DOTHAN, Alabama – August 1, 2023 – The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is delighted to announce the acquisition of 160 works of art for its Permanent Collection. Thanks to the incredible generosity of several donors, our museum’s collection has been enriched with works that represent the very essence of contemporary art in our region.
These valuable additions to our collection represent a significant milestone for the museum and continue to build on early support of the collection. The WMA has long been a beacon of creativity and cultural expression, showcasing the talents of both established and emerging artists alike. This latest expansion of our collection reaffirms our commitment to preserving and promoting the diverse artistic voices that shape our community’s identity. Much of the museum’s collection focuses on artists from Alabama and the Southeast. Alabama artists newly added to the collection include Michael Banks, Clayton Colvin, Steven Mark Finley, Tara Stallworth Lee, Mary Ann Sampson, Bryce Speed, Mose Tolliver, Della Wells, Jakob Dwight, and Thornton Willis.
A few highlights include:
“Woman I Am” by Yvonne Wells: The textile artist has captivated audiences with her intricate quilt masterpieces. After a recent exhibition of the artist’s work at WMA, we are honored to receive this remarkable donation of one of Wells’ most renowned quilts, a gift from WMA founding member Elaine Woods Johnson.
“Time Alone” by Thornton Dial Sr.: Known for his powerful and emotionally charged assemblages and paintings, Dial has left an indelible mark on the art world. As an artist who defied traditional norms and achieved international recognition, Dial’s presence in the museum’s collection will inspire and educate future generations of artists and enthusiasts. Internationally known, this is the first work by the artist to join WMA’s collection. This exceptional work is a gift from Rebecca and Jack Drake.
Andrew Young, John Lewis, et. al., Selma by photographer James “Spider” Martin: This work holds significant historical importance, especially within the context of the American Civil Rights Movement. Donated by Jan Barrett and Paul Barrett, Jr., the museum aims to pay tribute to Martin’s invaluable contribution to documenting a transformative period in American history. His photograph will serve as a poignant reminder of the power of art to influence change and advocate for social justice.
“Analysand 71.3” by Jakob Dwight: This work was acquired through a museum purchase and highlights WMA’s commitment to supporting artists living and working across the State. Dwight’s work often references the natural world while exploring neurological forms and imagery. Trained as a painter, the artist worked for decades in digital media, blurring the lines of digital media and painting. Most recently, Dwight is using his digital archive as reference for new paintings and works on paper. WMA will present a solo exhibition of the artist’s work in October 2023.
With more than 600 works of art in its permanent collection, the Wiregrass Museum of Art has significant holdings of 20th-century American art and a growing collection of modern and contemporary art, photography, and southern vernacular art. The WMA is dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Alabama and Southeastern artists. These works are held in the public’s trust, cultivating a sense of ownership and belonging for area residents; select pieces from the Permanent Collection are on view year-round in WMA’s entrance galleries.
These acquisitions were made possible through the support and generosity of collector’s across the State and Region, whose passion for art and commitment to the community have been instrumental in expanding our museum’s artistic vision. WMA extends its sincerest appreciation to the following donors whose contributions made these acquisitions possible: Jan Barrett and Paul Barrett, Jr., Lauren and Rodney Decker, Rebecca and Jack Drake, Harrison Eddins, Jr., Katie Hargrave, Elaine Woods Johnson, Meredith Lynn, Guido and Magali Maus, and Mary Ann Sampson.
“The Wiregrass Museum of Art is deeply grateful to the generous donors and patrons whose support has made these acquisitions possible,” said Dana-Marie Lemmer, WMA’s Executive Director and Curator. “This is the largest acquisition for the museum’s permanent collection in over a decade and with the addition of these remarkable artworks, we are confident that our visitors will be enriched and inspired by our collection’s diverse narratives and artistic expressions.”
WMA’s permanent collection is the foundation of the museum’s mission and inspires year-round public programming. WMA is committed to telling diverse stories, highlighting the art and artists of our time, including excellent examples from artists across the nation, and most especially from Alabama and the Southeast.View More Stories