Art in The Park
Huntsville Art Museum named a state top 10 destination
By Scott Seeley
Located in downtown Huntsville, The Huntsville Museum of Art focuses primarily on art by southern artists and works that relate to the region. It currently owns a permanent collection of more than 2,500 pieces that forms the basis of several yearly exhibitions.
The museum’s core focus is American art, with its permanent collection emphasizing southern art. Representative pieces include works by Kentucky artist Gaela Erwin and Alabama artist and photographer William Christenberry. Other holdings focus on the region, with several relating to Huntsville’s connection to the space program, such as Andy Warhol’s Moonwalk. A notable recent acquisition is The Sellars Collection: Art by American Women, a collection of more than 400 paintings, drawings, and sculptures. It is the largest single collection of artwork by American women, and will remain on permanent, rotating display.
In addition to exhibitions arranged from its collection, HMA supports several traveling exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibitions have ranged from catalogues of a single artist such as Maxfield Parrish: The Master of Make Believe to comprehensive exhibits spanning diverse media such as NASA|ART: 50 Years of Exploration or Paintings from the Reign of Victoria: The Royal Holloway Collection.
The museum’s downtown location in Big Spring International Park includes 52,000 sq ft of space. The building houses seven galleries, Museum Academy classrooms, Pane e Vino Italian Café, a Children’s Community Gallery and six special event spaces. An $8 million expansion to be completed in 2010 will increase the current space to 73,000 square feet and will house six additional exhibition galleries, a family interactive gallery, connected museum parking, a park side outdoor concert stage and new special event facilities.