Archives for February 2015

Friends of the Museum

by Lynn Wilkins

Every art institution needs a cadre within its community: people to pitch in, provide support, ideas, and connections—a highly engaged group of volunteers who care deeply about the work, who want to participate in the life of the institution. For UMM, this cadre is Friends of the University Museum.

Friends works to connect people to the Museum and to a broader arts community, to deepen the conversation about art, and to support the Museum financially, especially in the areas of education and acquisition. Here are some of the things we’ve done in recent months to accomplish just that.

Connect: Memphis Art Trip

In August, some of the artists involved in Friends—Carlyle Wolfe, Terry Lynn, and Zach Tutor—organized a trip to Memphis to explore some of the arts scene there. We prowled around the appropriately named Medicine Factory, a refurbished 1912 factory that now offers exhibition and studio space. One artist there, Maysey Craddock, showed us her work, which uses alternative materials and techniques to interpret modern rural Southern landscapes that elude traditional representation but still draw upon natural forms to evoke home and place.

From there we visited Marshall Arts Studios, formerly an auto-body shop on the edge of downtown, now an important arts exhibition and studio space in town. Our own Terry Lynn has his studio there, and he, along with other MA artists, introduced us to a wide variety of art forms, styles, and perspectives. From Marshall Arts, we walked across the street to the studio of noted sculptor Greely Myatt, who was finishing a body of work for a gallery show. Greely’s current work involves ideas about communication, often using a comic-strip/thought-bubble approach, and his easy-going personality and humor made it even more fun to engage with his work.

David Lusk welcomed us to his eponymous gallery, walking us through the current show and pulling less frequently seen work from his store of paintings in the back, while discussing the role of a regional gallery and Memphis’s uniquely sophisticated taste for contemporary art. Afterwards, the group enjoyed lunch at the Brooks Museum and a rare tour of the Museum by director Cameron Kitchin, now at the helm of the Cincinnati Art Museum.

The trip offered a chance to understand how and why Memphis has more than its share of working artists enlivening and enriching that city.  

W. Ralph Eubanks

W. Ralph Eubanks

Deepen: W. Ralph Eubanks Speaks on Our Faith Affirmed

As part of UMM’s milestone exhibition, Our Faith Affirmed – Works from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection, Friends pledged financial and volunteer support to help mount a series of associated programs. W. Ralph Eubanks, editor of Virginia Quarterly Review, presented the first event in the “Conversations” series, They Let Their Buckets Down: A Discussion of Our Faith Affirmed.

A native Mississippian, Mr. Eubanks recalled the fullness of his experience growing up in the rural south, and in so doing added context to the Southern self-taught artists’ work. He said he was overwhelmed by the power and beauty of the artworks and spoke about the themes and choices that make the pieces so compelling.

Mr. Eubanks encouraged the audience to consider the emotion, the message, and the aesthetic imbued by the artists, and not to allow often distracting biographical details to complicate their response. Viewed in its entirety, Our Faith Affirmed offers a perspective on the region’s richness and complexity, and Mr. Eubanks’s lecture brought that richness and complexity into focus.

Support: Harvest Supper


Lane McCluer holds up a painting by Robert Malone which was auctioned off at Harvest Supper.


Harvest Supper features unforgettable and unique live entertainment.


Guests enjoying Harvest Supper.


Guests enjoying Harvest Supper.


The third annual Harvest Supper on the grounds of Rowan Oak was proof that this Oxford event has grown into a one-of-a-kind tradition. Rowan Oak never looked more beautiful than it did on a gorgeous fall night under a canopy of string lights and chandeliers, with farm tables featuring bouquets of native flowers and vintage china. The buffet tables overflowed with local, seasonal dishes, and the full bars featured a regional cocktail created especially for Harvest Supper.

The University of Mississippi Steel Drum Band, led by Ricky Burkhead, the up-and-coming band And the Echo, and Dent May entertained guests late into the night. Guests from all around Mississippi and the country mixed with Oxford residents and regulars. Old and young, traditional and edgy—the eclectic mix of partygoers elevated the mood for a memorable night.

