The Prints of Mary Wallace Kirk

July 19, 2014 - October 12, 2014
Martha Thompson Dinos and Dorothy Alexander Roush Galleries

Born and resident in Tuscumbia, Ala., for nearly all her life, Mary Wallace Kirk (1889–1978) is virtually unknown today as an artist, despite her training at the Art Students League in New York, where she studied etching with Harry Sternberg. This exhibition is the first since her death to address her work, which takes for its subject the mostly rural surroundings of her home, especially cabins and other humble dwellings. She wrote, "Cabins, especially log cabins, are rapidly disappearing from the Southern landscape. Before these relics of an older day completely pass from the scene it seems fitting to make a pictorial record of them, and to try to capture some of the lowly charm that surrounded them." Neither romantic nor gritty and social realist, her etchings are finely detailed renderings of the countryside in the 1930s and 1940s. Although Kirk produced approximately 80 etchings over the course of her career, she gave up the medium by the 1950s and turned her attention to her duties as a trustee of Agnes Scott College, in Decatur, Ga., of which she was a graduate, and to two memoirs that are illustrated with reproductions of her prints. The exhibition is accompanied by an issue of the Georgia Museum of Art Bulletin that includes images of Kirk's etchings and an essay on her life and career by curator Stephen Goldfarb.

In-House Curator

William U. Eiland, director, Georgia Museum of Art


Stephen Goldfarb