Emerging Collectors

Emerging Collectors is the Birmingham Museum of Art’s newest support group.  Through Emerging Collectors, we hope to take the mystery out of art collecting by showing members that it can be accessible and affordable. Whether your interest is in porcelain or paintings, contemporary art or decorative arts, or even if you don’t have an area of interest yet, Emerging Collectors will help you become more familiar with different types of art forms.

This new group will introduce Museum members to the world of art collecting through educational events, exclusive tours of private collections, discussions with BMA curators, and more. While connecting with fellow art enthusiasts, the Emerging Collectors group will not only learn how to establish and cultivate their own collections, they will also become more familiar with aspects of the Museum’s collection.

$150 per individual
$250 per couple

Join Now

Membership dues cover the cost of events, speakers, and other social and educational opportunities for support group members.  You must be a current BMA member to join this support group.  Click here for more information on general membership


Art & Celebrity Event
Wednesday, May 17
6pm // BMA Steiner Auditorium

The Birmingham Museum of Art invites you to a special evening celebrating Heather McPherson’s new book, Art and Celebrity in the Age of Reynolds and Siddons (Penn State University Press, 2017). The book transports you to late eighteenth-century London where modern celebrity culture emerged, from artists’ studios, to the Royal Academy exhibitions, to the stages of Drury Lane and Covent Garden.

UAB Professor of Art History, Heather McPherson, Ph.D., will give a special lecture in the Museum’s Steiner Auditorium followed by a book signing and reception.



2nd Annual Collection Crawl
Sunday, March 19

Friends of American Art Annual Dinner
Wednesday, February 22

Annual Moon Viewing Party with Asian Art Society
September 16, 2016
Birmingham Museum of Art Red Mountain Memorial Garden

Fall Kick-off Event
Sunday, October 2, 2016
4:00 PM
Private Residence

Please join us as we kickoff the year with a private collection visit and tour of two of Emerging Collectors’ very own members.

Collectors Circle Annual Dinner
Thursday, October 20, 2016

6PM Cocktails
7PM Presentation
7:30PM Dinner and Voting

This year the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art invites members of Emerging Collectors to attend their Annual Acquisition Dinner. At the dinner, members vote to acquire a new contemporary work for the Museum, the cost of which is covered by their annual membership dues.

Lunch and Learn with Friends of American Art
Wednesday, November 9
12-1pm // BMA Members Room
BMA Docent and Tour Coordinator, Angela May will explore the history and intersections of body art in America and Southeast Asia

Members Only Event at the home of Catherine and Bill Cabaniss
Wednesday, November 9
Artist Catherine Cabaniss and her husband businessman Bill Cabaniss, former U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic (2003-2006), are dedicated patrons of the arts and passionate collectors of contemporary art. The Cabanisses are founding members of the BMA’s Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art and the Friends of American Art, and have served the Museum in numerous leadership roles.

Annual Chenoweth Lecture
Wednesday, November 16
The BMA’s Executive Director Gail Andrews will reflect on her tenure of 40 years at the BMA. She will share some of its history and the role she played in helping shape it, as well as what the future may hold for our institution.

Lunch and Learn with European Art Society: what to buy and what not to buy
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
12-1pm // BMA Members room
Join us when we review the offerings at the upcoming Old Master paintings auctions.

Private Collection Visit and Holiday Party
Saturday, December 10, 2016
5-7pm // Home of Nan and David Skier

Recent Events

Private Collection Visit
Thursday, July 21, 2016
6-8:00 PM
BMA Cafe Patio

Carolyn and Robin Wade take living with art to its highest level. Their home–equal parts collection and installation–must be seen to be believed.

New Acquisition Preview Party
May 1, 2016
12:00-2:00 PM
BMA Cafe Patio

Join us as we view and celebrate the newest addition to the BMA’s collection of Asian Art, an 18th century battle screen, purchased with funds provided by the Asian Art Society!

Light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP by Monday, April 25 to Bethany McClellan at bmcclellan@artsbma.rangeprojects.com or 205-254-2567.


