Fred Smith | Adele Wellford | Barbara and Lewis Williamson

Pierre-Louis Pierson, The Eyes, 1863-66. Gelatin silver print, ca. 1930s. Private collection

William McGregor Paxton and Elizabeth Okie Paxton: An Artistic Partnership

April 28, 2019 – July 14, 2019
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions
Organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens

William McGregor Paxton (1869-1941) is best remembered for his involvement with the Boston School, which included American Impressionists Edmund Tarbell, Frank Benson, Joseph DeCamp, and others. Inspired by Dutch art of the seventeenth century, their work focused on the domestic interior and featured young women reading, sewing, cleaning, cooking, and entertaining friends.

Elizabeth Okie Paxton (1882-1972) met her husband while studying in Boston at the Cowles Art School where he served as an instructor. From a prominent New England family, Elizabeth became engaged to the artist when she was only eighteen. For the next decade, she became his muse and favorite model, and put her own painting on hold. However, by 1910, she returned to art, maintaining a studio in the couple’s home, and specializing in still life paintings. These works reveal her talent and her keen understanding of the spaces and objects that make up domestic life. She exhibited her work in national and regional exhibitions, winning a silver medal in 1915 at the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. After William Paxton died in 1941, Elizabeth devoted the next thirty years to maintaining her husband’s legacy.

William McGregor Paxton and Elizabeth Okie Paxton: An Artistic Partnership is the first examination of the work of William Paxton in nearly four decades and is the first comprehensive study of Elizabeth Paxton and her career. The exhibition is accompanied by a full color catalogue, written by Jane Ward Faquin, guest curator and former Dixon Curator of Education. She was the organizer of the Dixon originated exhibitions Helen M. Turner: The Woman’s Point of View (2010) and Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal (2014). The accompanying catalogue (available in the museum store) includes essays on Elizabeth Paxton, as well as the couple’s relationship, both artistic and personal. The Dixon’s partner on this project is the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, where the exhibition will travel as a part of the museum’s centenary celebration.

Sponsored by: Arthur E. and Alice F. Adams Foundation | Kate and Michael Buttarazzi | Karen and Preston Dorsett | Rose M. Johnston | Anne and Mike Keeney | Nancy and Steve Morrow | Irene Orgill | Gwen and Penn Owen | Irene and Fred Smith | Adele Wellford | Barbara and Lewis Williamson

William McGregor Paxton, 'The Sisters', 1904. Oil on canvas. Gerald Peters Gallery, New York

artwork hanging on walls in gallery, mother and two children looking at art
Education Exhibition: Made in Dixon 

April 27 – June 23, 2019 
Liz and Tommy Farnsworth Education Building

Made in Dixon/Made at Dixon features works of art from numerous Dixon programs. This window to more than twenty programs offered onsite and through outreach initiatives, presents the talent of hundreds of participants of all ages and all walks of life. The exhibition also offers hands-on components that allow visitors to add their work to the exhibition on the spot.

Sponsored by: 

several open sketchbooks laying on a sidewalk, photo from above
First Saturdays: Memphis Urban Sketchers

April 14 – July 7, 2019
Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries

Memphis Urban Sketchers is the Mid-South chapter of an international network of artists whose drawings reflect the cities in which they live and travel. Working in a variety of media, including graphite, watercolor, pen, and colored pencil, the more than twenty artists featured in First Saturdays capture honest observations of everyday life. When showcased together, their works document a particular time and place in Memphis history and create a shared narrative that speaks to the collective experience of the group, and Memphians alike. 2019 marks the two hundredth anniversary of the founding of the city of Memphis in 1819. Coinciding with Memphis in May International Festival's salute to Memphis, the Dixon joins various Memphis institutions in celebrating this historic moment through First Saturdays, which offers a creative interpretation of the places and landmarks that make our city unique.

