The Tuscumbia artist Mary Wallace Kirk has only recently begun to receive critical attention. In 2014, the Georgia Museum of Art organized the first exhibition of her work since her death. Kirk learned etching at New York’s Art Students League from Harry Sternberg (1904 – 2001) who, struck by the ever-present sunshine in her works, once sarcastically asked, “Doesn’t it ever rain in Alabama?”
Between 1935 and the late 1940s, Kirk executed about 80 different prints, detailed renderings of the northwest Alabama countryside. Many of the works—like this one—depict the rustic cabins that once dotted the landscape. Of these, Kirk wrote, “Cabins, especially log cabins, are rapidly disappearing from the Southern landscape. Before these relics of an older day completely pass from the scene it seems fitting to make a pictorial record of them, and to try to capture some of the lowly charm that surrounded them.”
This is the first work by Kirk to enter the BMA’s permanent collection.