Sand Unshaken: The Origin Story of Alma Thomas
May 21 - October 2, 2022
Long before Alma W. Thomas became a beloved teacher or a celebrated artist, she grew up in Columbus, the daughter of a successful business owner and an in-demand dressmaker. Her parents turned their suburban Victorian home into a center of cultural pursuits, and Thomas's family became founding members of a nascent Black middle class in Columbus. However, their lovers still faced discrimination and the threat of violence.
This exhibition seeks to challenge traditional myths about Thomas's upbringing while spotlighting the achievements and challenges of an African American family in the Deep South between Reconstruction and World War 1. The project draws heavily from Thomas and Cantey family archives in The Columbus Museum's permanent collection. Featured artifacts include family portraits, books, and musical instruments used by family members, furnishings from the Thomas family home in Rose Hill, and a locket purchased by Thomas's grandfather for her grandmother while both were enslaved.
This exhibition will complement the landmark art exhibition Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful, opening at the Museum on July 1.
This exhibition was generously sponsored by Synovus.