TROY, Wiregrass Museum of Art awarded grant for exhibit, lectures

Posted: Friday, 19 June 2009

DOTHAN—The Archives of Wiregrass History and Culture (AWHC) at Troy University’s Dothan Campus and the Wiregrass Museum of Art have been awarded a nearly $1,800 grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation to co-host the “Alabama Illustrated” exhibit and accompanying lectures.

The exhibit will be displayed in the Library/Technology Building at the Dothan Campus from Oct. 1 through Nov. 15. It features 30 reproductions of 19th century American magazines, including Harper’s and Frank Leslie’s Weekly, depicting scenes from Alabama.

Designed for primarily northern audiences, the images examine southern life within an emerging sectionalized political and cultural framework that changed over the century.

“This award strengthens the ties between Troy University and the cultural community of the Wiregrass through its partnership with the Wiregrass Museum of Art, and with the people of the region by providing a high quality exhibition and discussions of ongoing themes that effect our lives and pique our interest,” said Dr. Martin T. Ollif, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the AWHC.

The AWHC and the Museum will also jointly host lectures by Jim Baggett and Dr. Graham Boettcher to accompany the exhibit. The lectures will address themes of modernism, industrialization and race relations, as well as visual culture and perception, pertaining to the South in the late 19th century.

Bagget, head of the Birmingham Public Library Archives, will speak on Oct. 8. He will present “Old South/New South: Looking at Alabama through the Eyes of the 19th-Century Press,” a talk that uses images and text to examine how national newspaper coverage of Alabama evolved in the 19th century from portrayals of an exotic antebellum South, to a wartime enemy, and finally to a modern New South.

On Oct. 29, Boettcher, the William Hulsey Curator of American Art, will deliver “Depicting Dixie: Alabama in 19th-Century American Visual Culture.” The lecture examines the images of Alabama and the Deep South in the popular media of 19th century America and discusses how these images helped to shape popular attitudes and misconceptions about the region.

The Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, supports projects that engage the public in discussion about humanities, but does not endorse any particular viewpoint expressed by the lecturers.