Robert Malone, Jason Bouldin, and Bill Dunlap donated paintings to be auctioned. Their generosity, and that of the highest bidders, made Harvest Supper even more successful. With great pride and pleasure, Friends of the Museum will use these funds to support specific needs of the University Museum.

Looking to the Future

In the coming months, the Friends are looking forward to engaging folks even more deeply in the life of our outstanding museum, and in an ongoing conversation about art. Look for more Art Trips, Conversations, events related to the much-anticipated remounting of the Robinson Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities, and Harvest Supper. Check our page on the Museum’s website and let us know how you’d like to get involved.

Museum Advocates Remembered

The University Museum is deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of Marty Vinograd and Joan Lutkin Stevens. Both women were active supporters of the Museum and of arts and culture initiatives throughout the community.

Joan Lutkin Stevens

With her husband, Forrest Stevens, Joan became instrumental in creating the Richton, MS Arts Council. Serving an active, artistic, and philanthropic role across Richton, Laurel and Hattiesburg, she was honored with an appearance in the First Edition of Outstanding Young Women of America. Joan served on the board of the Mississippi Art Association for many years.

In 2004, Joan and W. Forrest Stevens gifted 45 pieces of their art collection to the University Museum. The artists in the collection range from William Dunlap and Bess Dawson, to Alexander Calder and Andy Warhol. This generous gift enriches the Museum’s 20th century American art collections. Joan passed away September 7, 2014 in Dallas, Texas and is survived by her husband, twin daughters, two grandchildren and two half-brothers.

Marty Vinograd

Marty Vinograd was a prominent artist whose portraits and collages earned her awards and honors from Los Angeles to France. Many of her pieces were whimsical, thoughtful and infused with deep appreciation and meaning.

Her definitive Faulkner collage hangs in the mezzanine of the University of Mississippi’s Outreach Center. Her commissioned depictions of epic Civil War moments, Israeli prime ministers, and political figures have been showcased internationally. Three of her “Persian Tree” series are held in the permanent collection of the Seymour Lawrence Gallery of American Art at the University Museum. Marty passed away July 16, 2014 in Austin, Texas and is survived by her husband, sister, four children, nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

If you would like to contribute in honor of Joan Lutkin Stevens or Marty Vinograd, contact Angela Barlow Brown at the UM Foundation at 662.915.3181 or Gifts may also may be made by mailing a check to the University Museum, P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677, noting the Marty Vinograd or Joan Lutkin Stevens memorial gifts, or by clicking here.

Rowan Oak News


Tim Youd

Tim Youd retypes The Sound and the Fury

Tim Youd retypes The Sound and the Fury

Performance artist Tim Youd came to Rowan Oak this summer and typed William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. During his time at Rowan Oak, Tim greeted visitors and answered questions concerning his goal to type 100 American novels in places of historical significance to the novel or the author. Tim types on the same make and model of typewriter that the author used, and while at Rowan Oak, he typed on an Underwood Portable model. In order to make the experience more unique and meaningful for Tim, a replica of William Faulkner’s desk was made by local craftsman, Tom Lutken. The Friends of the Museum threw a mint julep party on the east lawn of Rowan Oak after Youd’s performance was complete. It was a memorable event that everyone enjoyed. You can learn more about Tim Youd, and his inspiring project by visiting his website.

Lower Garden Renovation

The lower garden renovation, funded by Evelyn and Michael Jefcoat, is nearly complete. The original concrete slab was replaced and the upper brick section was restored since the last newsletter. An erosional gulley has been corrected and the improved water flow should ensure the renovation will last. The project needs final landscaping touches, which will probably be planted in the spring. Some steps may be necessary to reach the lower garden safely. Overall, the renovation went very smoothly. Denny Buchannon from the University of Mississippi’s Physical Plant helped in arranging materials, workmen and a fine landscape architect named Andy Renyolds. Many of you may remember his father, Ole Miss Geology professor, Dr. Bill Renyolds, who used to be on the Museum’s board. Please come and enjoy the lower garden when you next visit Rowan Oak.


