This time of year, people are still in the market for fun things to do and, for the most part, they’d rather do them in an air conditioned place. The A/C works just fine at The Columbus Museum. What’s more, a pair of extremely cool exhibitions give visitors a glimpse of two distinct American eras…and one revolutionary artist:
“Warhol in Southern Collections” (through October 14)–It’s impossible to think of the art world in the 1960s–or, for that matter, the decade itself–without Andy Warhol coming to mind. His iconic pop culture images of Campbell’s Soup cans and Marilyn Monroe still reverberate today. Rolling Stones fans remember him for the album cover of “Sticky Fingers.” But Warhol was no one-note wonder. His work and influence impacted numerous art forms, including film, drawing, printmaking and music (Warhol was a founder of the pioneering pre-punk band, The Velvet Underground). Known for his eccentric personality and celebrity status among the New York City avant-garde, Warhol maintained his artistic edge well beyond the decade that defined him.
Over 100 works from museums and private collections throughout the South are on display as part of “Warhol in Southern Collection.” Life-size resin and acrylic sculptures of Warhol welcome visitors to the exhibition, the work of contemporary artist Jack Dowd.
“Optimists and Activists: The American Scene” (through September15)–There’s irony in the fact that hard times and challenging events often produce great art. Such was the case from the 1930s to the years after World War II, an artistic period often called the “American Scene.” The “Optimists and Activists” exhibition features prints from the museum’s collection that represent diverse impressions of life during the Great Depression and Second World War. Some artists were subsidized through the Works Progress Administration, part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal stimulus strategy: others took a more self-supporting stance. The works on display represent some of the period’s premier talents and range in tone from inspiration and beauty to pointed social commentary.
There isn’t a better spot in the city to absorb art, history and stay comfy-cool at the same time. Admission is always free, although donations are accepted. To find out more, visit the Columbus Museum website or call 706-748-2562.