A Southern Collection: Select Works from a Permanent Collection of Painting in the South Prepared for the Opening of the Morris Museum (review)
- Southern Cultures
- The University of North Carolina Press
- Volume 1, Number 4, Summer 1995
- pp. 525-528
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Reviews525 highly interactive nature of Airwaves of Zion radio to the Holiness-Pentecostal service, where the interaction of the congregation is crucial to the experience. Of course, the range of the Airwaves of Zion extended much farther than the Appalachians as recently as thirty or forty years ago. (One Fayetteville, North Carolina, broadcaster told me that her family paid for its first FM outlet with revenues from its lively Sunday morning shows.) Today, however, the homegrown broadcasts are endangered even within their hill-country preserve. Dorgan identifies several causes: their core audiences tend to be older, poorer and less educated than the norm; such listeners do not appeal to the advertisers or the commercial station managers who depend on them. The Federal Communications Commission's 1982 ruling eliminated minimum requirements for "public service" programming, giving stations impetus to drop shows as their stars aged or fell ill. The mass desertion of radio listeners from the am to the FM band in the 1980s further diminished audiences. According to The Broadcasting and Cablecasting Yearbook, the number of U.S. radio stations describing their format as "religious" or "gospel" rose from 1,120 in 1990 to 1,456 in 1993. As Dorgan notes, however, most of these stations fill their schedules with syndicated programs or taped, "canned" music—cheaper and far less complicated to air than live shows that pack studios with musicians. Dorgan poignantly describes the demise of his favorite broadcast, The Morning Star Gospel Program, which signed off wata-am of Boone, North Carolina, in April 1991, after forty years on the air. The Airwaves ofZion does not exhaust its topic. More historical background on the phenomenon and more statistical detail on its audience would be useful. Nevertheless, Dorgan has mapped a rich lode to be mined by ethnologists, musicologists, religious scholars , and students of broadcasting. All followers of southern culture can shout hallelujah. A Southern Collection: Select Works from a Permanent Collection of Painting in the South Prepared for the Opening of the Morris Museum. By Estill Curtis Pennington. Morris Communications Corporation, 1992. 246 pp. Cloth, $39.95; paper, $24.95. Reviewed by Caroline Mesrobian Hickman, a Ph.D. candidate in art history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who is writing her dissertation on Clare Leighton and the southern agrarian tradition. She has also written on art patronage in the Low Country and helped to establish an archive on North Carolina women artists for the North Carolina Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Augusta, Georgia, is home now to not only the most venerable of southern institutions, the Masters Pro golf championship but also to the Morris Museum of Art, which is devoted solely to southern painting. Communications magnate and sixth generation Augustan William S. Morris III established the museum in 1989, and this catalog highlights works from the permanent collection that accompanied its formal opening in 1992. That a museum of such regional and potentially national significance could be established in an era marked by grossly inflated prices and a scarcity of first-rate works is a feat in itself. Morris and the Southeastern Newspapers Corporation were able to purchase the 230-work Robert P. Coggins Collection of Southern Painting, compiled since the 1970s 526Southern Cultures by Coggins, an Atlanta physician. His collection of southern paintings and nearly 950 additional paintings and drawings from his estate form the core of the Morris Museum's holdings. Subsequent acquisitions by the museum make its collection the largest survey of southern painting in existence. In defining the South geographically and establishing the perimeters for inclusion in the museum collection, the Morris Museum follows the broad boundaries of the curators who produced the 1984 landmark exhibition at Richmond's Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, "Painting in the South: 1564-1980." The term "southern" extended beyond painters born in the South or those working solely within the region, just as the physical South necessarily shifted its boundaries over four centuries. As Estill Curtis Pennington, curator of Southern Painting at the Morris Museum, observes in his introductory essay, the Richmond curators' definition "suggests activity within an environment, rather than activity circumscribed by passports or birthrights." Some...