American Painting Survey

This spring, the Museum took a close look at some of its American paintings. Collection highlights including George Inness’s Moonlight in Virginia, John Singer Sargent’s Lady Helen Vincent, and Charles Courtney Curran’s Lady With a Bouquet (Snowballs) were off of the walls for examination. As part of the BMA’s ongoing collection care efforts, a contract […]

What is a Rotation?

The BMA staff recently completed the first of three rotations for its current exhibition, Third Space /shifting conversations about contemporary art. In addition to the 50 pieces that will remain on view for the entirety of the exhibition’s two-year run, certain works within Third Space will rotate every six months to showcase new pieces and […]

Collecting and Preserving Alabama’s Artistic Heritage

While the BMA collects art from all over the globe, it takes just as seriously the goal of collecting important work by the most significant artists born or active in the state of Alabama. Well represented within the Museum’s collection are the Weavers, a multi-generational dynasty of women artists from Selma. Most famous among the […]

European Art Conservation

The European Art Department has been steadily working on the conservation of European paintings. The European Art Society and a number of generous patrons have funded multiple projects already and the first freshly conserved paintings have recently returned or will soon return to Birmingham. The change often is dramatic. One of our important Flemish full-length portraits […]

Popular Sculpture to be Conserved

After years of guarding the 8th Avenue entrance to the Museum, the monumental sculpture “Steelworker” will be removed for conservation work on May 10. The statue, created by artist Luis Jiménez Jr., is made primarily of fiberglass, which requires unique care. “Fiberglass is not a material that lasts forever,” Chief Registrar Rose Wood explained. “People […]

Art Matters: What’s In A Color?

For thirty years, Exhibition Designer Terry Beckham has been establishing the look and feel of the Museum’s galleries through one important, though often overlooked, quality: the paint color on our walls. While at first glance the paint off the canvas may not seem obvious to Museum visitors, it plays an important role in complementing the […]

Art Matters: New Gallery, New Ideas

Numerous technological changes have occurred since the 1990s, and the world of art conservation is no different! Over the years, art conservationists have kept up with innovative products and solutions, constantly adapting to keep collections safe and looking their best. With these best practices in mind, the re-designed African Galleries have been installed with great […]

Art Matters: A Changing “Target”

Since its arrival on the grounds of the Museum, John Scott’s Target has enlivened the environment with its bright colors and fanciful shapes. In its position by the auditorium entrance, it naturally attracts viewers; however, the sculpture has faded over the years, due to the ravages of weather, sunlight, and environmental pollution. It became increasingly […]

From Paper Trails to Digital Delivery

by Suzanne Voce Stephens, Collections Database Administrator In the “old days” of Museum Registration, we used to type colorcoded cards to cross-reference our collection records—white cards for object records, pink for donors, green for loans, yellow for media. We started moving away from that in 1989 when we invested in our first collections management software. At the time, we were among […]

Following Our Paper Trail: Caring for the Museum’s Works on Paper Collection

In 1957, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Wells bequeathed to a young Birmingham Museum of Art an important collection of 53 works on paper. From American masters such as James Abbott McNeill Whistler and John Taylor Arms to Old Masters such as Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt van Rijn, it provided a core collection to build on […]