Decades: Looking Back/Moving Forward, 1900 – 1919


Looking Back/Moving Forward

1900 – 1919
June 16 – November 25, 2023

As we look forward to celebrating MMofA’s sixtieth anniversary in October 2024,  we are launching an innovative series of exhibitions that will immerse our members and visitors in the art, history, and innovations of the decades leading up to the sixties.  This trip through time is scheduled in experiential exhibitions of two decades each, and the first, 1900 – 1919 will open June 15th.

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.  Our exhibition includes an homage to the Armory Show that will allow visitors to feel as if they’ve actually walked into the 69th Regiment Armory Building on Lexington Avenue and 25th Street and are witnessing art by the same artists who actually participated in that 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 reacted to modernism.

Visitors shouldn’t worry if they can’t remember their history lessons from the first two decades of the twentieth century because we will have timelines on our walls tracing big events and what was happening in the art world at the same time.  For added flavor, we’re screening silent films in our gallery cinema, including a movie shot from a vending cart as it travels streets crowded with more carts and kids and people everywhere.

This Decades installation, as well as the two that will follow it (all leading up to the extravaganza of the 60th anniversary!), 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 as well.

Support for this exhibition is provided by:

The J.L. Bedsole Foundation
City of Mobile
Alabama State Council on the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts