The Friends of American Art was founded in 2007 and actively supports the Museum by developing and expanding its American art collection. The group provides educational programs and travel opportunities to its members. Events include lectures by leading authorities and visits to auctions, galleries, and noted public and private collections. At the Friends’ annual dinner, members vote on a major acquisition for the Museum’s collection of American art.
$500 per member
$250 per junior member (under 40)
On October 2, the Friends of American Art held their fifth annual dinner. After cocktails, guests enjoyed a tour of the exhibition Norman Rockwell’s America, followed by a dinner of American “comfort food,” including braised short ribs, sautéed green beans, and apple pie à la mode. During dinner, Curator Graham Boettcher presented three works of American Modernism from which the group would choose their annual acquisition. Read more below...
April 22 - April 26, 2013
Library & Libations
Members joined Graham Boettcher and Tatum Preston, Museum Librarian, for a special look at some of the rare books in the Museum's Hanson Library.
Pictures That Work: American Illustration And The Iron And Steel Industries
In this lavishly illustrated talk at Vulcan Park and Museum, Dr. Graham C. Boettcher, Curator of American Art, discussed depictions of the iron and steel industries created by some of America's best known illustrators, including Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, and Dean Cornwell.
Trip to New York, NY for American Auction Week
The Friends of American Art took in the excitement of American Auction Week, including preview receptions and sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, tours of private collections, and visits to prominent New York galleries.
Witches, Goblins, and Ghosts — Oh My! The Supernatural in American Art
On Halloween, Members took a journey to the dark side of American art in an exploration of the otherworldly with curator Graham Boettcher.
Fifth Annual Dinner
On October 2, the Friends of American Art held their fifth annual dinner. After cocktails, guests enjoyed a tour of the exhibition Norman Rockwell’s America, followed by a dinner of American “comfort food,” including braised short ribs, sautéed green beans, and apple pie à la mode. During dinner, Curator Graham Boettcher presented three works of American Modernism from which the group would choose their annual acquisition. By an overwhelming margin, the group elected to purchase a circa-1948 drawing by the artist Paul Cadmus (1904-1999), entitled Head (C9). This is the first work by Cadmus, known for his realistic renderings of the human form, to enter the Museum’s permanent collection.
Trip to Crystal Bridges
The Friends of American Art and the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Founded by Alice Walton, heir to the Walmart fortune, and designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the museum--which opened to the public last fall--features an outstanding collection of American masterpieces, including Asher B. Durand's Kindred Spirits and Norman Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter. Crystal Bridges' collection of contemporary art includes major works by such notables as Jenny Holzer, Claes Oldenberg, Andy Warhol, Kerry James Marshall, among numerous other important American artists. Participation is strictly limited to 15 members from each support group.
Friends of American Art in Atlanta
The Friends enjoyed a weekend of private collection visits and fine dining in the Big Peach.
Friends of American Art in New York
The Friends took in the excitement of American Auction Week, including preview receptions and sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, tours of private collections, and visits to prominent New York galleries.
Reception and Preview of Murals, Murals on the Wall, 1929-1939: Our Story Through Art in Public Places
The Friends enjoyed a members-only sneak preview and reception marking the opening of this important community exhibition at the Birmingham Public Library, featuring significant murals in the Birmingham area. Exhibition sponsored by the Birmingham Historical Society, Birmingham Public Library and Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
Overnight Trip to Cartersville, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee
The Friends saw two superb museums: The Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville and the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga. They also enjoyed visits to private collections, fine dining, and accommodations in an historic hotel.
Third Annual Dinner
The Friends of American Art Third Annual Dinner celebrated the recent restoration of Frederic Remington’s The Wounded Bunkie, the most important sculpture in the Museum’s American collection. Prof. Jennifer Greenhill, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois, presented the keynote talk, entitled, “Laughing (with a Straight Face) on the Frontier.” We also voted on the acquisition of a work for the permanent collection.
Chicago: American Art in the Windy City
The Friends of American Art traveled to the Windy City and enjoyed a curator-led tour of the Art Institute of Chicago, the nation’s second largest art museum and home to masterpieces such as Grant Wood’s American Gothic and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.
The group also toured Robie House, Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, and enjoyed unique access to some of Chicago’s best private art collections.
Nashville: American Art in the Music City
The Friends of American Art traveled to Nashville, once hailed as the Athens of the South, now known as Music City, USA. Included in the itinerary were visits to two major special exhibitions at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Georgia O’Keeffe and Her Times and Thomas Hart Benton in Story and Song, a visit to The Parthenon to view the Cowan Collection of American Art, and a visit to Belmont Mansion, a 19th century house museum. The group spent two nights at the Hermitage Hotel, a stunning five-star historic hotel in the heart of downtown Nashville. On the way back to Birmingham, the group stopped for a guided tour of Rattle and Snap Plantation in Columbia, Tennessee. Built in 1845, Rattle and Snap is generally regarded as one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the country.