Nov. 19, 2007 — Throughout the fall, the University of Virginia Art Museum has been presenting colloquia that explore themes generated by its special exhibitions focusing on what it is that makes us American and the origins of our Southern legacy. The program supports three of the museum’s exhibitions — "William Christenberry: Site/Possession," "The Dresser Trunk Project" and "The Landscape of Slavery: The Plantation in American Art." The series continues Wednesday, Dec. 5, with a talk at 5:30 p.m. by Grace Hale, Richard Guy Wilson and Scott Matthews.
The lecture, Forming American Identities: Our Southern Legacy Colloquia: “Imagining Hale County,” will focus primarily on the images and heritage of Hale County, Ala. This region is of central importance to William Christenberry, whose exhibition, "Site/Possession," is currently featured at the museum. Christenberry spent many summers as an adolescent in Hale County, a well-known Ku Klux Klan stronghold. During that time, Alabama was considered the most completely Klan-controlled state in the Union, and Christenberry’s experiences there influenced both his life and his work. "Site/Possession" explores Christenberry’s feelings about Alabama and about the South as a whole, both positive and negative. The exhibition features drawings, paintings, photographs and the famous "Klan Room Tableau," a controversial work based on his experiences with the Klan.
Hale, Wilson and Matthews will discuss the Hale County as it was and is, and how it influenced Christenberry. The region is historically significant for its relationship with the Klan and artistically significant for its influence on Christenberry and others, and both will be discussed in the lecture.
Grace Hale is an associate professor in the Corcoran Department of History at U.Va., Richard Guy Wilson a Commonwealth Professor of Architectural History at U.Va., and Scott Matthews a graduate student in the Department of History at U.Va.
The "Forming American Identities: Our Southern Legacy Colloquia" are sponsored by the UVA Council for the Arts.
The museum is open to the public without charge Tuesday through Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Parking is available on Bayly Drive, off Rugby Road.
Friday, Jan. 25, 4 p.m.
"Southern Music, American Music"
Richard Will, associate professor, and Melvin Butler, assistant professor, McIntire Department of Music, and graduate student Michael Bishop discuss the significance of Southern music.
Friday, March 28, 4 p.m.
"Writing the South"
Area writers read and discuss selections by Southern writers.