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A Hunt Slonem Menagerie

March 3, 2023 @ 10:00 am - June 4, 2023 @ 5:00 pm

Hunt Slonem, "Mulacans", 2017. Oil on canvas. Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia. The Promised Gift of Henry and Pat Shane. ©Hunt Slonem.

Explore the magic and whimsy of A Hunt Slonem Menagerie, on display at the Morris Museum of Art through June 4, 2023. An explosion of color, this exhibition features large and small scale electric neo-expressionist oil paintings of bunnies, butterflies, and tropical birds by renowned artist Hunt Slonem.

Hunt Slonem was born in 1951 in Kittery, Maine, where his father, a submarine captain, was stationed. They moved often—Hawaii, Virginia, Connecticut, California, and Washington State—and after high school, he attended Vanderbilt University. He spent six months of his sophomore year at the University of the Americas in San Andrés Cholula in Puebla, Mexico, before transferring to Tulane University in New Orleans, where he earned a degree in painting and art history. Afterward, he took courses at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, where he came into contact with artists Louise Nevelson, Alex Katz, Alice Neel, Richard Estes, and Jack Levine.

In 1973 he moved to New York City, his principal residence ever since. At first, he worked, unhappily, as a painting teacher for the Department of Social Services. Soon, the interest and support of artist Janet Fish placed him on the path to success. In 1976 a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation enabled him to paint full-time, which led to his first solo exhibition at New York’s Harold Reed Gallery. It was followed by a major exhibition at the Fischbach Gallery, and his career was well launched. He was a meteoric success and soon became an active participant in New York’s art scene, noted for his friendships with Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, and Truman Capote.

His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prestigious galleries and museums in the United States and abroad. In this country alone, more than thirty museums have hosted exhibitions of his work.

His paintings are in important private and corporate collections all over the world, as well as the permanent collections of more than 120 museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City; and the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia.

Though a New Yorker, his ties to the South are strong. He spends a significant amount of time at historically important properties that he owns in Louisiana: Albania Plantation, on the Bayou Teche, in St. Mary’s Parish; Lakeside Plantation, built in 1832 in a remote location near the town of Batchelor; and Madewood Plantation, Napoleonville, Louisiana, which was featured in Beyoncé’s Lemonade video.


March 3, 2023 @ 10:00 am
June 4, 2023 @ 5:00 pm
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Kevin Grogan


Morris Museum of Art
1 Tenth Street
Augusta, GA 30901 United States
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