Mississippi Museum of Art Mississippi Museum of Art
Jackson, MS
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Mississippi Museum of Art
380 South Lamar Street
Jackson, MS 39201
tel. 601-960-1515 | fax 601-960-1505


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Pappy Kitchens and the Saga of Red Eye the Rooster

2019 Mississippi Invitational

Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now

A Closer Look: Silhouette Artists in Antebellum Mississippi


Pappy Kitchens and the Saga of Red Eye the Rooster
July 20 - September 29, 2019

Self-taught Mississippi artist O.W. “Pappy” Kitchens (1901-1986) painted his magnum opus, The Saga of Red Eye the Rooster, between 1973 and 1976. Kitchens’ most ambitious allegorical work, the collection consists of 60 panels, each one measuring 15 inches square and composed of mixed materials on paper. The artist presents a homespun Pilgrim’s Progress in the form of a beast fable, following Red Eye from foundling to funeral, exploring the life of this extraordinary bird. Red Eye’s quasi-human behavior inevitably maneuvers him into conflicts with antagonists of all sorts. He encounters violence, avarice, lust, greed, and most of the other seven deadly sins, dispatching them in heroic fashion until he finally succumbs to his own fatal flaw.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the book Pappy Kitchens and the Saga of Red Eye the Rooster by William Dunlap. Published in 2019 by University Press of Mississippi. Learn More Pre-order your copy by calling The Museum Store at 601.965.9939.

2019 Mississippi Invitational
June 28 - August 11, 2019

The Mississippi Invitational is a biennial survey of recent works created by contemporary visual artists living and working across the state. Artists are invited to submit their work for consideration by a guest curator to be included in the bi-annual Mississippi Invitational exhibition.

The 2019 Mississippi Invitational exhibition will feature the works of 23 Mississippi artists: G. Douglas Adams of Natchez, Kali Blakeney of Jackson, Charlie Buckley of Tupelo, Critz Campbell of West Point, Claudia Cartee of Seminary, Rory Doyle of Cleveland, Rick Fifield of Poplarville, Robin Jayne Henderson of Oxford, Ben Hillyer of Natchez, Philip Jackson of Oxford, Joseph Johnson of Natchez, Amelia Key of Jackson, Andrea Kostyal of Hattiesburg, Sodam Lee of Itta Bena, Dominic Lippillo of Starkville, Rod Moorhead of Oxford, Betty Press of Hattiesburg, Phoenix Savage of Jackson, Stephen Threlkeld of Oxford, Kristen Tordella-Williams of Jackson, Jennifer Torres of Hattiesburg, Steven Wayne of Southaven, and Brooke White of Oxford.

In addition to exhibiting in the Mississippi Invitational exhibition, all artists are eligible to apply for The Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship. The Fellowship was created in 2005 by Jane Crater Hiatt and her late husband Wood (1930-2010) in response to the need to nurture and invigorate the arts within the state. A grant of up to $20,000 is awarded to one artist who may use it for study with an individual artist or in a studio, workshop, or residency setting; to pursue projects which further artistic development and support the realization of specific creative ideas; to purchase supplies and equipment; to conduct research; and to travel. The artist is then required to donate one original work of art to the Museum from at least five works created during the two-year grant period.

The fellowship recipient is announced at a reception for the exhibiting artists before the conclusion of the exhibition.

Dr. Kimberli Gant is the McKinnon Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia. Previously she was the Mellon Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Arts of Global Africa at the Newark Museum, in Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Gant has held curatorial positions at UT’s Warfield Center for African & African Diaspora Studies (2013), The Contemporary Austin (2012), and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, New York (2005-10). She has curated numerous exhibitions including Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place (2016), De-Luxe (2012), There is No Looking Glass Here: Wide Sargasso Sea Re-Imagined (2010), and Johannesburg to New York (2008). Dr. Gant received her PhD in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin (2017) and holds both a MA and BA in Art History from Columbia University (2009) and Pitzer College (2002). Her scholarly work is published in academic books, such as Anywhere But Here: Black Intellectuals in the Atlantic World and Beyond (2015); art publications, such as NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Art Lies and African Arts; and exhibition catalogues for The Newark Museum, The Contemporary Austin, the Studio Museum of Harlem, MoCADA, Paris Photo, and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos.

The bi-annual Mississippi Invitational exhibition and catalog are supported in part by the Hiatt-Ingram Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson/Jane Hiatt.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now
April 27 - August 25, 2019

The Museum engages its visitors with art through exhibitions that often merge art making of the past with that of the present. Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now fuses the history of silhouette portraiture and its interpretation in contemporary art in beautiful and thought-provoking ways. The silhouette is an art form with a long tradition in the culture of the American South. During the 19th century, Mississippians practiced the art of silhouette making to create likenesses of themselves and family members. The silhouettes were a widely accessible medium to produce a portrait before the age of photography. Professional artists such as Auguste Edouart worked in Natchez to create silhouettes of local elites. But the silhouette was also employed to produce the image of people who were enslaved or had escaped slavery. Black Out is an important contribution toward examining the legacy of the cut paper profile through a dialogue with contemporary art. Three well-known contemporary artists, Kara Walker, Camille Utterback, and Kumi Yamashita, reexamine and reimagine the silhouette to broaden our understanding of its power in the past and in the present.

Artwork used in homepage graphic: Kumi Yamashita, Profile, 2018. wood, single light source, and cast shadow. Photograph: Erik Maahs.

This exhibition is free and open to the public. Museum Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10 AM-5 PM, and Sun., noon-5 PM

Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now has been organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and generously sponsored by the Thoma Foundation. The presentation of this exhibition in Jackson is sponsored by the Ford Foundation; Dea Dea and Dolph Baker; Visit Jackson; Visit Mississippi; the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

A Closer Look: Silhouette Artists in Antebellum Mississippi
April 27 - August 25, 2019

The presentation of Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now, an exhibition organized by the National Portrait Gallery, will be complemented by A Closer Look: Silhouette Artists in Antebellum Mississippi, a gathering of 17 additional works from the NPG as well as from the collections of Lansdowne House (Natchez), the Historic New Orleans Collection, and the Museum itself. This “focus” exhibition created by Museum Chief Curator Dr. Roger Ward, highlights works by the most famous “scissor artists” of the early 19th century during their sojourns in New Orleans, Natchez, and Vicksburg—portraits of both eminent Mississippians and of celebrities who had come South for the winter social season of 1843-1844. Some of the sitters’ names will be recognized by present-day visitors such as those of Sarah Pearce Vick, the proprietor of Nitta Yuma Plantation in Sharkey County; of Edward McGehee, a renowned and powerful jurist who presided over the immense assets of Bowling Green Plantation, near Woodville; and of Dr. Montroville Wilson Dickeson, the Philadelphia scientist who, as one of North America’s first archaeologists, organized and supervised the excavation of the majestic mounds and Grand Village of the Natchez in Adams County.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.
Museum Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10 AM-5 PM, and Sun., noon-5 PM

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