Southern Family Art Exhibit opening at Firehouse next week

Published 4:07 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A unique exhibit, titled “Not Far from the Tree: The Legacy of Art in One Southern Family,” will open with a public reception on Thursday, October 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Firehouse Arts Center.

The exhibit has been created by two sisters, Linda R. James and Jan James Niedringhaus, who have strong ancestral ties to the Graham family of Bainbridge, Georgia, through their mother.

As they researched their family history, they soon discovered a persistent thread of artists, writers and musicians on their family tree, going back as far as the 1700’s.

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Added to the genealogical research is a long revered family lore of the Graham family connection to an artist named Benjamin West, known as the “American Raphael.” West painted a miniature of himself on a ring that has been handed down through generations of descendants of the Graham family. The ring, along with a letter explaining its origin, will be part of the exhibit.

Paintings and drawings by Graham family members from the 19th through 21st centuries, including a china plate with a haunting history, are included. Other objects of interest are an autograph album from 1874 and needlework and writing selections created by the Grahams.

The exhibition and reception are both free and open to the public. The exhibit continues to be open on Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. through November 13.