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And They All Sang Hallelujah
May 26, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pmFree
April 15th – June 2nd || 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. || The Morris Museum of Art
The cultural landscape of the American South is shaped and often identified by many things, religion among them. In the popular imagination, religion in the South is distinguished not by its denominations—mainly Protestant, often Evangelical—but by its conservative fundamentalist orientation. The single largest denominational body is the Southern Baptist Convention, and the wide distribution of its many churches is often considered one of the salient characteristics of the region. In the South, church attendance and church-associated activities play a significant role in the lives of communities and families.
From time immemorial, this important aspect of the life of the region has been explored by its visual artists, as demonstrated here by the work of Eldridge Bagley, William H. Clarke, Minnie Evans, Clementine Hunter, William Tolliver, and others. Their lives, like their work, closely reflect Southern life, whose common rituals include many that are of a specifically religious nature—weddings, funerals, prayer meetings. Religious imagery so suffuses life in the South that it should come as no surprise that Clementine Hunter’s first painting was of a baptism.
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