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Tyler Museum of Art Extends Run of Exhibition Through March 1
Barthe, Alligator.

TYLER, TX.- The Tyler Museum of Art is extending the run of the exhibition The Elegant House: Paintings & Decorative Art from the Graham Williford Collection through March 1, TMA Director Kimberley Bush Tomio announced.

The exhibition, originally scheduled to close Feb. 8, has drawn close to 2,500 visitors to the TMA since it opened Nov. 16, 2008. Visitors surveyed have responded with overwhelming enthusiasm for the show’s selections from the vast collection of Graham Devoe Williford, the late art connoisseur from Fairfield, Texas, who was instrumental in inspiring renewed interest in 19th-century American art. An array of decorative art, primarily in the form of silver and sculpture, complements paintings by American masters including Dennis Miller Bunker, Walter Gay, Clement Grant and Pinckney Marcius-Simons to explore the expressions of opulence and elegance of “conspicuous consumption” in late-19th-century and early 20th-century America.

In addition to the positive response from patrons, Ms. Tomio said the Museum’s curatorial staff found several compelling reasons to extend the exhibition through February, citing in particular the show’s display of the 1930s sculpture Alligator by celebrated African American artist Richmond Barthé.

“With a signature piece by one of the most respected African American sculptors of the 20th century included in this show, it simply made sense that we keep it open as part of our commemoration of Black History month in February,” she said. “And having Richmond Barthé’s work on view should only add to the excitement surrounding our annual Black History Month Celebration coming up on Feb. 15.”

The TMA’s Black History Month Celebration is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15, and will feature a special program by youth from the East Texas Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., along with a performance by the Greater St. Mary’s Baptist Church Choir. The public is invited and admission is free, but reservations are requested by calling (903) 595-1001.

Additional special events in conjunction with the The Elegant House include the program “Silver in America” by acclaimed author and internationally recognized authority on American decorative arts, Dr. Charles Venable of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, to open the TMA’s Spring Lecture Series on Sunday, Jan. 25.

The program is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Jean Browne Theatre at Tyler Junior College, located directly across from the TMA on South Mahon Avenue. Admission is free for Museum members, and costs $5 for non-members. Seating is limited, so reservations are requested by calling (903) 595-1001.

Those attending Venable’s lecture will have the opportunity to meet the speaker and view The Elegant House during a reception immediately afterward at the TMA, 1300 S. Mahon Ave. Admission to the exhibition is free to the public.

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