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GMOA Faculty Perspectives: Dr. Akela Reason

Associate Professor, Director, Museum Studies Certificate Program
photo of study for mural "Raising of the Bear Flag" by Anton Fregier
Georgia Museum of Art University of Georgia 90 Carlton Street, Athens, GA

Join Dr. Akela Reason, associate professor of history, for a special talk in the exhibition “Celebrating Heroes: American Mural Studies of the 1930s and 1940s from the Steven and Susan Hirsch Collection.”

Dr. Reason is the author of “Thomas Eakins and the Uses of History“ (U. Penn Press, 2010), which won the 2011 Southeastern College Art Conference Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research and Publication. In addition to teaching, she has worked at the Smithsonian Institution, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the High Museum of Art. She is currently preparing a study of the politics of Civil War monuments in New York City during the Gilded Age. She has also published several articles and essays. In summer 2016, she founded the UGA history department's Summer Public History program in Washington, D.C. She also serves as director of UGA’s Museum Studies certificate program.

Organized by the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, the exhibition features almost 50 drawings that provide an intimate look at the thinking processes of artists who competed for New Deal mural commissions in the 1930s and 1940s. During this golden age for murals in America, the participants in President Franklin Roosevelt's jobs programs for artists took inspiration from the panels of Mexican muralists in which everyday workers became monumental heroes. While most of the drawings in it are by painters associated with the art colony of Woodstock, New York, the exhibition presents studies for mural competitions in various parts of the nation. Some works are the only evidence we have for an artist’s ideas for a mural, since some designs were rejected and never executed.

Free and open to the public.


Museum Information

Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-1502. For more information, including hours, see or call 706.542.4662.

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