Artists participating: Elizabeth Alley (guest curator), Mary Baddour, Phyllis Boger, Linda Boswell, Eric Clausen, Jeff Craig, Alison England, Carl Fox, Glenn Fuqua, Sandra Hill, Christina Huntington, Martha Kelly, Vicki Less, Nancy Mardis, Gabriela Martinez, Mary Ann May, Janis McCarty, Tom Pellett, Richard Reed, Mary K. VanGieson, Julie Wiklund, and Mark Williams

Sponsored by: Suzanne and Neely Mallory | The Estate of Mary and Charles Wurtzburger

Eye to Eye: A New Look at the Dixon Collection 

January 20, 2019 - April 14, 2019
Presented by the Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions
Organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens

The Dixon is one of the more dynamic fine art museums in the country. Just as our exhibitions are constantly changing and growing, so too are our collections continuing to grow and mature. In recent years, various gifts and acquisitions have been transformative in shaping the Dixon’s collection for the future, helping to position us as one of the nation’s leading centers for the study of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century art. Over the years, we have used the Dixon’s renowned permanent collection to tell a variety of stories, from the history of the Dixon itself to the story of Impressionism. This winter, we will be examining our collection of fine and decorative art through a different lens. Eye to Eye: A New Look at the Dixon Collection considers our permanent collection through the themes that inform its subject matter. This exhibition highlights some of the major ideas that influenced art produced in Europe and the United States from the eighteenth through the early twentieth century. Artists returned again and again to timeless subjects that continue to inspire us to this day, including scenes of modern entertainment, views of the landscape in all its variety, and images of contemporary men, women, and children. The artists who created the works that addressed these themes employed many techniques, but they all stressed a sense of immediacy and a willingness to explore new approaches to art-making.

Come revisit your old favorites in the Dixon permanent collection and see them contextualized and showcased in a completely new way.

Sponsored by: Karen and Preston Dorsett | Nancy and Steve Morrow | Gwen and Penn Owen | Chris and Dan Richards

Fernand Lungren, American (1859-1932), In the Café, 1882/84. Oil on canvas. Collection of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Museum purchase with funds provided by the estate of Cecil Williams Marshall, 2018.2

Annabelle Meacham: The Stories We Could Tell

January 20, 2019 - April 7, 2019

Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries

Memphis artist Annabelle Meacham’s work is most often a visual recording of her vivid dreams. Using bright colors and detailed patterns, she depicts familiar objects like fruit, animals, insects, and human figures, but in surprising combinations and always with a sense of the surreal. Meacham is a gifted and eager storyteller, a quality that is made manifest through her fantastical paintings.

Although she has lived in various cities around the world and has a true love of travel, Meacham has called the Mid-South home for many years. Wherever she is, Meacham is constantly observing the world around her. Even the Dixon’s lush gardens have served as the inspiration for work in The Stories We Could Tell.

Annabelle Meacham, The Untold Story, 2018; Acrylic on canvas; Courtesy of the artist. 

El Taller de Gráfica Popular: Vida y Arte

October 13, 2018 – January 6, 2019

The Georgia Museum of Art in Athens presents El Taller de Gráfica Popular: Vida y Arte (The Popular Graphic Workshop: Life and Art), an exhibition that examines the group's contribution to the Mexican printmaking tradition. Through the production of posters, pamphlets, books, and newspapers, the artists who worked in El Taller de Gráfica were committed to their craft and sought to bring social and political awareness to mass audiences.

Alberto Beltrán, Vida y drama de Mexico (Life and Drama of Mexico), 1957. Poster with linoleum cut in two colors and type/lettering. Collection of Michael T. Ricker. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City

From Marne to the Rhine: Forain and World War I

October 13, 2018 – January 6, 2019

This fall, the Dixon will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day with a selection of Jean-Louis Forain’s striking press illustrations of the Great War. With more than 200 war cartoons published in weekly and daily newspapers, Forain became the spokesman for the common soldier on the western Front, the main theatre of war approximately located between the Marne and the Rhine rivers. 

Showing the drama underneath the comedy, the drawings give with emotion, irony, pity, sorrow, indignation and compassion, a priceless testimony of how military and political events affect populations. From the Marne to the Rhine: Jean-Louis Forain in World War I will encapsulate the artist’s unique style and incredible science of composition, which undoubtedly contributed to the evolution of the art of the editorial cartoon.

