OXFORD, Miss. – A selection of works by beloved Oxford artist Theora Hamblett, picked from the collection of the University of Mississippi Museum, will be displayed March 23-June 22 at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson.
“Symbols of Faith, Home and Beyond: The Art of Theora Hamblett” is a survey of more than 40 of Theora Hamblett’s best works, capturing both everyday life of rural Mississippi and the deep spiritual aspects of life in the region. “The University of Mississippi Museum is exceptionally proud to have the nation’s largest collection of Theora Hamblett’s work, and we are thrilled to share this selection of more than 40 works with audiences of the Mississippi Museum of Art, our partner in this exhibition,” said Robert Saarnio, director of University Museum & Historic Houses. “Her work is a quintessential example of Mississippi art, and we anticipate these works inspiring viewers in Jackson as they do in Oxford.”
Hamblett, born in 1895 in the Lafayette County community of Paris, has been described as “the most recognized visionary painter in America.” She painted hundreds of primitive scenes of early remembrances – childhood games of Drop the Handkerchief and Ring around the Rosie – but Hamblett’s dreams and visions remained on her mind. As the visions recurred often, she began to paint them. Hamblett considered those paintings to be her most important works, and she chose not to sell them.
“We are extremely privileged to be the first venue to host this magnificent collection of Ms. Hamblett’s paintings from the University of Mississippi Museum,” MMA Director Betsy Bradley said. “Her work offers us yet another painting genre that beautifully complements the artwork featured in our ‘Old Masters to Monet’ exhibition.”
Hamblett melded primitive-style painting with her self-taught artistic techniques to create an identity all her own. She began painting at age 55, and continued until her death in 1977. Her artwork has been collected by public institutions such as the UM Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Chase Manhattan Bank and celebrities including Vice President Nelson Rockefeller and acclaimed British actor Sir Alec Guinness.
“Symbols of Faith, Home, and Beyond: The Art of Theora Hamblett” is sponsored by BancorpSouth.
Admission to the exhibition at MMA is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens (60+), $6 for children ages 6-18 and free for children 5 and under. Admission is free for museum members, including admission to “Old Masters to Monet: Three Centuries of French Painting from the Wadsworth Atheneum.” Call 601-960-1515 for group rates or book a group tour. Trained docents are available to lead group tours.
All students are admitted free to the exhibition on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Trustmark Free Tuesdays is made possible through the generous support of Trustmark Bank, and BlueCross BlueShield Free Thursdays is made possible through the generous support of BlueCross & BlueShield of Mississippi.
Get more information on “Symbols of Faith, Home, and Beyond: The Art of Theora Hamblett.”