Kabuki Portrait

When this print was put on view, the Kabuki actors were not yet identified. Now their history can be told. Written by Dr. Katherine Anne Paul, The Virginia and William M. Spencer III Curator of Asian Art  Kabuki was—and remains—an action-packed theater style. Today and historically, Kabuki actors (like some American movie stars) develop a […]

Corn Maiden

Emily Hanna, Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas, highlights a recent acquisition for this month’s Spotlight on the Collection.

Trapezium Altar

Beverly Pepper’s Trapezium Altar (1985-1986) stands in the Upper Plaza of the Museum like a shrine to an ancient god—or perhaps like a giant tuning fork, or even a rusty tool.

The Farmers

Joan Bankemper’s The Farmers is a feat of ceramic sculpture that tells a colorful story of nature and the healing power of the land.

The First Decade of Le Matin, temps brumeux, Pourville

Provenance is an artwork’s history of ownership from its creation to the present. More than a list of names, provenance reveals the intricate history of an object and how a work is understood at different times. New research on the Birmingham Museum of Art’s Le Matin, temps brumeux, Pourville (Foggy Morning at Pourville) by Claude […]

Saraswati

How do you depict a goddess so loved and revered that she is worshipped by Hindus, Jains, and even some Buddhist sects? Her image would have to transcend the ideals held by any one specific group to become an icon recognized by all. So who is this incredible goddess? She is Saraswati (pronounced sar-ahs-vah-tee), the […]

Ibeji Figure

This figure represents a person who was a twin, or ibeji. Nigeria has the highest rates of twinning in the world— around four times higher than the global average. Among the Yoruba people of Nigeria, twins are thought to bring blessings and hold special status in the community. They are honored both in life, and […]

The Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan

Lucas van Leyden (born 1489 or 1494 – died 1533) is a celebrated figure within the history of printmaking. On loan currently to the BMA is his engraving entitled The Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan, dated to around 1510. It can be seen in the exhibition Embodying Faith: Imagining Jesus Through the Ages, […]

Kaikoo II

Sitting at the corner of Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard and Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard, artist Betty Gold’s massive red sculpture Kaikoo II has become a fixture of the Birmingham Museum of Art since its installation in 1986. After a crane lowered sections of the 4,000 pound steel work into place, the artist and her […]