Margaret’s Menagerie

by Alexis Anderson, Gillian Brown, Sarai David, Meredith Glasco, Tanner Herndon, Emily Hilbert, Tessa Honeycutt, Jonni Hower, Brittany Johnson, Jordan Petty, Alana White

Faculty mentor: Dr. Marjorie Och

“Margaret’s Menagerie” is an exhibition produced by students in ARTH 317: Laboratory in Museum Studies. The exhibition focuses on the work of Margaret Sutton (1905-90), a 1926 graduate of the State Teacher’s College in Fredericksburg, Virginia, now the University of Mary Washington. The works chosen for the exhibition explore the artist’s vivid imagination and the deep resource of inspiration that she found in animals and nature.

Please visit the exhibition site:

7 Replies to “Margaret’s Menagerie”

  1. Heartiest congratulations to you–Alana, Alexis, Brittany, Emily, Gillian, Jonni, Jordan, Meredith, Sarai, Tanner, and Tessa–and Marjorie–on a wonderful exhibition! It’s a joy to be able to explore another aspect of Margaret Sutton’s work–and the work of another UMW alumna who went out to do great things in the world. Thank you all for your persistence with this exhibition, despite the challenges of working remotely during this challenging time. It’s particularly powerful to see images made in New York City. These artworks are also products of the challenges that city faced at another, different, difficult time. The writing accompanying each piece also does a wonderful job of evoking Sutton’s love of animals and of the companionship many of us are sharing with them as we stay at home and are maybe also a bit more attuned to the natural world outside as well.

    Two questions for the curators:
    –how did you come to choose the particular piece you wrote about?
    –what part of the exhibition makes you the most proud?

    1. The use of color just stood out to me and it seemed to be a very vibrant and active piece of work. I loved researching it and finding more out about it.

    2. Hi Dr. DeLancey!

      I picked “Roaned” because I was really curious about the central figure. I was immediately reminded of a Bird-of-Paradise but wanted to do more research into her potential influences. I think I’m most proud of how well we worked together and put together the exhibition, even when our plans for the semester had to change drastically.

    3. Hi! I’m so glad you enjoyed the exhibition! I picked my work, Untitled (Reindeer), because I love Gothic architecture and working with one of Sutton’s black and white compositions was a lot easier for me to comprehend than her wild colors and shapes.
      I am most proud of how we all worked together to make this exhibition happen despite the challenges! It was a wonderful experience to get to work with everyone on this project.

  2. This is so cool! I love how in-depth you all went with the pieces of art and the wording was just fantastic.

  3. What an amazing opportunity to have such a rich and beautiful collection from Margaret Sutton at hand for students to study and practice their museum skills! This approach to her work was fascinating!!

  4. Beautiful exhibition, everyone!

    I really love seeing this work, which I am so familiar with, curated so thoughtfully. The theme of animals in Sutton’s work is strong, and yet I’m not sure I ever ever truly appreciated this specific exploration before seeing all of the images together.

    Well done!

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