Knoxville Museum adds to growing Permanent Collection05.20.2006
KNOXVILLE, TN — The Knoxville Museum of Art recently added two Bessie Harvey untitled sculptures and a Sally Mann photograph, Untitled (Juliette in Chair), to its permanent collection. The Harvey work was a gift to the KMA from the Marion C. Chapman and Sandra J. Springs Collection. The KMA purchased the Mann photograph.
About the Harvey Acquisition
Harvey, who died in 1994 in Alcoa, Tenn., was born in Dallas, Ga., in 1929. She married at the age of 14, moved to Tennessee and struggled to provide for her 11 children.
"To escape her abusive and alcoholic husband, Harvey would turn tree roots and tree branches into works of art late at night," said Dana Self, Barbara W. and Bernard E. Bernstein Curator of Collections and Exhibitions. "She created these 'dolls,' as she often called them, to heal herself, adding glitter, beads, and even her own hair to them." To Harvey, the dolls were comforting and spiritually connected to her God. Harvey said that she often had visions from God while working on her pieces and that God spoke to her.
Harvey, while considered by many to be both a visionary artist and an outsider artist ? someone who develops a body of work outside the mainstream of art schools, art galleries, and museums ? complements the museum's collection through the visual and conceptual strength of her work.
Harvey tried to redress segregation, slavery, and other social problems in her work by creating narrative dramas in which her root characters often acted out stories drawn from history and the Bible. The museum currently owns seven sculptures or installations by Harvey.
About the Mann Acquisition
Mann, who lives and works in Lexington, Va., is world renowned for photographs of her children at play and at rest on her family's Virginia home property. Often the children are nude, and their photographs beautifully illustrate the human body. Mann's early series of photographs of her three children and husband resulted in a series called "Immediate Family."
The KMA's acquisition is from Mann's series "At Twelve," which comprises portraits of girls at age 12. "These gorgeous photographs deftly reveal girls whose expressions and body gestures suggest the fraught and fragmented nature of adolescence and the passages girls make from childhood to adulthood," Self said. "Mann has captured Juliette as both childlike and womanly, expertly suggesting the fragile time between being a girl and being a woman."
Mann received her B.A. and M.A. from Hollins College, Roanoke, Va. She has won numerous awards, including Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. Her books of photographs include "Immediate Family," "At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women," and "Mother Land: Recent Landscapes of Georgia and Virginia." Her photographs are in the permanent collections of many museums, including The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, N.Y., and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
The Knoxville Museum of Art
The Knoxville Museum of Art serves Knoxville and surrounding counties as the premiere visual arts resource of East Tennessee. In addition to its program of exhibitions, the museum provides an array of educational and public programs. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World's Fair Park and is open to the public Tuesday and Wednesday, noon?8 p.m., Thursday and Friday, noon?9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.?5 p.m. Admission prices are $5 for adults and seniors and free to members and children 17 and under. Admission is free on Tuesdays, 5?8 p.m. For more information, visit www.knoxart.org.
Untitled (Juliette in chair), c. 1983?85, silver print by Sally Mann