AUGUSTA, GA. On September 21, in celebration of Augustas inaugural Westobou Festival, the Morris Museum of Art will unveil Robert Rauschenbergs August Allegory (Anagrams) in its new location in the auditorium lobby on the museums first floor.
Rauschenberg was undeniably one of the great figures in American art, said Louise Keith Claussen, Director of Fine Arts at Morris Communications Co. and former director of the Morris Museum of Art, and we are very fortunate to have some of his works in the collection of the Morris Museum, particularly fortunate to have a major work that is specific to Augusta, Georgia.
Commissioned in 1996 and completed in 1997, Rauschenbergs August Allegory is an extremely large roughly five by twelve feet work on paper, a montage, printed in vegetable dyes, created from the artists original photographs. Rauschenberg, working in collaboration with his partner Darryl Pottorf and assisted by the Morriss former deputy director Rick Gruber, conducted the original shoot during a three-day visit to Augusta. Details of the work-in-progress appeared in the September 1996 issue of Vogue magazine in an article on the artist and his career.
Claussen, director of the museum when the Rauschenberg was commissioned, wrote recently that the work reflects his response to both the details and spirit of Augusta as he saw it, and elements include several church steeples, Springfield Church, Sacred Heart Cultural Center, a 19th century textile mill, the Confederate monument, a railroad bridge, an antebellum home, Augusta bricks, the haunted pillar, and the feet of the bronze sculpture of Arnold Palmer.
August Allegory is housed and presented in an extremely heavy frame, fabricated from aircraft aluminum by one of Rauschenbergs studio assistants, sculptor Lawrence Voytek. The framed work weighs about three hundred pounds and is both too large and too heavy for most of the museums walls. Because of its size and weight, August Allegory has rarely been on view. In its new location outside the museums auditorium, it will be accessible to the public whenever the auditorium is in use. A suite of the related photographic images will also be installed along the grand staircase leading to the museums second-floor lobby.
The unveiling ceremony will take place on September 21 at 3:00 p.m. and will feature a talk by poet Starkey Flythe about the artists life. The unveiling will follow the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festivals awards program for the Porter Fleming Literary Competition at 2:00 p.m. in the auditorium. Admission is free.
Westobou Festival - The Westobou Festival was conceived in 2005 by the Trustees of the Academy of Richmond County, as part of their work on behalf of the Porter Fleming Foundation. Designed to showcase Augustas wealth of artistic talent, the inaugural Festival takes place between September 18 and 27, 2008, in downtown Augusta and on the campuses of Augusta State University, and Paine College. It features performances in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. A trademark of the Trustees of the Academy of Richmond County, Westobou Festival is produced by the Greater Augusta Arts Council.