The Golf Life: Augusta museum plans golf exhibition

No. 1 St. Andrews - Linda Hartough The Academy of Golf Art/Linda Hartough

The Golf Life: Augusta museum plans golf exhibition

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The Golf Life: Augusta museum plans golf exhibition

George Lawrence took up golf at age 11 and grew up playing at Forest Park Golf Course in the New York borough of Queens.

He remembers there was no grass on the tees, which were so hard he couldn’t push a tee into the ground.

“It was down to bare clay – rock hard,” he recalls. He’d sharpen his tees like needles to pierce the ground or pick at the ground with his spikes to dig a hole for his tee. The fuzzy greens were more like Velcro than the glassy surfaces we’re accustomed to seeing PGA Tour players putt each week.

“But it was a great place to learn, and I was struck by the beauty of the golf course,” Lawrence said. “Even on the least beautiful golf courses, I can find something beautiful to paint.”

He’s been doing exactly that for years. Lawrence is a member of the Academy of Golf Art, a small collection of artists who will put their work on display Feb. 24-May 13 at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Ga.

“It’s about golf, but it’s really about the academy,” said Kevin Grogan, director and curator of the Morris Museum. “What we wanted to do is represent the academy as a group of people who are taken with the game and have captured its essential qualities in works of art.”

The Academy of Golf Art: Artists of the Game Feb. 24 to May 13, 2018 Credit Lines: Leslie B. DeMille, Phil, 2006. Pastel on canvas. Courtesy of the Estate of Leslie B. DeMille. Noble Powell III, Augusta National Golf Club-#16, c.1993. Casein on waterboard. Courtesy of the Artist.

(Noble Powell III, Augusta National Golf Club-#16, Copyright 1993)

While the Morris Museum “exists in golf heaven,” just a few miles from Augusta National, Grogan noted, it only sporadically touches on the subject of golf.

In 2012, it exhibited golf-inspired pieces by artists such as LeRoy Neiman, Lucy McTier and Linda Hartough. In April 2015, the Morris Museum exhibited 11 original pieces by Hartough, best known for her landscape paintings of some of golf’s most famous holes.

Grogan said that he and Hartough, a member of the academy, began discussing the idea of an exhibit dedicated to the group’s work.

This exhibit will feature 27 works from nine artists, including the late Leslie B. DeMille. Most of the works focus on where the game is played, though DeMille preferred to focus on the players.

Hartough’s work probably is best known among the group, in part because she used to do the official course portraits for the U.S. Open and the British Open.

“She’s captured the essential qualities of the places where golf is played in ways that other people haven’t,” Grogan said. “That’s really what we’re after – not so much the golfer, but the artist. She certainly filled that role comfortably.”

While the exhibit will overlap with the Masters, Grogan doesn’t anticipate the museum will see a boost in attendance. As part of the exhibit, Bobby Jones IV will speak at the Morris Museum at 6-8 p.m. March 8. Gwk


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