Get a Rare Look at Memphis’ Hidden Art Collections

Posted by Holly Whitfield | May 18th 2011 1699 0

There’s amazing art hiding in Memphis.

It’s not at some tiny new gallery or blink-and-you’ll-miss-it show. It’s hiding on wallsin living rooms and offices in private collections all over the city.

For the first time ever, the rest of us have a chance to see the best of these rarely seen works as part of the Dixon’s “Private Memphis” exhibit.

(Tim Rollins (American b. 1955) and K.O.S. collaborative group (1982- ) Invisible Man (After Ralph Ellison), 1999
Matte acrylic on book pages mounted on canvas, 72 x 72″, Collection of Dr. Rushton E. Patterson, Jr

The show, which spans five rooms in the Dixon’s gallery, is divided into themes – people, places and objects. The works range from a 17th century pencil drawing by Michel Corneille The Younger to Tim Rollins and K.O.S. Collaborative’s “Invisible Man”, which uses pages from the novel to form a giant I and M.

The main thing I noticed from the show is what diverse taste Memphians have in art. There are original O’Keefes and Magrittes next to giant photos of hurricane-ravaged Biloxi (by Mitch Epstein) and photos by Cindy Sherman. Many of the pieces are from the private collections of some of the city’s most prominent families.

(Rene Magritte (1898-1967), Nu Allonge (Georgette Magritte), 1923
Oil on canvas, 17 ½ x 23 ¼”, Collection of Anne and Marsh Gibson

“Private Memphis” is on display until June 5th. After that, the works will go back into hiding.

(Larry Edwards, Pinocchio’s Dream, 2008, Pastel and gouache on paper, 40 x 26 inches, Courtesy of the artist)

And while one show closes, another opens. The Dixon is hosting an opening party for their exhibit of Memphis artist Larry Edwards’ “Three Themes” show on Thursday night. The show features a collection of Edwards’ circus, Pinocchio and side-show inspired paintings. They’ll be on display until July 24th.

Go there:

Dixon Gallery and Gardens

4339 Park Avenue
Memphis, TN 38117-4698
(901) 761-5250

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Filed Under:    
Show Comments


  1. Vesica says:

    Any chance this will travel to other parts of the US or to Europe at any point?

Leave a Comment