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Three New Exhibits at BRAHM Explore Painting, Sculpture and Photography Through History

The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum has three brand new exhibitions opening to the public this fall — Romantic Spirits: Nineteenth Century Paintings of the South from the Johnson Collection, The Sculptor’s Voice and The Picture Man: Photographs by Paul Buchanan — all of which will be open to the public by August 15.

“I am so excited about this fall season,” said BRAHM Executive Director Lee Carol Giduz. “The Johnson Collection features wonderful American art, very much in keeping with some of the most popular exhibits we have hosted. This is complimented by the sculpture of five diverse artists from across the South. There is a nice interplay between the old and the new with these two exciting exhibits.

“Lastly, we always use one space to honor history and will be featuring The Picture Man: Photographs by Paul Buchanan. These engaging artistic portraits tell a story of the people of this region.”

The community is invited to view the opening of these three exhibits during the Fall Exhibition Celebration on Saturday, August 15 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the museum. The reception is free and food, refreshments and live music will be provided.


William Charles Anthony Frerichs. Falls of Tamahaka, Cherokee County, North Carolina, after 1855. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, SC.

Romantic Spirits: Nineteenth Century Paintings of the South from the Johnson Collection (on view from Aug. 8-Nov. 2) features 38 paintings created from 1810-1896, chronicling the cultural evolution and concepts of the romantic movement as it unfolded in fine art of the American South.

Having had its genesis in European literature and art, romanticism founds its way into the cultural output of the young republic, both North and South. The same ideals that imbued the canvases of the Hudson River School also colored the art of painters who found their inspiration and audience below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Romantic Spirits features 32 artists prominent artists in this era, including William Dickinson Washington, William Thompson Russell Smith, Gustave Henry Mosler, Thomas Addison Richards, Joseph Rusling Meeker, Robert Walter Weir, and Thomas Sully, among others. The exhibition and its corresponding catalogue, written by art historical Estill Curtis Pennington, delineates the historical, social and cultural forces that profoundly influenced these artists aesthetic sensibilities.

10. Golden Oars copy
Corrina Sephora Mensoff. Golden Oars, 2014. Forged, fabricated, patinated steel and gold. Courtesy of the artist.

The Sculptor’s Voice (on view through Nov. 14) is BRAHM’s first retrospective of contemporary sculpture. Guest curated by local artist Bill Brown, Jr., the exhibition showcases work by five leading and rising sculptors across the south, including John Acorn of Pendleton, South Carolina; Rick Beck of Spruce Pine, North Carolina; Tinka Jordy of Hillsboro, North Carolina; Hanna Jubran of Grimesland, North Carolina; and Corrina Sephora Mensoff of Atlanta, Georgia.

Throughout time, sculpture has been created from many different materials and processes, with broad approaches to the genre. The artists in this exhibition were selected for their diversity, exploration of materials and mastery of process, as well as the individual strength of each sculptor’s voice.

Paul Buchanan. Untitled photograph, c. 1920 – 1950. Courtesy of Ann Hawthorne.

The Picture Man: Photographs by Paul Buchanan (on view through Nov. 25) is curated by photographer Ann Hawthorne and features historic photographs by Paul Buchanan. While Buchanan did not consider himself an artist, his photographs of early people of Appalachia were taken with such precision and artistry that you may mistake them for being contemporary.

Buchanan, better known as “Paul, the picture man,” took photographs in order to make a living. The 49 photographs on display were taken throughout his career as a photographer, between 1921-1951 and show the faces, stories and personalities of people living in the mountains. Buchanan recorded the people of this place and this time, the way they wanted to be seen. A photo catalogue, edited by Ann Hawthorne and Bruce Morton, accompanies the exhibition.

The Community Meeting Room will also be open and features paintings, drawings and mixed media works by local artists in the Brush and Palette Club of Lenoir. The exhibition, All Things Great & Small, will be open from Aug. 5-Sept. 5.


A series of events will correspond with the exhibitions opening at BRAHM this Fall. More information can be found online at www.BlowingRockMuseum.org.

Fall Exhibition Celebration

Sat. Aug. 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Preview for members and special guests begins at 5 p.m.

Free and open to the public

Coffee with the Curator

Tuesdays at 11 a.m.

Members: Free / Non-Members: General Admission

August 25: Romantic Spirits with Sarah Tignor, Registrar for the Johnson Collection

September 22: The Sculptor’s Voice with guest curator, Bill Brown, Jr.

October 20: The Picture Man: Photographs of Paul Buchanan with Dianna Loughlin of BRAHM

Third Thursday: Reflections on Romantic Spirits with Martha Severens

Thurs. Sept.17 at 4:30 p.m.

Members: Free / Non-Members: $5

An art historian and retired curator, Martha R. Severens will share her insights on the

exhibition Romantic Spirits: Nineteenth Century Paintings of the South from the Johnson Collection.

Tour the Exhibits with our Docents

Thursdays at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.


General admission to the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum is $7 for adults and $6 for students, seniors, active military and children ages 5 and up. Donations are accepted for full admission to the Museum on Thursdays. The museum is located at 159 Chestnut Street on the corner of Chestnut and Main in Blowing Rock.

For more information, please call 828-295 – 9099 or visit www.blowingrockmuseum.org.

Museum hours through fall:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, 1-5 p.m.