If you read the title above and thought “Oh, no, not another art museum,” you’ll probably skim through today’s subject. But before I leave Huntsville, Alabama’s attractions, I feel the need to give a special commendation to the Huntsville Museum of Art for 5 reasons. No, make that 6. I liked it (4 compass) but Ruth loved it.
HMA has an unusually civic-minded staff and dedicated volunteers who really care about this project. While I wandered through HMA, for example, the woman at the reception desk gathered a virtual media kit for me and spoke enthusiastically about her Museum’s diverse programs despite the fact that it was closing time. Now that’s dedication.
HMA is in its 2nd year of offering what is called the “Voices of Our Times” series. New Executive Director Christopher Madkour brought the idea with him from the Southern Vermont Arts Center that he oversaw for 22 years. Two of this year’s four speakers are actress Ali MacGraw and media icon/author Tom Brokaw, who will be in Huntsville in August, 2013. Last year’s speakers included Gloria Vanderbilt. Madkour is passionate about what he calls “an emotionally charged” photography exhibition, the upcoming “Memories of World War II” that opens August 3, 2013.
One of HMA’s better displays is the Betty Grisham Collection of Buccellati Animals. Unlike Betty, neither Ruth nor I knew about this Italian designing family that produces the finest of fine jewelry, watches, elaborate silver animals, etc. You won’t see this many Buccellati animals anywhere else in the USA. I liked them. Ruth loved them.
Someone with pull at HMA likes museum-quality art glass, so there’s quite a lot of that on display, even one small Chihuly. Ruth especially loved the red and yellow to gold vase above that seemed to float. She insisted that I take a picture of it. I liked it.
The Heritage Quilters of Huntsville is an especially active and talented 200 member group that gets to display its work in HMA. If you love quilts on walls like Ruth does, check hsvmuseum.org, time your visit, and you’ll be enchanted. I like quilts, especially on a cold winter night.
Like any worthwhile urban museum, HMA offers provocative temporary exhibits. I rather liked the one still up in April, 2013, about rock & roll photography. Ruth gave it 5 minutes and headed for the reception area. As a result, we almost missed “A Walk Through Time”. Luckily, I took a wrong turn, went through Time backwards, found Ruth, and insisted that she go back and take a look. Basically a hands-on, minds-engaged time travel survey of art history for children, “A Walk Through Time” takes kids from cave painting to Picasso. Being a teacher, Ruth really, really loved it. I loved it too.