Marilyn Murphy
Dale Kennington, Gospel Sing, 1997. Oil on canvas. Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia.
Purchased with funds from the 2016 Southern, Soul and Song Series.

Acquired and Restored: Recent Additions to the Permanent Collection

Since its founding, the Morris Museum of Art has been a very active collector. The museum’s collection was built upon a foundation established in 1989, when William S. Morris III purchased 230 paintings from Dr. Robert Powell Coggins, a vastly informed and purposeful collector who had assembled a museum-quality collection of Southern art over twenty-five years. Not long after that transaction, Coggins died. In his will, he directed nearly one thousand additional works of art to the Morris Museum. Now, twenty-eight years later, the Coggins holdings still make up nearly twenty-five percent of the museum’s permanent collection.

The present exhibition emphasizes work acquired in the recent past, including landscape paintings by Max Weyl, De Lancey Walker Gill, and Ellen Axson Wilson, as well as more contemporary paintings by Rolland Golden, Steffen Thomas, Vincencia Blount, and Edward Kellogg and sculpture by Anita Huffington and Roger Dane. There are entirely new areas of collecting interest revealed here, including pottery and studio art glass. Remarkably, nearly all of these additions to the permanent collection are gifts. And that reflects yet another new set of supportive friendships, including those of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman, Hathia and Andy Hayes, the family of Steffen Thomas, and many others.

James Michalopoulos
Hattie Saussy, Girl in Red, Perry County, Alabama, 1935. Oil on
board. Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia.

Hattie Saussy: The Rediscovery of an Artist
OCTOBER 21, 2017–JANUARY 21, 2018

Organized by curator John Daniel Tilford for the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, this exhibition provides an overview of the career of one of Georgia’s most important twentieth-century artists, Hattie Saussy.

Born in Savannah in 1890, she began making art at an early age under the tutelage of Mrs. G. A. Wilkins and her daughter Emma Cheves Wilkins, as well as Lila Cabaniss. She attended Mary Baldwin Seminary (now Mary Baldwin College) in Virginia but left after only a year to pursue focused studies at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (now the Parsons School of Design), the National Academy of Design School (now the National Academy School), and the Art Students League in New York City. In 1913 she left for Europe, where she studied and traveled until the outbreak of World War I forced her to return home.

In 1921, after a brief stint working in Washington, D.C., and teaching at the Chatham Episcopal Institute (now Chatham Hall) in Virginia, she returned to Savannah, where she lived for the rest of her life. A force in the city’s artistic community, she was a successful painter of portraits, genre scenes, and landscapes. Her emphasis on the momentary effects of color and light identifies her as one of the South’s leading impressionists. Saussy died in Savannah in 1978 at the age of eighty-seven.

James Michalopoulos
Jonathan Green, The Congregation, 1990. Oil on canvas. ©Jonathan
Green. Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia. Purchased with
funds from Julia J. Norrell and the 2004 Morris Museum of Art Gala.

Jonathan Green: Selections from the Permanent Collection
OCTOBER 4, 2017–JANUARY 28, 2018

Born and raised in the South Carolina low country, Jonathan Green graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1982. He has sustained a very successful career ever since. His paintings can be found in major museum, corporate, and private collections around the world. He is represented in the Morris Museum’s permanent collection by nearly forty works of art.

Considered by many to be one of the most influential and important painters of the Southern experience, Jonathan Green captures a sense of time and place in all of his work. His interpretation of Gullah culture and African American life in the coastal Southeast, often expressed most directly through pattern and color, has earned him great critical acclaim and commercial success.

Although Green may occasionally take poetic license with his low-country subjects, his paintings reflect an authentic understanding of Gullah tradition. Informed by a deep appreciation of African, Haitian, and symbolist art, Green is renowned for his use of color as a symbolic and emotional element in his work. In his paintings, works on paper, and sculpture, he has integrated and employed essential elements of American culture.

Jonathan Green lives and works in Charleston, South Carolina.

James Michalopoulos
Edward Dufner, Lady in Pink, 1911. Oil on canvas. Helena
Eastman Ogden Campbell Collection, Wesleyan College, Macon,
GA. Adopted by Wesleyan College Trustee Dennie McCrary and
restored through the Adopt-a-Painting program.

American Paintings from the Collection of Wesleyan College
MAY 27–SEPTEMBER 3, 2017

This beautiful exhibition, drawn from the collection of Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, features late nineteenth and early twentieth century paintings by many of the leading artists of the era. The core of Wesleyan’s collection was donated to the college during the 1930s–1950s by distinguished painter and Wesleyan alumna Helena Eastman Ogden Campbell (1879–1964). Mrs. Campbell, who was born in Eastman, Georgia, graduated from Wesleyan shortly after the turn of the century. After her graduation she went to Paris to study with Lucien Simon before moving to New York, where she opened a studio and embarked on a long and successful career as a portrait painter. She also painted landscapes and still lifes. In 1934 she began to contribute to Wesleyan her own paintings and paintings that she had collected during her years in New York and Paris, and she encouraged her friends to do the same. The collection remains a testament to her commitment to painting and collecting and her leadership in the New York arts community.

The more than thirty paintings included in the exhibition offer a window into the styles and techniques taught at some of the most prestigious studios of New York City and Europe during the early 1900s. The collection, though highly personal in nature, is reflective of major trends, albeit of a conservative sort, in American art of the period.

Billie Ruth Sudduth
Robin Hill, Little Blue Heron and Common Egret (center panel of a
triptych), 1987. Watercolor and gouache on paperboard. Morris
Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia.

Paintings by Robin Hill

Born in Australia in 1932 and raised in England, Robin Hill developed a passion for the natural world and keen powers of observation in his youth—both qualities that are reflected in his work. His first exhibition of bird paintings, a huge critical and commercial success, in Melbourne, was quickly followed by exhibitions in Sydney, Johannesburg, London, New York, and other cities in Australia and the United States.

A longtime resident of Washington, D.C., he continues to pursue a successful career as one of the world’s most distinguished naturalist-artists. He is represented in the Morris Museum’s permanent collection by more than two hundred paintings.

Joseph DiGiorgio
Joseph DiGiorgio, Alabama Series 90-27, undated. Oil pastel on
paper. Courtesy of the Estate of Joseph DiGiorgio.

Joseph DiGiorgio: The Alabama Series
JULY 1–OCTOBER 8, 2017

Joseph DiGiorgio was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1931, the son of Italian immigrants. During the 1950s he studied at Cooper Union in New York City and with Hans Hofmann in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Although he did not have his first solo show in New York until 1975, his work had been exhibited widely and steadily elsewhere, beginning in the late 1950s.

He was perhaps best known for a series of two hundred paintings he made of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, fifty for each season. His work is represented in public, private, and corporate collections all over the country, including that of the Morris Museum of Art. Joseph DiGiorgio died in New York City in 2000.

Billie Ruth Sudduth
Richard Royal, Vase, 1989. Blown and cased iridescent
glass. Courtesy of Brunk Auctions.

Contemporary Studio Art Glass from the Collection of Eugene Fleischer

The history of the studio glass movement in America is relatively brief. In fact, it’s barely more than fifty years old, dating back to demonstrations conducted by Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962. The historical context for its beginnings, the Cold War era, is endlessly interesting.

In this, the second exhibition that the Morris Museum has organized from his collection, we have once again—for reasons of coherence (and with a nod toward the limitations of space)—kept the selection to American glass artists. Among those whose work is now on display are Harvey Littleton, the founder of America’s modern studio art glass movement, Dan Dailey, Rollin Karg, and Tommie Rush—all of them represented by examples of their work that have never been exhibited before.

This is the first installation in what is planned as a continuing display of studio art glass from the Fleischer Collection. The collection will be on indefinite display and, periodically, will be refreshed with other pieces from the collection.

>Past Exhibitions

Bookmark and Share

Museum Hours: Tuesday–Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. • Sunday: Noon–5:00 p.m. • Closed Mondays and major holidays.
Visit the Morris at 1 Tenth Street • Augusta, Georgia 30901 • p. 706-724-7501 • f. 706-724-7612

Augusta Ga smithsonian gca