Rowan Oak is fortunate to have Elizabeth Trollinger as a graduate assistant this semester. Elizabeth and student worker, Marya Paolillo are working hard to complete an inventory of the books at Rowan Oak. Ole Miss graduate students Sarah and Andrew Thomas, Henry Wise, Sarah Altenhoff, Ryan Charlton and John Lee Thomas help Rowan Oak flourish as one of the best tourist attractions in Oxford. We couldn’t do what we do without them. We are very thankful for their superb efforts.

Trail News

Eagle Scout candidate Luke Kelly is hard at work improving our beloved Bailey’s Woods trail. His Eagle Scout project is to improve signage, fix and maintain a few problem areas, and plan and install an activity to be completed while walking the trail. It is surprising how many people use the trail and these improvements will go a long way in helping them enjoy their time in the little big woods that the Faulkner family loved so much. Long time Rowan Oak advocate and craftsman, Tom Lukten, is supervising Luke and we wish him the best of luck on his ambitious plan. Did you know that William Faulkner was also a Scout Master in the 1920’s? It is nice to see the tradition continue.

New Educational Partners and Programs

Horizons at the University of Mississippi


042In addition to the Museum’s morning summer campers and Passport to Art day care participants, the Museum hosted 45 Horizons students in grades K-2 each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon this summer. For six weeks, participants traveled back in time and explored new cultures and art as they connected with exhibits and stories and created their own art projects. Horizons is a full-day summer learning program that combines academics including reading, literacy, and STEM activities, with enrichment and recreational activities. This unique program will add a new grade level each year until students in grades K-8 are reached to help eliminate summer learning loss for underserved students. The Museum’s educational team looks forward to continuing to grow this partnership each year as students return and experience new exhibits and activities.

050Horizons Director Emma Tkachuck says, “The UM Museum has been one of Horizons’ key partners from the beginning, and we are incredibly grateful for all of the support. The Museum provides valuable experiences for our students, working with a variety of mediums and connecting the activities to the exhibits. Reading and literacy are main components of the Horizons program and the UM Museum does an excellent job of incorporating literacy concepts into the lessons and provides tools for our teachers to use to build important connections. Our Horizons students absolutely love the variety of activities and have brought some very special artwork home to their families! We could not provide our students with such a quality of art programming without the incredible UM Museum staff.”

057On October 11, 2014, we had a unique opportunity to reconnect with our summer Horizons participants as the program organized a school-year reunion that featured a Theora Hamblett inspired printmaking activity at the Museum.

If you are interested in learning more or supporting Horizons, you can contact Emma Tkachuck at or 662-915-2713, or visit the Horizons website. You can also like Horizons at UM on Facebook!

Milkshake Mash-Up

Milkshake_graphicThe Museum launched a new program this fall aimed at reaching students in grades 6-12 with a fun-filled monthly workshop that mashes up two different artists or themes into one fun art project. While they are mixing art themes, participants also get the opportunity to make their own milkshakes with delicious mix-ins. This has quickly become a popular program, and it has been wonderful to see the art room packed with teens listening to music, sipping on milkshakes, and engaging with the Museum. Click here for Spring 2014 Milkshake Mash-up dates!

Time Travel Family Activity Day


Time Travel Family Day!

Saturday, February 28, 2014
10:00 a.m. – noon (DROP IN)

Cost: Free

All ages are welcome (children must be accompanied by an adult)!

Pre-registration is not required!

Come travel through time with the University Museum as we explore a different time period in each classroom with hands-on activities and art projects. This family day is drop-in and fun for all ages!

This Family Activity Day is generously sponsored by:
The Children's Dental Center Oxford

The Antiquities Reinstallation Project

Buie gallery rendering

Buie gallery rendering

In spring 2013, the Museum began the development of a major project that will introduce a state of the art redesign and reinstallation of its Greek and Roman Antiquities Collection.

