The centerpiece of the Museum’s bicentennial initiatives, Picturing Mississippi commemorates and celebrates the 200th anniversary of statehood for Mississippi, admitted to the Union on December 10, 1817, as the 20th state.
Its aesthetic goal is to assemble original artworks in various media of the highest quality to illuminate the perception and depiction of Mississippi over more than two centuries. With at least 135 works by more than 100 different artists, the exhibition is unprecedented in the history of Mississippi.
A great many of these works will be lent by prestigious national institutions such as the Harvard University Art Museums; the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Featured will be individual masterpieces by artists seldom exhibited in the state, including George Caleb Bingham, Robert Indiana, James Audubon, Louis Bahin, Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Jean-Michel Basquiat – as well as a plethora of works by native Mississippians such as James Tooley, Jr., Eudora Welty, William Dunlap, and Randy Hayes.