The Artist's Journal

Painting of the site of the first Alabama Auburn game in Birmingham, Alabama.
Part 4: A Brief History of Birmingham, Alabama through Miriam’s Art

If you know anything about the history of Birmingham, you’ll understand the significance of this oil on linen painting of Miriam’s. Sports played a major role in the South after Reconstruction, and Birmingham in particular, establishing its cultural identity and sense of community after a civil war. Baseball was particularly influential with the forming of

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Painting of a garden by the viaduct in Birmingham Alabama
Part 3: A Brief History of Birmingham, Alabama through Miriam’s Art

History of Birmingham through Miriam’s art series continued… Viaducts, or long bridges with a series of arches, are significant features in the Birmingham cityscape. Many times Viaducts are built to carry railroads. Birmingham’s viaducts cross over railroads that cut through the southern part of the city and carry iron and steel from the furnaces that

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Sketch of Sloss Furnace
Part 2: A Brief History of Birmingham, Alabama through Miriam’s Art

In this series, we’re delving into Miriam’s art that portrays a significant slice of Birmingham, Alabama’s history—the city where Miriam dedicated most of her artistic career. [Read Part 1 here] Birmingham, Alabama, derived its name from Birmingham, England, a hub for iron and industry during the Industrial Revolution. The abundant iron ore in the Jones

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Painting of Cliff Road in Birmingham Alabama by Miriam McClung
Part 1: A Brief History of Birmingham, Alabama through Miriam’s Art

Miriam’s life and art career spans a large period of the city of Birmingham, Alabama’s history, as she painted in the city and surrounding villages her entire life. We will spend the next few weeks exploring one thread of Birmingham’s history through her art. Birmingham got its nickname, “The Magic City”, because of its rapid

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Meet a major influence on Miriam’s art

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we thought we should introduce Miriam’s mother, Ellen Maddox Jackson, and her impact on Miriam’s art. Ellen (b. 1904) was one of five siblings and grew up in a small town and farming community (Easonville) in central Alabama. Her brothers preferred hunting, fishing, and other popular outdoor sports, which Ellen

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Boy in the White Collar Shirt
Portrait Painting with an American Legend

Jerry Farnsworth (1895 – 1983) was one of the most renowned portrait and figure painters in America. In the 1930s, his commissions included covers for TIME magazine and are exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He and his artist wife, Helen Sawyer, were also wonderful teachers and

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"Girl with a Guitar"
The mystery and joy of collecting portraits

Why would you collect and hang a portrait of someone in your home that you do not know? Consider this—most of the most valuable, appreciated, and well-known works of art in the world are portraits of people that know one personally knows: Mona Lisa, Whistler’s Mother, Girl with the Pearl Earring, American Gothic, etc. That

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The Shepherd at Galilee
Where is all the art in churches in America?

A few of Miriam’s grandchildren recently returned from a whirlwind introductory tour of Europe including Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, and London. Can you guess where they spent most of their time in those cities touring? Museums and churches! Why? Well, it wasn’t to see the technology they used at the time for music or lighting or

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Views from Holy Week

A central theme of Miriam’s art is her faith in God. This week, many Christians around the world celebrate “Holy Week” or the days leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Miriam has quite a few works around these events as they are personal and foundational to her faith. You cannot fully understand Miriam or

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