SMGA’s Morgan Collection at the Cultural Arts Center

Tuscaloosa, AL.– The University of Alabama Sarah Moody Gallery of Art presents The Morgan Collection — Selections, a part of the gallery’s permanent collection.  The exhibit will be produced for The University Art Gallery at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center.  It will be open Jan. 16 to March 7, 2014.  A public reception honoring members of the Morgan family will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Alabama natives and UA alumni, Jim and Myra Morgan founded the Morgan Gallery in Kansas City in 1969.  They celebrated visual arts of the Midwest and brought artists from across the country to a growing audience of both corporate and private collectors.  There was a sense of experimentation that occurred among many artists affiliated with the Morgan Gallery.  Jim Morgan, educated as an artist, devoted himself to collecting both contemporary art and Americana.   He was most attracted to the “art of now.” His career as an airline pilot for TWA afforded him opportunities to travel across the country where he visited and re-visited major museums and art galleries from New York City to Los Angeles.  Some exhibitions and artists presented by the Morgan Gallery were not well received due to difficult subject matter or work outside traditional art practices.  Following Jim’s death in 1983, Myra remained active in arts communities and contributed her influence toward a public arts initiative in Kansas City.  Some 40 works will be on exhibit at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center.  These works constitute about 20 percent of the Morgan Collection held in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art Permanent Collection.  Pieces on exhibit will include memorial works, holiday cards, and some family memorabilia, all to convey an impression of Jim and Myra Morgan.  Artists represented include Terry Allen, Robert Arneson, William Christenberry, Ken Ferguson, Frank Fleming, Viola Frey, Mel Ramos, Robert Stackhouse, and William T. Wiley, among others.