380 South Lamar Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Tuesday - Saturday
10 AM - 5 PM
noon - 5 PM
Marie Hull (1890-1980), "Gulls in Flight," not dated. oil on wood. Collection of the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Gift of the artist, 1978.042.
ON VIEW AT THE MCCOMB PUBLIC LIBRARY FEBRUARY 1 - MARCH 23, 2019
Early in life, Emily Marie Atkinson Hull (1890-1980) demonstrated a strong sense of personal identity and a definite streak of independence. She was highly intelligent and well educated; from her parents she inherited a passion for music and became an accomplished pianist, graduating from Belhaven College in 1909 with a diploma in music. The following year Marie—she had dropped the first name—began to study art with Ailleen Phillips (1888-1964), a local teacher. Later the same year, Marie departed Jackson for Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The experience was transformative as it offered Marie not just the best academic training available in the United States but also the opportunity to visit the art museums of the East. Hull first traveled to Europe in 1913 and then again in 1929. Then she traveled with about twenty other adult artists on a program devised by a fellow of the National Academy and renowned teacher, George Elmer Browne (1871-1946). The Browne Class went from France, with extended stays in Paris, Uzerche, Saint-Céré, and Cordes-sur-Ciele; to Spain, with similar sojourns in Madrid and Cuenca and briefer stays in Seville, Granada, and Malaga; and then on to Morocco. Along the way there were day-trips to sites of pictorial distinction such as Penne (France) and Safi (on the Atlantic coast of Morocco). She recorded her visual experiences in a series of large sketchbooks, making drawings—in black Conté crayon or charcoal—and watercolors.
In the 1920s, Americans were mobilized by economic prosperity, the popularity of the automobile, and a boom in highway construction. It was then that the U.S. embraced “car culture,” especially in the vast reaches of the West (beyond Dallas) where rail service was limited to a few lines. The Hulls joined the parade and made two extraordinary journeys to the West Coast—the first during the first half of 1925. Later in the year they reversed course and traveled all the way to Tampa, Florida, where she continued to sketch and paint.
This exhibition offers glimpses of just a few pages from these sketchbooks from which the artist herself removed individual sheets throughout her lifetime. Also featured are several of her most vivid oil paintings, fine examples of her representative style.