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Passing Time: The Art of William Christenberry

Image for Passing Time: The Art of William Christenberry

William Christenberry, Alabama Wall I, 1985, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase

William Christenberry (b. 1936) looks for the spirit of Southern culture in the landscape and architecture of rural Alabama. Drawing upon his formal training, family traditions and a lasting relationship with his native home in Hale County, Christenberry has spent the last fifty years creating a remarkable body of work that is an exploration of all aspects of life and experience. This exhibition, not a retrospective but a survey of past and present work, includes fifty-three photographs, drawings, paintings, sculptures and building constructions. Though his work is inspired by the American South, Christenberry's overall themes are universal, touching on family, culture, nature and the spiritual. His artworks are poetic assessments of a sense of place, landscape, aging, memory and the passing of time.

The exhibition travels to the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia (May 14, 2008 – September 28, 2008) and the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee (March 14, 2009 – June 14, 2009).

Passing Time: The Art of William Christenberry is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The exhibition's tour is supported in part by the C. F. Foundation, Atlanta and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund.