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.

Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman describes the inspiration behind Southern/Modern.
Listen to community responses to segregation and Jim Crow in Southern/Modern.
Brooke Schneider and Mark Scala discuss the art of the “mill town” represented in Southern/Modern.

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

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