MMofA to open innovative exhibitions exploring early 1900s

Posted on: May 25th, 2023

MOBILE, Ala. – On June 16, 2023, Mobile Museum of Art will open DECADES: Looking Back/Moving Forward (1900-1919), the first in a series of exhibitions that will immerse visitors in the art, history, and innovations of the decades leading up to the sixties when MMofA first opened.

“The goal for the upcoming installations is to share works from our Collections in a manner that allows visitors to view the art from the perspective of people who were alive during the different time periods,” MMofA Executive Director Jon Carfagno says. “We have also invited our community to participate in creating the experience by sharing their collections of items that were made in these earlier times.”

MMofA will celebrate their sixtieth anniversary in October 2024. The DECADES installation, as well as the two that will follow it, will recreate what it was like to be alive then, not only experiencing political and historical events, but navigating the personal lives of work, home, family, and leisure.

The period 1900 to 1919 was a time of change in the world and in art. The Armory Show in New York City opened in 1913 and introduced many Americans to the first modern art they’d ever seen. This iteration of DECADES includes an homage to the Armory Show that will allow visitors to view works by the same artists who actually participated in the exhibition.

Also included in this installment of the Decades exhibitions are galleries exploring the country and cities as people moved from rural to urban areas for job opportunities; the changing roles of women in society leading up to winning the Constitutional right to vote; and a glimpse into how two artists with ties to Mobile remained grounded in the aesthetics of their training in more academic modes of painting.

MMofA is also planning a full slate of programming and classes inspired by the time period including screenings of films, photography classes, and more.

Support for this, and all Museum exhibitions and programs, is provided by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the City of Mobile. DECADES: Looking Back/Moving Forward (1900-1919) will be on view at Mobile Museum of Art from June 16, 2023 through November 25, 2023. For more information about this exhibition and other Museum programs, visit

PICTURED ABOVE: Erik Overbey, West Side St. Emanuel Street Looking North to Dauphin Street from Conti Street (Gayfer’s), Circa 1930. Digital reproduction photograph. From the Erik Overbey Collection, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of South Alabama.