Lekythos vase

Lekythos vase

The project team includes both Museum staff and Classics Department faculty. Additionally, the Museum has also engaged a national design consultant, Alchemy Studio, and Project Manager Melanie Munns.

The collection will be installed in the four neoclassical gallery spaces of the Museum’s original 1939 building. This larger space will allow the Museum to triple the volume of objects on view. Currently the collection numbers over 2,000 objects with only 137 objects on display.

The expanded exhibition will include touch-friendly technology for children and adults (a first in our museum’s history), new display casework, enhanced on-site study access for students, faculty and the general public, and improved gallery security. The Museum will also initiate a digitization project to increase internet-based access to the Collection.

Educational impacts and benefits to youth and families of the region, to university students and faculty, and the Museum’s diverse public audiences cannot be overstated.

The Museum is currently developing resources and identifying funding partners to undertake this world-class reinstallation that will further enhance the name of the University of Mississippi Museum among the great national repositories of collections from classical antiquity.

Bloomingdale’s Fashion Touchdown

Helmet by Alexis Bittar.

Helmet by Alexis Bittar

August 1, 2014 – January 17, 2015

In celebration of Super Bowl XLVIII and in support of the National Football League, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Bloomingdale’s have teamed up on a unique collaboration of customized football helmets created by a slew of CFDA members. The 48 helmets were auctioned off from January 15, 2014–February 4, 2014 with 100% of the net proceeds benefitting the NFL Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football.

The University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses successfully bid and won 3 of the one-of-a-kind helmets that are currently on display, by artists Lela Rose, Fenton/Fallon, and Alexis Bittar. The Museum is showcasing photographs of the remaining 45 helmets and is the only museum in the country to have the helmets on display.

All photos in Exhibit:
Director of Photography: Topher Scott
Lighting: Mark Glenn
Digital: Brenna Morlock
Producer: Robert Forgione
Production: Splashlight Productions

A Light Passage, works by Lee Renninger


Le Jardin de la Pâtisserie. Vitreous china, glaze and decals.


August 26, 2014 – February 14, 2015

Lee Renninger

Lee Renninger

Mississippi, ceramics-based, installation artist, Lee Renninger, has been creating work that treats clay as fabric by transforming it into works that are soft and fluid. Renninger’s newest exhibition, A Light Passage, at the University of Mississippi Museum is a floor-based ceramic installation, which features pieces from her Botanica series, using elements of the garden to celebrate wonder and mystery.

Renninger created the pieces featured in A Light Passage during her Arts/Industry residency program at John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in Spring 2014. The ceramic shapes that are colorful and stacked along the Lower Skipwith Gallery floor are created from familiar Jell-O and bundt cake molds, with bright marbles incorporated throughout.

“This exhibition is unique in the work, being a floor based installation and offering visitors the opportunity to view each piece of A Light Passage in the round,” says Collections Manager Marti Funke.

Lee Renninger currently resides in Gulfport, Mississippi. She received her BFA and MFA from the University of Florida. She has exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Mint Museum, and the Sidney Meyer International Ceramics Competition in Victoria, Australia, among others. Her work was most recently published in The Ceramics Bible by Louisa Taylor and Contemporary Ceramics by Emmanuel Cooper. It is held in both public and private collections, including those of Kohler Company, Fidelity Investments, Ally Bank and The Shepparton. Commissions include: the Potawatomi Hotel in Milwaukee, the French Quarter Hiatt in New Orleans and the St. Regis in Atlanta-Buckhead.

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Buie Bacchanalia

Buie Bacchanalia


Join the Friends of the Museum for food, wine, and revelry as we celebrate the opening of the first Gallery of the Mary Buie wing.

Proceeds from this event will help fund the reinstallation of the Greek and Roman Antiquities.

Cocktails at 6:30 p.m.
Dinner seating at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets $150 each

Wine pairings provided courtesy of Magnolia Wine and Spirits
Food provided by The Main Event/City Grocery Restaurant Group
Entertainment by the Lilac Performance Collective

RSVP at 662.915.7073 or email