Past Exhibitions

REUNION: Highlights of the Collection

Sunday, July 20, 2014 - Sunday, August 02, 2015

Featuring more than 50 works from the permanent collection, this exhibition focuses on reuniting our visitors with some of the most compelling and historically significant works from the Taubman Museum of Art’s holdings. Many of the works included in Reunion are destination pieces that people travel great distances to view, but of late have been in storage or loaned to other museums for important nationally touring shows. Like the collection, half of the work presented is light sensitive work on paper, meaning that a number of pieces will be rotated in and out, giving viewers a chance to see new work periodically through the run of the exhibition. From tiny couture handbags (Leiber) to the giant Perpetual Motion machine (by eccentric artist Harry Leroy Brunson), there is something for everyone in Reunion.

While Reunion is just a small sampling of the 2,155 works in the collection acquired over the last 60 years, it reveals the range and diversity of the many paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative pieces that have often been hidden behind closed doors. It also seeks to reinvigorate familiar signature works by presenting them in new settings, paired with objects to create unexpected results for casual visitors and scholars alike. Some of the signature works on view include objects by Thomas Hart Benton, Thomas Eakins, Susan Macdowell Eakins, George Inness, Judith Leiber, Norman Rockwell, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Robert Henri, and John Henry Twachtman.

Reunion is also a chance to get to know the museum’s collection better. Centered on American art between the Civil War and the end of World War I, the Taubman Museum’s collection contains excellent examples of Post-World War II pieces, impressive groupings of modern and contemporary work from artists of the American Southeastern region, and one of the most distinguished collections of twentieth century American folk art in the South. Further complementing the regional and national holdings is the Peggy Macdowell Thomas Trust artwork by the American artist Thomas Eakins, and his wife and sister-in-law who lived in Roanoke, as well as works donated by the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust and other generous individuals and families from the region who have helped make the collection what it is today.

REUNION: Highlights of the Collection will be on display in the American Art Gallery and the Susan Macdowell Eakins and Thomas Eakins Gallery, July 20, 2013 - August 2, 2015.


Audrey Flack (American, born 1931) Civitas Head—Rock Hill Goddess, 1995, Cast bronze, second cast, Gift of Rosalie and Sydney Shaftman, 1997.004

William Christenberry (American, 1936-2016) South End of Palmist Building, Havana Junction, Alabama, 1982, Ektacolor photograph on paper, Museum Purchase with assistance from the National Endowment of the Arts 1990.001.002.008

Frederick Carl Frieseke (American, 1874-1939), In the Nursery (detail), 1917, Oil on canvas, Acquired with funds provided by the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust, 2000.001

Lilly Martin Spencer (American, 1822-1902)  Jane Eleanor Sherman Lacey and her Son Edward (detail), 1857, Oil on canvas, Museum Purchase, 1988.020