University of Mississippi Museum of Art

University Avenue and 5th St.
Oxford , MS 38655
United States


Theora Hambleet Collection

Thursday, April 1, 2021
Tuesday, January 1, 2030

Theora Hamblett, a lifelong resident of Lafayette County, didn’t begin her career as an artist until the latter part of her life.

Born in 1895 in Paris, Mississippi, Hamblett grew up on a chicken farm, which became the subject of many of her paintings. During the early decades of the twentieth century, she taught school, but by the 1930s, she left to care for her ill mother.

After the passing of her mother, Hamblett moved to Oxford, where she bought a 12-room house on Van Buren Avenue. She rented rooms to University of Mississippi students and sewed to make money.


Self-Taught Portraits

Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Saturday, April 15, 2023

The Tradition of African American Quilt-Making

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Saturday, August 14, 2021

Our Faith Affirmed — Works from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Saturday, August 8, 2015

The University of Mississippi Museum of Art presents Our Faith Affirmed – Works from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection, a truly inspiring and transformative exhibition celebrating a major gift by noted scholar and collector Gordon W. Bailey of artworks created by African American self-taught artists. This important exhibition, and accompanying illustrated catalogue, features works by twenty-seven artists, born between 1900 and 1959. Many of the artists are widely known and several–Thornton Dial Sr., Roy Ferdinand, Bessie Harvey, Lonnie Holley, Charlie Lucas, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, and Purvis Young–are internationally exhibited. All of the artists, though unique individuals with decidedly different iconographies and points of view, share context. For them the raging authenticity and soulful expressiveness that is chiefly responsible for their popular and critical acceptance is solid evidence that they never bowed to limitations or expectations. In fact, they seldom altered their content of purpose whether cut off from the larger culture by geography or by law. Director Robert Saarnio states: “Mr. Bailey’s astute assessment that an academic campus-based museum with educational programs for schoolchildren, the general public, and University students stands uniquely positioned to leverage its collections for broad educational impact will prove prescient.”