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Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University is housed in a striking modernist building that features changing exhibition galleries, a café, a store, extensive grounds, and landscaped walking paths dotted with sculpture. Photo by Mason Williams. Courtesy of The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.

Celebrating 20 years of arts and engagement in 2023, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University is the cultural heart of an Alabama public research institution. Centered within the university’s intellectual life and the fluid exchange of ideas, the museum welcomes co-learners — particularly faculty and students across disciplines — to explore the visual arts. Collection strengths include American modernism, stemming from the university’s 1948 purchase of 36 works from the U.S. State Department exhibition, Advancing American Art, curated to promote freedom of expression post World War II. The original acquisition includes works by women, immigrants, and artists of color, such as Romare Bearden, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jacob Lawrence and Georgia O’Keefe; guided by that precept, the museum actively acquires, exhibits and commissions work by historically underrepresented artists to expand cultural narrative and scholarship. Other highlights include Southern visionary art, works on paper depicting the South, Audubon etchings, contemporary prints and photographs, Mexican modernism, pottery, and ceramics.

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