Museum Staff Go “Down the Lane” to Steffen Thomas Museum
Just over 45 minutes away from the Georgia Museum of Art and tucked into a landscape of green fields is the Steffen Thomas Museum in Buckhead, Georgia. Dedicated to Thomas’s immense collection, the museum houses sculpture, mosaics, furniture, paintings, metal works, prints, ceramics and more. The German-born artist emigrated to the United States in 1930 and built his career to much success until his death in 1990.
On December 11, members of the Georgia Museum of Art staff were able to not only experience Thomas’s work for the first time, but also to view “The Great Folk Art Parade: Down the Lane to Steffen Thomas Museum of Art,” the largest exhibition of self-taught artists of the South in recent history. Joined by Lauren Fancher, Marilyn Estes (and Bucky the King Charles Spaniel), the small group was given a personal tour by the exhibition’s curator, Peter Loose, whose perspicacious knowledge on the artists and works shown was incredibly immense.
Pointing to any of the 200+ works, the visitors were instantly met with specific, sometimes first-hand, stories of the artist’s background, technique or personality. From a large yellow painted lard can by Carter Lee Wellborn to “Dolly the Goat,” who was made from hundreds of recycled Barbie heads by Jim Shores, the exhibition was filled with vibrant, unique works from all over the South and beyond.
Starting on the lawn of the museum and moving into a large gallery space, the show was filled with works from private collections, with many of the works for sale. Artists represented include Howard Finster, Jim Shores, Sam Granger, Clyde Jones and many more.
The Steffen Thomas Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an admission price of $5. “The Great Folk Art Parade” is on view through January 12, 2019.