Tuesday, February 23, 2016

[325] MTSU professor examines compelling, enigmatic artist in Feb. 18 lecture

MURFREESBORO — A history professor will explore the work of an artist who shatters all kinds of existing narratives about women and art at an upcoming MTSU event.

Jae Turner, a lecturer in the Department of History, will discuss “Mary E. Hutchinson’s Gender Madness” at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in Room 100 of the James Union Building. A printable parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Mary E. Hutchinson, a native Atlantan who lived from 1906 to 1970, taught in New York in the Federal Art Project under the Works Progress Administration from 1934 to 1943. After she returned to Atlanta in 1945, she taught art at several Catholic high schools.

“Hutchinson and her work are not only lost; they have become unintelligible,” Turner wrote on her blog http://meh.omeka.net/. “By unintelligible, I mean that her art is now difficult or even impossible to read in meaningful ways. Or the meanings available make no sense when placed in context with her lived experience and her other work.”

Turner wrote that her approach to Hutchinson “critiques the structures and limits of art history associated with gender, sexuality and race which have rendered her life and work unintelligible.”

Hutchinson’s work has been exhibited in several galleries and museums, including Atlanta’s High Museum of Art and New York’s Midtown Galleries. Her correspondence, writings, artwork, scrapbooks, photographs and other printed material are housed at Emory University.

Turner’s lecture on Hutchinson is part of the spring 2016 Women’s and Gender Studies Research Lecture Series. Each academic year, these events present a wide range of feminist perspectives from MTSU faculty and students at informal gatherings.

Women’s and Gender Studies Research lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Clare Bratten at 615-898-2795 or clare.bratten@mtsu.edu.

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