Self Taught Portraits


OCTOBER 4, 2022 – APRIL 15, 2023

The selected works in this exhibit share the diversity of portraiture.  Whether it is a famous subject like Martin Luther King Jr., or an unknown caricature of a Jackson reporter we cannot resist the natural inclination to study a human face as a central theme. 


Untitled (Self-Portrait), unknown date

Ethel Wright Mohamed, (b. Mississippi, 1906-1992)
Applique; cotton, lace, embroidery thread
H. 36.5 x 24.25 inches, framed
Gift of William Reynold Ferris and Marcie Cohen Ferris








Blurred Lines


October 25, 2022 -August 8, 2023

This exhibit features works from the W. Forrest and Joan Stevens Collection, including Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and Alexander Calder, that disrupted the status quo in art, from modernism into the postmodernism movement. 







Sliced Tomato

Gene GoldenW. Forrest and Joan Stevens Collection2004.6.39

Construction, 1972Alexander Calder (American, 1898–1976)original color lithograph93/100 edition, signedW. Forrest and Joan Stevens Collection2004.6.12



Works by Earl Dismuke

OCTOBER 11, 2022 – APRIL 8, 2023

Circular sculpture in black on a white background

Toro (Uncle Bull), 2022

Earl Dismuke, a Mississippi native, is an abstract expressionist sculptor who gathers and assembles discarded material, mostly metal. Like a Rorschach test for the viewer, his resulting sculptures may evoke playful nostalgia, while others are slightly unsettling and prickly. This is Earl Dismuke’s first solo museum exhibit. 

Though the exhibit has ended, you can still view Gathering in our online exhibitions.

The Fall of 1962

Burning Cars, Marleah Kaufman Hobbs 1963 


AUGUST 2, 2022 – JULY 8, 2023

A Collection of Artifacts and Stories of the Ole Miss Riot
On October 1, 1962, the University of Mississippi was officially integrated with the admission of its first African American student James Meredith. The images, personal accounts, and artifacts in this exhibit exemplify the infamous and deadly Ole Miss Riot, a final segregationist opposition to Meredith’s year-long battle for admission. In the days preceding this event, U.S. Marshals were sent to ensure Meredith’s admission but were repeatedly denied. As Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett continued to publicly disobey federal authority, more military forces arrived on campus in anticipation of a brewing conflict. As dusk fell on September 30, 1962, the eve of Meredith’s registration for the Fall Semester, the angry mob who had gathered at the Lyceum turned violent. They raided the science buildings for chemicals and acids and created Molotov cocktails to throw at the guards. Bricks, concrete, and glass from the nearby construction site of the new science building, Shoemaker Hall, became projectiles and brickbats. The riot continued through the night, only to be subdued after another 13,000 troops arrived in the early morning. Jukebox repair man Ray Gunter, 23 and French journalist, Paul Guihard, were killed, and at least 200 troops and marshals were injured. Finally, on Monday, October 1, 1962, U.S. Marshals successfully escorted Meredith to register for classes at the Lyceum Building. However, the threat wasn’t over; marshals remained stationed in Oxford, MS to escort Meredith to and from his classes and meals for the next year. Persisting through constant taunts and fear of violence, Meredith graduated on August 18, 1963, with a degree in political science. Through his bravery and perseverance Meredith became an inspirational leader of the American civil rights movement. A statue of James Meredith, erected on campus in 2006, now commemorates the integration of the University of Mississippi, and the site of the riot is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

60 years of Integration Logo

The Paintings of John McCrady


The Square, 1968

MARCH 22 – JULY 23, 2022

Born on September 11, 1911, John McCrady was born in Canton, Mississippi, and with few exceptions, remained a Southern artist. He lived in Oxford, MS when his father got a job as a Philosophy professor at the University. At the age of 21, McCrady attended the New Orleans School of Art’s Arts and Crafts Club. He also studied at the New York Art Students League and at the University of Pennsylvania. After marrying Mary Basso in 1939, he opened the John McCrady School of Art. During his career, McCrady worked for the Federal Art Project, painting a mural on the Amory, MS post office, as well as other federal buildings. He also created a series of war posters under the Works Progress Administration, though those posters received such negative criticism that McCrady took a decade long break from consistent art production. When he began to paint again, his work focused more on New Orleans, Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, and Southern rural life, forgoing his previous attentions to the Southern Black community. His works are housed in the Georgia Museum of Art, the Saint Louis Art Museum, Louisiana State Museum, University of Mississippi Museum. Before his death in 1968, McCrady finished three murals for the Bank of Oxford.

Theora Hamblett: Holy Symbols

Butterfly With Exploded Wing, 1959, oil on canvas

Butterfly With Exploded Wing, 1959



Theora Hamblett’s work is often recognized for the colorful scenes of rural Mississippi or children playing games from her childhood memories series. Lesser known, however, are Hamblett’s symbolic paintings inspired, in part, by the dreams and visions she experienced during her last 25 years. Theora Hamblett: Holy Symbols showcases a range of her paintings, drawings, and mosaics that depict the symbols that were so important to her and her faith.

Immaginazioni Fantastiche: The Ancient World of Piranesi

Print of Piranesi, the interior of the Basilica di S. Pietro in Vaicano

NOVEMBER 16, 2021 – JULY 30, 2022

The Ancient World of Piranesi explores the 18th century etchings by Italian architect, archaeologist, and artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Using his unique genius and diverse skills he created fantastical Roman scenes that both inspired awe and assisted in his efforts to preserve and restore classical ruins.

Jacob Hashimoto

The Other Sun

The Other Sun by Jacob Hashimoto

The Other Sun

AUGUST 17, 2021 – SEPTEMBER 3, 2022

Whether it be small intricate drawings or massive hovering forms consisting of thousands of kite-like discs, Jacob Hashimoto playfully balances the dichotomies he observes in landscapes and constructed virtual worlds. Exhibit is on view at both the University Museum and Rowan Oak.

The Speaking Image

War bond 1918 poster by J.C. Leyendecker

War bond poster, 1918. J.C. Leyendecker


The Speaking Image highlights commercial art from the Museum’s permanent collection. Commercial artwork is typically commissioned and meant for mass printing and consumption, with the goal of illustrating or enhancing a message or story. High frequency and volume of production meant that these images captured the events and culture shifts as they occurred leaving a lasting commentary of their place in history.

The Tradition of African American Quilt-Making

Southern African American quilts are one of the purest forms of southern folk art. It is a craft handed down for generations, often done communally, that represents family, region, and the love of its maker/s. Born from necessity, where resources are limited, it is a way to reuse scraps of cloth. Although most quilters typically adhere to patterns, the competitive spirit of southern folk artists often sparked spontaneity, experimentation, and creative choices in color and print that manifested into individual artistic voices.