Jean-Louis Forain, Les Pessimistes, 1915. Lithograph on paper. Gift of John and Lynn Murray in honor of William and Mary Murray, 2016.3.31

Extension: Artists’ Books, Prints, and Zines

October 14, 2018 – January 13, 2019
Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries

Temporary Services and Kione Kochi, SELF-PUBLISH TO BYPASS GATEKEEPERS, 2017; Risograph printed poster. Image courtesy of Temporary Services 

In the Garden 

July 8, 2018 – September 30, 2018

Drawn from the vast George Eastman House collection, the photographs in this exhibition explore uses of gardens and how humans cultivate the landscapes that surround them. From famous locations such as Versailles to the simplest home vegetable garden, from worlds imagined by artists to food production recorded by journalists, the subjects in this exhibition broaden our understanding of photography and how it has been used to record gardens.

Andrew Buurman, from the portfolio Allotments, 2009. Chromogenic development print, printed 2012. George Eastman Museum, purchase with funds from Charina Foundation Endowment. © Andrew Buurman. 2011.0414.0032

In Our Garden: The Dixon through Your Lens

July 22 – October 7, 2018
Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries

For over forty years, the Dixon’s seventeen acres of gardens have provided photographic inspiration to visitors from across the Mid-South and all over the world. This spring, we invite you share how our gardens have featured in your photography through In Our Garden. From close-ups of individual plants and flowers to sweeping garden views, we look forward to seeing how both amateur and professional photographers have captured the unique beauty of the Dixon Gardens throughout our history and today. 

Richard Lou: "IN LAK’ECH ALA K’IN," Tú eres mi otro yo, You are my other self

May 6, 2018 – July 15, 2018
Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries

With his exhibition "IN LAK’ECH ALA K’IN," Tú eres mi otro yo, You are my other self, Memphis artist, educator, and activist Richard Lou transforms the Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries into a work of art that centers around the idea that we as a human species respond best when we work together, create bridges, and seek common purpose. "IN LAK’ECH ALA K’IN,” Tú Eres Mi Otro Yo, You Are My Other Self is a Mayan concept about community that gives voice to humanity's interdependence. Lou's conceptual centerpiece is to explore this idea of mutuality rather than separateness. 

Richard Lou, Nancy Trenthem (Executive Associate) and Penn Owen (Chair, Board of Trustees), 2018. Digital print. Courtesy of the artist.

Contemplating Character: Portrait Drawings & Oil Sketches from Jacques Louis David to Lucian Freud

April 22, 2018 – June 24, 2018
Organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, California, in association with Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, California.

This exhibition features works from two and a half centuries and includes over one hundred and fifty portraits resulting from the collaboration between the individual who contemplates (the artist), and the subject who exhibits character (the sitter). The featured works display a wide variety of expression ranging from beauty and dignity to wit and satire, profound sadness, and even the macabre. Contemplating Character attempts to broadly answer the question—what exactly constitutes a portrait? 

Clotilde Martin-Pregnard, (French, 1885–1945), Self-Portrait (detail), 1910. Black crayon. Private collection.

The Real Beauty: The Artistic World of Eugenia Errázuriz

January 28, 2018 – April 8, 2018
Organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens

Jacques-Emile Blanche, Portrait of Eugenia Huici Arguedas de Errázuriz, 1890. Pastel on fine-woven linen. Collection of Dixon Gallery and Gardens. 

Dixon Dialect: The Susan and John Horseman Gift

January 28, 2018 – April 1, 2018
Organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens

Elizabeth Nourse, Mère et Bébé, ca. 1912. Oil on canvas. Collection of Dixon Gallery and Gardens; Gift of Susan and John Horseman in honor of Kevin Sharp, 2017.3.28. 

Paula Kovarik

January 14, 2018 – April 1, 2018
Mallory/Wurtzburger Galleries

Sponsored by Suzanne and Neely Mallory and Mary and Charles Wurtzburger

Paula Kovarik, Shattered, 2015. Fabric, thread. Collection of the artist. 

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper

October 15, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens with the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Society of the Four Arts, Frick Art & Historical Center, and Artis-Naples, the Baker Museum. 

Isabelle de Borchgrave, Costume of the Princess of Condé, Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency (1594–1650),’ 2017. Inspired by a portrait by Peter Paul Rubens, ca. 1609. Mixed media: paper, cut, folded, and molded with acrylic paint, ink, metallic powder, and adhesive; mounted on a mannequin. Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh. Photograph by Travis Hutchison.

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