2nd Friday Art Night at Historic Arkansas Museum

PhillipRexHuddlestonThe second Friday of 2016 means it is time for the first 2nd Friday Art Night of the year.

Historic Arkansas Museum hosts a free evening of art, history and live music by Phillip Rex Huddleston!  It runs from 5pm to 8pm.

The evening offers a chance to explore two small exhibitions in the museum’s First Floor Hall, including: Maps of Arkansas (1822 – 1856) and Niloak Art Pottery Figurines (produced in Benton, Arkansas, 1909 – 1946).

Maps of Arkansas – This collection of historic maps of Arkansas, a gift of Parker Westbrook, illustrates the evolution of Arkansas from the Territorial Era through early statehood including the division and addition of many counties and a doubling of Arkansas’s population between 1840 and 1850. The maps are engravings on paper and skillfully hand-colored.

Parker Westbrook (1926 – 2015) is widely acknowledged as the “father” of historic preservation in Arkansas. He received many accolades in the field of preservation, was a museum commissioner for more than 30 years and served as chair for a time. Parker’s contributions to Historic Arkansas Museum include securing log structures for the museum farmstead, teaching us how to lay split-rail fencing, donating an array of historic objects to the museum’s collection and contributing many bottles of his famous muscadine wine to the live auction of our biennial fundraiser.

Niloak Art Pottery Figurines – Niloak is a line of American art pottery produced in Benton, Arkansas, from 1909 until 1946. Although best known for their distinctive mission swirl pottery, Niloak also began producing a castware line called Hywood Art Pottery in the 1930s. The capricious figurines in this display represent the expansive variety of cast pieces produced by the company. The name Niloak is Kaolin spelled backward. Kaolin is a type of fine-grade clay found in Benton, AR. This collection was generously donated to the museum’s permanent collection by former Arkansas congressman Vic Snyder.

Several other downtown museums and galleries participate in 2nd Friday Art Night.

Historic Arkansas Museum is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.