October 26, 2024 - February 2, 2025

Mint Museum Uptown


The first exhibition to present a comprehensive survey of works by artists working in the American South in the first half of the 20th century

Created in collaboration with Georgia Museum of Art, the exhibition includes more than 100 paintings and works on paper by artists working in states below the Mason-Dixon line and as far west as those bordering the Mississippi River, as well as some artists living outside of the region who made significant bodies of work during visits. 

Curated by the Mint’s Senior Curator of American Art Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, and independent scholar Martha Severens, Southern/Modern: Rediscovering Southern Art From the First Half of the Twentieth Century takes a broad view of the South and is structured around key themes that traverse geographic regions, including time and place, race, family ties, and social struggles. It also takes a broad, inclusive view of the art of the region, incorporating the creativity and talent of women artists and artists of color across its various thematic sections to provide a fuller, richer, and more accurate overview of the artistic activity in the American South at the time. 

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Featured Artists

John Biggers

Romare Bearden

Elizabeth Catlett

Thomas Hart Benton

Elaine de Kooning

Homer Ellertson

James A. Porter

Willem de Kooning

Caroline Durieux

Traveling dates and locations

Georgia Museum of Art
Athens, Georgia
June 17–December 10, 2023

Frist Art Museum
Nashville, Tennessee
January 26–April 28, 2024

Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Memphis, Tennessee
July 14– September 29, 2024

The Mint Museum
Charlotte, North Carolina
October 26, 2024–February 2, 2025

  • The vision for Southern/Modern to include works by artists working in the South in the early 20th century, including works by women and artists of color, opens the door for honest conversation about Southern culture during this period of time.

    – Todd Herman, president and CEO at The Mint Museum
  • Bringing together an exceptional group of historians, Southern/Modern enriches the understanding of America and American art during the pivotal first half of the 20th century.

    – Barbara Haskell, curator, The Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Whether ‘rediscovering’ or encountering southern modernisms for the first time, onlookers will find a welcome diversity of visual expressions shaped — even haunted — by place and identity.

    – Sylvia Yount, Lawrence A. Fleischmann Curator in Charge of American Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Thank you to our presenting sponsor

    Lead Support Provided by

    Additional support provided by

    Southern/Modern is generously presented by Wells Fargo. Lead grant support for the exhibition is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation with additional funding from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Andrew Wyeth Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Betsy and Alfred Brand Fund at The Mint Museum.

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    Exhibition Keepsake

    The accompanying catalogue is the first to survey progressive art created in the American South during the first half of the 20th century. Featuring 12 essays, this lavishly illustrated volume includes all the works from the exhibition and assess a broader body of contextual pieces to offer a fascinating multi pronged look at modernism’s thriving presence in the South– something, until now, largely overlooked in histories of American art.

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