New Symphony of Time
Opens September 7, 2019
Benny Andrews (1930-2006), "Mississippi River Bank (Trail of Tears Series)," 2005. oil on canvas with painted fabric collage. 70 x 50.5 in. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Museum purchase with W.K. Kellogg Foundation funds for the Center for Art & Public Exchange. 2018.005. © 2018 Estate of Benny Andrews/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York.
Jeffrey Gibson (b. 1972), "Sharecropper," 2015. repurposed punching bag, glass beads, oxidized copper beads, artificial sinew, steel. 30 x 12.5 x 12.5 in. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Museum purchase with W.K. Kellogg Foundation funds for the Center for Art & Public Exchange. 2017.098. © 2018 Jeffrey Gibson; Courtesy of Marc Straus Gallery, New York.
In the Gertrude C. Ford Galleries for The Permanent Collection
New Symphony of Time expands the boundaries of Mississippi’s identity, casting light on a shared past to help reflect an expansive, more inclusive future. To imagine a new way of engaging with art about Mississippi, phrases from Margaret Walker’s heroic poem “This Is My Century: Black Synthesis of Time” organize the exhibition into thematic areas that call forth ancestral wisdom, the strength of sheer survival, and the power of imagination to create a more harmonious world.
Drawn primarily from the Museum’s permanent collection, the initial installation features spaces exploring Ancestry; Home; Environment; Migration and Diaspora; Equity and Civil Rights; Rhythm and Movement; Identity; and Ritual and Remembrance. Though each gallery follows a particular narrative thread, certain ideas resonate throughout, such as personal and collective memory, history and the connection to place, and the roles artists play in pursuit of civil rights and racial equity.
Contemporary pieces acquired through the Museum’s Center for Art and Public Exchange with support from W.K. Kellogg, such as Benny Andrews’ Mississippi River Bank and Jeffrey Gibson’s Sharecropper, are placed “in conversation” with works such as pieced quilts, historical paintings, and self-taught artwork, which provide the visitor with an alternate lens from which to consider the significant creative contributions of the state of Mississippi and its place as part of a broader, American narrative.
This ongoing exhibition of the permanent collection lays the groundwork for an ever-evolving visitor experience that includes transparency of the exhibition process, allowing the curatorial team and our community the unique opportunity to explore new creative strategies, identify new artists, and continue to expand on themes as time goes on.
This exhibition is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.