Detail: Hidemitsu Hayashi, Kyoto, Japan
Folding screen, unknown artist, Japan, Battle of Ichinotani,
about 1750-1800
ink, color and gold on paper, T.2015.221
purchase through general acquisitions with funds from the Asian Art Society

Day trip to Atlanta with the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art
May 13, 2016

Stops include a private collection visit, Atlanta Contemporary, and the High Museum of Art to see the major retrospective exhibition of the work of Vik Muniz

We will depart the BMA by charter at 8am and return to Birmingham ca. 7pm
RSVP to Bethany McClellan at bmcclellan@artsbma.rangeprojects.com or 205-254-2567 no later than Monday, April 25 with a $40 deposit (check or credit card).

Space is limited and participation is on a first-come, first-served basis. Cost will be determined by number of participants.

John Morton Annual Lecture in Photography
Thursday, May 19
7:00 PM // BMA Steiner Auditorium

In her lecture, titled Still Life, artist Leslie Hewitt will discuss the development
of her practice and recent collaborations.

Exhibition opening and artist talk
Friday, April 16, 2016
6:00 PM, Birmingham Museum of Art

lobby projects: Bethany Collins

Collection Crawl
Sunday, April 17, 2016
3:00- 6:00 PM
Spend an afternoon exploring some of Birmingham’s finest collections—all along Cherokee road.

Exhibition Opening:
All The Colors of the Rainbow: Uzbekistan Ikats from the Collection of Peggy Slappey
Friday, March 18, 2016
6:00- 8:00 PM // BMA 8th Avenue Lobby

Thursday, March 3
5:30 PM // BMA, Members Room

As part of First Thursday programming, the BMA’s Chief Curator and Curator of American Art, Dr. Graham Boettcher, will lead a workshop exclusively for EC members on how to build a museum-quality collection using eBay and other online resources.

Following Collecting 101, members are encouraged to attend a very special First Thursday program:

The Refined Art of Collection Building
–An Evening with the Experts–
Thursday, March 3
7pm // Steiner Auditorium

Diligence, discernment, and discipline are key ingredients to building a valuable collection, whether as an institution or an individual. Join the Birmingham Museum of Art and Christie’s for a panel discussion that explores the delicate process of assembling and managing a collection from both perspectives.

Eivor and Alston Callahan Lecture: India’s Post-Partition Identity and the Cinematic Image with Dr. Cathleen Cummings
Saturday, March 5
6:00- 7:00 PM // BMA Steiner Auditorium

Lunch and Learn
December 2, 2015
12:00 PM– 1:ooPM
Members’ Room

Join the European Art Society for the third installment of “What to Buy and What Not to Buy”

Curator of European Art Dr. Robert Schindler will discuss this Fall’s Old Master Sales in London. Members Room, Noon-1 PM.

Holiday Party

Thursday, December 10, 2015
The Redmont Hotel

The Emerging Collectors Holiday Party will be held at the newly renovated Redmont Hotel, one of Birmingham’s most historic properties. Enjoy an evening of good cheer, festive food and drink , and a special tour of this 1925 architectural gem.

5:30PM: Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
6:00PM: Owner Jim Lewis will lead a tour of the newly renovated historic property.


The Friends of American Art invite members of the Emerging Collectors to attend their annual dinner.

The Friends of American Art was founded in 2007 and actively supports the Museum by developing and expanding its American art collection. The group provides educational programs and travel opportunities to its members. Events include lectures by leading authorities and visits to auctions, galleries, and noted public and private collections. At the Friends’ annual dinner, members vote on a major acquisition for the Museum’s collection of American art.

6PM: Cocktails
6:45PM: “Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life”
Dr. Mark D. Mitchell, The Holcombe T. Green Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, Yale University Art Gallery
7:30PM: Dinner and Voting

Lunch & Learn 
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
12:00-1:00 PM
Birmingham Museum of Art, Steiner Auditorium

From Streamliners to the Space Age: Transportation, Technology, and Mid-Century Modern Design
In this lavishly illustrated talk presented in conjunction with Design Week Birmingham, Graham C. Boettcher, Ph.D., Chief Curator and Curator of American Art, will explore how the development of streamlined locomotives, airplanes, jetliners, and rockets, among other technological advances, profoundly shaped the “look” of American household goods during the mid 20th century.
Attendees are encouraged to dine at Oscar’s, the BMA’s café, after the talk.

Collectors Circle 23rd Anniversary Dinner 
Thursday, October 22, 2015
6:00-9:00 PM
Birmingham Museum of Art, Steiner Auditorium

The Collectors Circle cordially invites Emerging Collectors members to attend their 23rd Anniversary Dinner.

The Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art was founded in 1991 to help support the Museum’s contemporary art collection and related exhibitions, as well as to educate its members and the community at large about contemporary art through programs, events, and art-related travel. At the Collectors Circle’s annual dinner, members vote to acquire a new contemporary work for the Museum, the cost of which is covered by annual membership dues.

6PM: Cocktails
7PM: Presentation
7:30PM: Dinner and voting

$75 per person. RSVP by October 16 to Carrie Montgomery at cmontgomery@artsbma.rangeprojects.com or 205.254.2086

Annual Chenoweth Lecture
Thursday, November 5, 2015
7:00-8:00 PM
Birmingham Museum of Art, Steiner Auditorium

Join us for the annual Chenoweth Lecture as Carter Foster, Curator of Drawing at the Whitney Museum of American Art, discuss the Whitney’s new home, a Renzo Piano-designed building in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.

Evening Collectors Event
Day and Time TBA
Birmingham Museum of Art

Have you wondered how to collect art online but were too afraid to try? Join us for an evening lecture and reception, hosted by Graham C. Boettcher, Ph.D., Chief Curator and Curator of American Art, in partnership with the Junior Patrons.

Private Collection Tour
Day and Time TBA
Birmingham Museum of Art

Join us for an exclusive tour of a private collector here in Birmingham.

Fall Kick-off Event
Friday, October 2, 2015
5:30 PM
Private Residence

Please join us as we kickoff the year with an exclusive private tour of an amazing contemporary art collection. This is also a wonderful opportunity to meet current members and learn more about Emerging Collectors.

Evening Reception 
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
6:00 PM
Birmingham Museum of Art, 8th Ave Lobby

The European Art Society heartily invites members of Emerging Collectors to spend an evening with Christopher Apostle, Senior Vice President, Head of Department, Old Master Paintings of Sotheby’s New York. He will talk with us about the current state of the Old Master paintings market, including a few exciting stories about works he has encountered during his many years in the business.

Special Lecture with Paper Conservator
June 17, 2015
12:00 PM
Birmingham Museum of Art Members Room

SieglerThe BMA welcomes Dr. Sheila Siegler, DIC, FIIC, MAIC, who is currently a freelance paper conservator, lecturer, and science consultant. This is an event for members of BMA support groups only.

In her talk, Dr. Siegler will discuss what paper is and how it’s made; what deteriorates paper (light, humidity, insects, humans, and more); how to stop deterioration; and how to care for your collection at home, especially photographs.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring 1-2 works on paper from your personal collections. Dr. Siegler will comment on the condition of your works, as well as recommend treatments. Lunch will not be served at the event; however, we encourage you to meet your friends before or after the event for lunch in Oscar’s Café.

Private Collection Tour with Friends of American Art
May 17, 2015
3-4:30 PM

Tour a conceptually-driven collection of drawings, paintings, and sculptures, featuring notable artists such as Tara Donovan, Ivan Navarro, Andy Warhol and Keith Sonnier, among many others.

Lunch & Learn
November 25, 2014
12:00 PM
Birmingham Museum of Art Members Room

Members of the Emerging Collectors group joined the European Art Society for a Lunch & Learn with Robert Schindler, curator of European Art at the BMA.  The Lunch and Learn previewed the Fall Old Master auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie’s and highlighted ways to know what to buy and what not to buy at the auctions.

Tour of Marlene and Crawford Taylor’s private collection
Sunday, October 26, 2014
3:00 – 4:30 PM

Dedicated collectors of American art, the Taylors have assembled a thoughtful collection of more than 40 paintings and sculptures, including important works by Thomas Moran, Albert Fitch Bellows, Albert Bloch, William Glackens, and John Sloan, among others. Emerging Collectors members joined the Friends of American Art support group to tour the Taylor collection, and to also gain insight about what goes into assembling a collection of this caliber.


Kickoff Reception
Thursday, September 25, 2014
6:00 – 8:00 PM
The home of Elizabeth and Bill Koleszar, chairs of Emerging Collectors

The Birmingham Museum of Art kicked of its newest support group at the home of Elizabeth and Bill Koleszar on September 25.  Guests learned about the Emerging Collectors group while sampling delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails and also meeting fellow art enthusiasts.