NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The Terra Foundation for American Art has announced the awarding of nearly $2.5 million in grants to 35 arts and cultural organizations in the United States, including Ogden Museum of Southern Art. These grants support projects through the foundation’s new two-year exhibition grant initiative, “Re-envisioning Permanent Collections: An Initiative for U.S. Museums.” Awarded $75,000 from The Terra Foundation, in 2023, Ogden Museum will present a collection re-installation titled The New Story of the South: A 20th Anniversary Exhibition.
The New Story of the South: A 20th Anniversary Exhibition will draw from Ogden Museum’s permanent collection to trace the history of the visual arts of the American South from the early-19th century to the present. Spanning all five floors of the museum, this exhibition will be organized chronologically by movement and genre.
“Building upon the grand opening exhibition of the collection in 2003, this iteration will seek to dispel antiquated stereotypes, promote inclusivity and representation, and examine under-represented artists’ contributions – in consideration of the indomitable presence of place,” says William Pittman Andrews, Executive Director of Ogden Museum.
“The New Story of the South will illustrate how the collection and the adjacent scholarship has grown to more fully represent the diversity of the region while honestly engaging the complicated and often tragic history of the South,” says Bradley Sumrall, Curator of the Collection. “It will trace how artists in the American South – with every developing art movement – responded with a characteristic blend of tradition and innovation.”
Drawing inspiration from Ralph Ellison, who said “knowing where we are has a lot to do with our knowing who we are,” this exhibition will provide a portrait of place. With a geographic region spanning from Baltimore to Miami to El Paso, The New Story of the South will highlight the diversity of the South – its histories, cultures and proximate traditions – offering a view of Southern identity that is inclusive and representative of its people. The exhibition seeks to further examine the critical role that museums can play in confronting the past, embracing the future and being a bridge for the reconciliation of both.
Subjects that will be explored through the exhibition and associated programming include women in Southern abstraction, photography of the Civil Rights Movement, LGBTQ+ artists in the deep South, the immigrant experience in the American South, and the role of art in developing community. A series of lectures and discussions will support this exhibition, both online and in-person.