American Selections: The Vulcan Materials Company Collection


Oct 07, 2023 - Mar 10, 2024

This exhibition presents 21 works from the private collection of the Vulcan Materials Company. With paintings by such luminaries as Frederic Edwin Church, John Singer Sargent, and Andrew Wyeth, Vulcan Materials Company collection is among the last great corporate collections to remain fully intact. Rarely seen by the general public, the group of works typically hangs at the company’s Birmingham headquarters for the enjoyment of its employees and visitors. While the headquarters undergoes a renovation, Vulcan Materials Company is sharing a portion of their collection with Birmingham Museum of Art visitors for the purpose of this exhibition.

In 1977, Vulcan Materials Company, in conjunction with the Birmingham Museum of Art and New York City’s Coe Kerr Gallery, began an annual exhibition program to bring exceptional paintings and drawings by important American artists to our community. Known as American Selections, the annual exhibition offered the public the opportunity to enjoy these pieces for a limited time. Several works currently on view in the Museum’s American galleries were acquired from these shows, and for its part, Vulcan Materials used the exhibitions as an opportunity to build its own collection and engage its staff, hosting a special reception for employees to vote on their favorite picture, which was then purchased.

The Birmingham Museum of Art is grateful to Vulcan Materials Company for sharing with the people of Birmingham the rare opportunity to enjoy these treasures of American art and for their steadfast support of the Museum for nearly three quarters of a century.

Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900), Mt. Chimborazo, 1880, oil on canvas. Lent by Vulcan Materials Company