Located in downtown Huntsville in Big Spring International Park, the museum includes the Davidson Center for the Arts, Museum Academy, Children’s Community Gallery, Museum Store, and Pane e Vino Pizzeria. The Museum Academy offers a variety of art classes for adults, children and teens and Master Artist Workshops with renowned artists in all media from painting, drawing, mixed media and ceramics.
The museum’s permanent collection has nearly 3,000 works. They are divided into two collections: American art and regional artists, and arts from Asia, Africa and Europe, which influenced these artists. Students can enjoy graphic works by James McNeill Whistler, John French Sloan, Joseph Stella, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol. Among artists with roots in Alabama are Richmond Burton, Nall Hollis, David Parrish and Stephen Rolfe Powell. There is also a Southern photography collection with over 200 works.
The museum has acquired works of particular importance for Huntsville and its scientific community. For example, a group of watercolor painted pictures of Huntsville and the Marshall Space Flight Center by Renato Moncini, who worked for NASA as an illustrator in the Apollo program. Another work is the “Moonwalk” by Andy Warhol. There are also European and Japanese prints, Chinese glassware and African sculptures.
The Stender Family Interactive Education Galleries provides an opportunity for students of all ages to begin a lifelong interest in the visual arts. The exciting and fun interactive education galleries, ART LAB and A Walk through Time will be on continuous view.
ART LAB provides hands-on activities, which instruct on the basic elements of art – color, line, shape and texture. Art related books, a kaleidoscope, and interactive art activities are also available.
A Walk through Time is an immersive gallery in which students take a journey through major events in art history. Students enter a cave with amber light to see Paleolithic art on the cave walls with campfires crackling. Following are ancient cultures like Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, with Ionic columns or a six-foot sarcophagus of a pharaoh. Each section of the gallery is filled with replicas of famous sculptures, statues, architecture, and two-dimensional art and some original works from the museum’s permanent collection. Students then move into the Italian Renaissance with walls painted to look like Carrara marble and sounds of Renaissance lutes. They follow into French Impressionism with a large reproduction of the Eiffel Tower during its construction phase. The sounds of a French café are in the background. A section of photographs explain the importance of photography to Impressionists. The last section of the gallery is about Modern Art set in New York City – the birthplace of Abstract Expressionism – complete with New York skyline and sounds of the city.
Docent-Led School Tours
Complimentary Docent-led school tours of 10 or more students in a group are available. A two-week notice is needed.
The Sellars Collection of Art by American Women: 1850 – 1940
The permanent collection of the Huntsville Museum of Art is dramatically enhanced by the recent acquisition of the Sellars Collection of Art by American Women. This landmark collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures celebrates the achievements of over 250 talented artists primarily active from the mid-19th through mid-20th centuries.
On Continuous View: Buccellati Silver Animals and American Studio Glass
Exhibitions: The Red Clay Survey: 2014 Exhibition of Contemporary Southern Art (August 17 – October 26, 2014); Museum Academy Instructors’ Exhibition (August 17, 2014 – February 15, 2015)