The first comprehensive survey of paintings and works on paper created in the American South from 1913 to 1955, Southern/Modern features more than one hundred works drawn from public and private collections across the country. The exhibition focuses on artists such as Carroll Cloar, Aaron Douglas, Caroline Durieux, Will Henry Stevens, Alma Thomas, and others who worked in states below the Mason-Dixon line and as far west as those bordering the Mississippi River. It also includes artists from outside the South, such as Josef Albers and Elaine de Kooning, who were instructors at North Carolina’s experimental Black Mountain College, as well as Thomas Hart Benton, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, and others whose works reflect on Southern experiences from a distance.

Throughout the exhibition, thematic groupings weave together the region’s rich cultures, telling stories of agriculture and industry, class division and racial injustice, natural beauty, and stylistic innovation. Full of vibrant, emotionally charged works, Southern/Modern treats a subject long neglected by art historians and museums outside the region. It shows how in the South as elsewhere, modern artists linked social and aesthetic progress, hoping to change the way people saw their world.



Southern/Modern is organized by the Mint Museum in collaboration with the Georgia Museum of Art. Lead support is generously provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Additional funding comes from the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art. Southern/Modern was also made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alfred and Betsy Brand Fund at The Mint Museum.

Henry Luce Foundation logo


Platinum sponsor

HCA logo


Supported in part by

2024 Frist Gala patrons


Education and community engagement supporter

Windgate Foundation logo

Program sponsor

Art Bridges logo

Hospitality sponsors

Union Station and Grand Hyatt logos


Supported in part by

Frist Foundation, Metro Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission, and National Endowment for the Arts logos


Exhibition gallery

Events and programs

Tours
Thursday, February 29, 2024, 6:30–7:00 p.m.

Thirty-Minute Exhibition Tour 

Family Activity
Sunday, March 10, 2024, 1:00–5:30 p.m.

Family Sunday: Southern/Modern

Family Activity
Sunday, March 10, 2024, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Family Movie Matinee: The Princess and the Frog

Lectures + Gallery Talks
Thursday, March 14, 2024, 6:30–7:00 p.m.

Gallery Talk: Southern Relationships to Land in Southern/Modern

Family Activity
Sunday, March 24, 2024, 1:00–5:30 p.m.

Frist Arts Fest

Lectures + Gallery Talks
Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30–4:00 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Thomas Hart Benton’s Sources of Country Music at 50

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