CHRISTENBERRY: In Alabama
An exhibition honoring the life and work of William Christenberry at Mobile Museum of Art
March 10, 2017 – June 4, 2017
In CHRISTENBERRY: In Alabama, opening March 10, 2017, Mobile Museum of Art honors renowned Alabama-born artist, William Christenberry (1936 – 2016). The exhibition, planned in 2015 with the Christenberry family, is presented in Mobile as the first of the Alabama’s 3-year state Bicentennial celebration.
This exhibition’s premise is threefold: honoring the artist’s intimate, lifelong exploration of his native state; recognizing the wealth of Christenberry work collected in Alabama’s art museums; and presenting the Christenberry family’s creative lineage and legacy over four generations.
Hailed as “one of the most respected and influential artists of the modern South,” by the Washington Post and the artist whose iconic photographs have been described by Walker Percy as a “poetic evocation of a haunted countryside,” William Christenberry found his muse in his native state of Alabama, it’s derelict buildings, and verdant landscape.
The Mobile Museum of Art exhibition, CHRISTENBERRY: In Alabama, consists of over 90 Christenberry works including paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs, drawn from university collections at Auburn and Tuscaloosa and in Alabama’s major city museums in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Montgomery. The exhibition includes a ”prologue” installation featuring the Christenberry family’s creative lineage and legacy over four generations, and an installation of the artist’s famous studio wall of southern signs, collected during his annual journeys southward. This installation pays tribute to the artist’s ongoing “love affair” with the rural South—as the exhibition honors the state’s dedicated support of the artist and his work.
The exhibition includes documentary films of the artist by Washington D.C. filmmaker, Stanley Staniski, and a tribute publication of essays by Christenberry art historians, museum directors and curators.
CHRISTENBERRY: In Alabama, organized by the Mobile Museum of Art, is underwritten by the Crampton Trust, with additional support from the City of Mobile, the Alabama State Bicentennial Committee, the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
On March 10, MMofA will also open Contemporary Alabama Photography, curated by Richard McCabe, Curator of Photography at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, and The Mobile Delta: GLASS & LIGHT, a site-specific glass installation by artist Rene Culler.