Piedmont University to Host Exhibition Featuring Acclaimed Athens-Based Artist Art Rosenbaum
Piedmont University’s Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art will host an exhibition of work by acclaimed artist Art Rosenbaum from Sept. 1-Oct. 13.
“This is a big exhibition for us,” said Rebecca Brantley, assistant professor of art and director of the MSMA.
“Art is a highly regarded artist with a lot of connections in the state. This show will also be part of a conference for the Georgia Art Education Association, an organization for the state’s art educators.”
Born in upstate New York in 1938, Rosenbaum is an artist, folklorist, and teacher. Rosenbaum is best known for his expressive realism and for his significant contributions to the American South. Many projects include his wife, painter and photographer Margo Newmark Rosenbaum.
Rosenbaum lived in the historic West Village of Manhattan in the 1960s. He studied art history and painting at Columbia University. He was part of the generation that re-introduced figuration and narrative into postwar art. Rosenbaum also hosted a radio show during his years at Columbia. Bob Dylan was a regular listener and colleague.
Rosenbaum has lived and worked in Athens, Georgia, since the late 1970s. A professor at the University of Georgia, Rosenbaum has taught alongside painters such as Elaine de Kooning, Alice Neel, Richard Olsen, and Judith McWillie. He mentored numerous creative luminaries that have emerged from Athens, including Michael Stipe of the band REM.
As discussed in Grace Elizabeth Hale’s 2020 book, “Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture,” Rosenbaum helped bring serious attention to a number of now-revered folk artists and musicians. Many of these fellow creative practitioners are the subject of his paintings.
Rosenbaum’s style reveals his deep engagement with art history, ranging from Italian mannerism to American regionalism. He found inspiration in early 20th-century expressionism — especially the work of Belgian James Ensor. While much of his source material comes from day-to-day life, Rosenbaum also draws from his travels through Europe, India, and Latin America.
Rosenbaum was named the first Wheatley Professor in Fine Arts Emeritus at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. In 2003, he received the prestigious Governor of Georgia’s Award in the Humanities. His collection of folk music, “The Art of Field Recording Volumes I: 50 Years of Traditional American Music Documented by Art Rosenbaum,” won a Grammy for Best Historical Album in 2008. Rosenbaum’s work is part of many private and public collections, including the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Georgia Museum of Art.
A closing reception for the Art Rosenbaum exhibition will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 6.
Both the exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public.
The MSMA is open from noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, and is located at 567 Georgia Street in Demorest.
For more information, visit piedmont.edu/msma.