Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
The Jule Collins Smith Museum of
Fine Art is located on the campus of Auburn University in Auburn,
Alabama and is the sole university art museum in the state. It was
opened in 2003, with six galleries of beautiful antiquities on
40,000 square feet of space. The museum contains an auditorium, shop
and cafe; all sitting on 7 acres of landscape with a marvelous lake.
The museum was named after the wife of Albert Smith, who graduated
in 1947, and gave $3 million to the school in honor of his wife and
their 50th wedding anniversary. The permanent collection showcases
mostly 19th and 20th century art from Europe and the United States.
Included in this expansive collection are paintings by; Georgia
O'Keefe, John James Audubon, Romare Bearden, Ben Shahn, Ralston
Crawford, John Marin, Arthur Dove, and Jacob Lawrence; as well as
the Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon collections, the
Bill L. Harbert Collection of European Art with works by
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali,
Joan Miro and Henri Matisse. They have marvelous rotating exhibits,
that have included the Quilts of Gee's Bend, the Spirit of the
Modern: Drawings and Graphics by Maltby Sykes and many others.
Although opened fairly recently, the collection that was the center
of this wonderful collection was started back in 1948, when Frank
Applebee, the chair of the school of art and architecture arranged
for the school to buy 36 paintings from the government for $1,072 at
an auction. This base collection included works by Ralston Crawford,
Romare Bearden, John Marin, Arthur Dove, Georgia O'Keefe and others.
In 1992, Susan Phillips of Brewton, Alabama gave the university a
big collection of John James Audubon prints and along with her
brother, Allen, gave another million to care for the collection.