Recent Acquisitions

Cutting a Fine Figure

Cutting a Fine Figure

July 8, 2014

The BMA recently acquired a rare figural vessel made by the Alabama potter John Frederick Lehman around 1870. The jug depicts an African-American man wearing a cap, hoop earrings, and a coat with broad lapels and buttons impressed with Lehman’s

Hadrian’s Villa: The Remains of the so-called Pretorio, 1774, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720-1778), etching, Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Gift of Roy Curtis Green in memory of Walter Marshall Ellis, AFI202.2013

European Masters on Paper

July 8, 2014

The Museum recently received a very generous gift of nine works on paper and two books from Roy Curtis Green. The gift includes four prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi from his famous Views of Rome, etched between 1747 and his

Untitled (Man brushing teeth), Annie Pootoogook, 2006, Canadian Inuit (born 1969, Cape Dorset). Crayon and ink on paper. Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Purchase with funds provided by Guy Kreusch, 119.2013.

A Glimpse into Inuit Life

April 2, 2014

By Emily Hanna, Ph.D., Curator, Arts of Africa and the Americas The drawings of Annie Pootoogook capture the small, ordinary moments that make up the routine of a day, such as this work depicting an unshaven man brushing his teeth.

Carl Paul Jennewein (American; born Germany, 1890–1978), Cupid and Gazelle, 1919. Cast by Priessmann, Bauer & Co. (Munich, Germany). Bronze with black patina, gilding, and polychrome. Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Purchase with funds provided by James Milton and Sallie R. Johnson. AFI25.2013

Yes Sir, That’s My Baby

April 2, 2014

By Graham Boettcher, Ph.D., The William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art Last fall, thanks to the generosity of James Milton and Sallie Johnson, the Museum acquired this exquisite and whimsical Art Deco bronze sculpture entitled Cupid and Gazelle, created

James Hugh Maliff, Rolling Pin, last quarter of 19th century, American, 1852-1918, hand-blown glass. Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at 
the Birmingham Museum of Art; Gift of Anne 
Welch Burnette and Juanita Welch Kilpatrick. AFI19.2013.

Merrily We Roll Along

January 11, 2014

The BMA has a fine collection of “glass house whimsies”—also known as “end-of-the-day glass”—which were items made by glass workers on their own time, for their own use and enjoyment, or to demonstrate their skill. These include glass canes, smoking pipes, swords, gavels, and this colorful rolling pin, recently given by longtime BMA docent Anne Burnette and her sister, Juanita Kilpatrick.

Radcliffe Bailey, Tobacco Blues, 2000, b. 1968, color spitbite and sugarlift aquatint with 
softground, hardground, drypoint, photogravure, 
and chine collé on Somerset soft white paper. Promised gift of Catherine and Bill Cabaniss in honor of Ron Platt, 250.2013

A New Look at Contemporary Artists

January 11, 2014

Catherine and William Cabaniss have generously donated two significant prints by outstanding artists Radcliffe Bailey and Chris Ofili in honor of Ron Platt’s seven-year tenure as the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

A Major Gift of Japanese Treasures

A Major Gift of Japanese Treasures

January 11, 2014

Dr. Roy T. Ward from Watkinsville, Georgia, has been a friend of the Museum for over twenty years. His first donation of Japanese prints to the collection came in 1995, and, since then, he has generously donated other outstanding Japanese prints and woodblock printed books to the Museum. This past summer Dr. Ward invited Donald Wood, the Museum’s Asian Art curator, to visit and choose gifts for the Museum from his collection.

“Jazzed” By Discovery of a Rare Print

“Jazzed” By Discovery of a Rare Print

August 6, 2013

While the majority of the BMA’s purchased acquisitions come from commercial galleries and auction houses, occasionally museum-quality works of art surface in unexpected places. This past October, our Curator of American Art, Graham Boettcher, found such a work in a Chicago antique store.

Modern Shin Hanga Prints Gifted to the Museum

Modern Shin Hanga Prints Gifted to the Museum

August 6, 2013

Fifteen Japanese prints are a recent gift to the Museum from the estate of Larry D. Luke of Huntsville. The prints are from the 1940s-1960s and represent the work of the finest woodblock print artists active in Japan at the time.

Renaissance Revival Vase Added to Collection

Renaissance Revival Vase Added to Collection

August 6, 2013

Through the generosity of board member Henry Lynn, the Museum has recently acquired a large snake-handled vase made between 1858 and 1859 by the Minton pottery manufactory in Staffordshire, England.

Chatsworth House Arrives at BMA

Chatsworth House Arrives at BMA

August 6, 2013

Thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Herb Sklenar and their family, the Museum purchased a major example of 18th-century English landscape painting. This glorious view of Chatsworth, one of the stately “treasure houses” of Britain, was painted in about 1725 by Pieter Tillemans (1684-1734), a Flemish artist who played an important role in spreading the visual language of landscape painting.

Museum Acquires Four Videos by Young African-American Artists

Museum Acquires Four Videos by Young African-American Artists

June 14, 2012

The Museum recently acquired four new works of contemporary video art, gifts of Birmingham collectors Jack and Rebecca Drake. The videos were created by Kalup Linzy, Kambui Olujimi, Dave McKenzie and Jefferson Pinder, all African American artists born after 1970.

Limewood Sculpture Enters the Museum’s Collection

Limewood Sculpture Enters the Museum’s Collection

June 14, 2012

A rare and important work has entered the Museum’s collection. The Murder of King Edward the Martyr at Corfe Castle is one of just three sculptures known by the artist Robert Carpenter (1752-1829), who was born in London, but by

A Giant Discovery of Miniature Proportions

A Giant Discovery of Miniature Proportions

June 14, 2012

In early February, Philadelphia miniatures expert and dealer Elle Shushan, a contributor to the catalogue for the popular exhibition The Look of Love, visited the BMA. Curator of American Art Graham Boettcher invited Shushan into collection storage to examine the Museum’s small and little-studied collection of American portrait miniatures. Opening the drawer of a storage cabinet, a portrait of a woman in early-19th-century attire caught Shushan’s eye.