“We Had Faces!” Stars from Old Hollywood

December 9, 2017 - March 18, 2018
Yarbrough Gallery

  • Jean Harlow, Dinner at Eight (Detail)
    Silver gelatin print
    Gift of Georgoe W. Dudley, Jr.

Today, in an era when actors can be photographed by any fan with a cell phone, glamorous, classical Hollywood studio photographs may seem oddly alien. These perfect, precisely arranged, and frequently retouched photographs were extremely important in establishing an image for each Hollywood star, and they included both formal portraits and staged movie publicity shots. Every star’s public image was carefully maintained in the old studio system, and it was not until the 1950s that candid images also began to appear.

The photographs in “We Had Faces!” Stars from Old Hollywood include examples by leading Hollywood photographers such as Clarence Sinclair Bull, George Hurrell, and Laslo Willinger. The late George W. Dudley, Jr., who grew up in Columbus and was president of the American Postcard Company in New York, donated most of the photographs in this exhibition to The Columbus Museum in 1991 as part of a larger gift. Ranging from 1918 to 1957, the images on view include publicity photographs from classic Hollywood films such as Dinner at Eight and Suspicion, portraits of stars such as Gloria Swanson, Hedy Lamarr, and Gary Cooper, and more candid photographs of 1950s icons James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn.

“We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces! There just aren’t faces like that anymore.”
– Norma Desmond, Sunset Boulevard

Look @ Lunchtime
Aug 14 @ 12:15 pm – 12:30 pm

LOOK! @ Lunchtime is a collaborative viewing exercise and dialogue centered on works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection. Jonathan Frederick Walz, Director of Curatorial Affairs & Curator of American Art, facilitates LOOK! discussions every second Tuesday to explore a new object each month.

Featured object: Charles Curran, Self-Portrait, 1892

Alma Thomas Society Cochran Collection Closing Reception
Aug 16 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Summer Concert Series
Aug 16 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

We are turning up the heat in the Museum with the Summer Concert Series.  Throughout the summer, the arts collide with music provided by local and regional bands and free guided tours of the Museum’s collection provided by staff and docents.  Bring a picnic dinner or purchase one from one of our featured food trucks.

Featuring: Fort Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence Jazz Band

“Dancing on the Edge of the Abyss” Exhibition Closes
Aug 19 all-day
Young Art Patrons Purchase Party
Aug 24 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

We are excited to bring contemporary artist Jarrett Key to the Museum to create a work on site that will be acquired through the YAPs’ fundraising efforts to add to the Museum’s collection. Key has close Columbus ties as a native of rural Alabama and graduate of Brookstone School. He left the South to attend Brown University. Since moving to New York, Key has been featured in performances, biennales, residencies, publications, exhibitions, and workshops at NYU Tisch, galleries in Brooklyn, Chelsea, LES, Harlem, Boston, Ljubljana and Shanghai. Key’s work is in the collections of the Schomburg Center, MoMa Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Library, among other institutions. The HAIR PAINTING series has been featured at the Studio Museum in Harlem and Harlem Arts Festival in Marcus Garvey Park, as well on television: SLAY TV, and CBS 2 NYC. Using his own hair, Key will paint in front of a live audience using an original soundscape that he creates. The Museum will acquire the work created during the performance.


Those who donate $50 or more towards the purchase are invited to a private reception prior to the performance. To make a donation or join the Young Art Patrons Affiliate group, please contact Morgan Wilson at mwilson@columbusmuseum.com or 706-748-2562 ext. 540.



Teen Yarn Sculpture Workshop
Aug 25 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Instructor: Liz Lovin

Participants will draw inspiration from the knitted sculptures of artist Nathan Vincent to create their own large scale yarn sculptures in the studio.

Register by August 17;


“Eddie Dominguez: Garden of Eden” exhibition opens
Sep 1 all-day
Look! @ Lunchtime
Sep 11 @ 12:15 pm – 12:30 pm

LOOK! @ Lunchtime is a collaborative viewing exercise and dialogue centered around works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection. Jonathan Frederick Walz, Director of Curatorial Affairs & Curator of American Art, will facilitate LOOK! discussions every second Tuesday. Each month a new object will be explored.

Featured object: Eddie Dominguez, Hope Rosary, 2005-2012 

Rothschild Distinguished Speaker Series: Mark Dion
Sep 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Please join us as we welcome world-renowned artist Mark Dion to the Chattahoochee Valley. The recipient of the ninth annual Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (2001), The Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2007), and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Lucida Art Award (2008), Dion will present a visual overview of his many installation projects, as well as insights into his working process. The Columbus Museum has commissioned the artist to create a cabinet about the natural history of the local region entitled A Gentleman Collector in the Local Chattahoochee River Valley. A collaboration between the Columbus State University Department of Art and The Columbus Museum, the presentation will be followed by a reception.

RSVP by September 10

Hot Glass Date Night (4-6pm session)
Sep 14 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Instructor:  Kelly Robertson, Calvary Glass

Looking for something fun and creative to do on your next get-together with that special someone, your bestie, or maybe even a family member?  Then this hot-glass “date” night is for you.  You and your companion will learn how to gather, heat, and shape molten glass into beautiful forms for a one-of a kind piece of art! Each person will make at least one piece, choosing from the following items: flower, paperweight, heart or ornament, and more.  No previous experience is required and this session is available for beginner, intermediate, or advanced students. Only one individual in each pair should register, as the fee includes both participants. Registration will be available soon.

Register by September 7;

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