Looking Back and Moving Forward
Celebrating 200 years of Mississippi history and the state's bright future.
The Bicentennial will be celebrated all year long, from the three marquee Mississippi Bicentennial Celebrations to events large and small in communities all around the state. As Mississippians come together around a shared history, keep up with celebrations from the Gulf Coast to the River, and through the Pines, Delta and Hills regions here.
Picturing Mississippi, 1817 – 2017: Land of Plenty, Pain, and Promise
December 9, 2017 @ 8:00 am - July 8, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
The sixteenth presentation in The Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin Memorial Exhibition Series, Picturing Mississippi, 1817 – 2017: Land of Plenty, Pain, and Promise commemorates and celebrates the 200th anniversary of statehood for Mississippi. Picturing Mississippi is on view at the Museum’s Jackson location December 9, 2017 – July 8, 2018.
The aesthetic goal of the exhibition 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 the state. 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.
The exhibition will proceed chronologically and thematically, giving visitors the opportunity to perceive the evolving depiction of Mississippi – first by foreign-born artists as a place of immense beauty and prosperity, and later as a land laid waste by civil war, farmed by sharecroppers, held in check by segregation, and changed forever by the struggle for civil rights. Eventually, new voices rose to express the extraordinary artistic creativity of Mississippians of all races.