HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 31, 2023) – Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center rings in
the holidays with some of renowned Tennessee artist Ralph J. McDonald’s paintings of Jolly Old
St. Nicholas. The exhibition, titled Magic of Santa: Paintings by Ralph J. McDonald, will run Nov.
18 2023 to Jan. 7, 2024 and feature more than 35 of McDonald’s Yuletide paintings. The arrival
of his work heralds a season of celebration that will include music performances and the
ceremonial lighting of the MACC’s 25-foot outdoor Christmas tree.
“I am simply overjoyed to showcase the paintings of Ralph J. McDonald at Monthaven,”
says Cheryl Strichik, the MACC’s executive director. His paintings capture Santa’s inherent sense
of joy and generosity, and they are guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit.”
McDonald was already a renowned wildlife artist before he created his first Santa Clause
painting. That work, titled “A Christmas Party,” was inspired by a trip through Cades Cove in the
Smoky Mountains on a snowy winter day. It was painted in the tradition of the Santa painters
that McDonald most admired, such as Haddon Sundblom, Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth.
Not surprisingly, McDonald’s love of nature finds its way into many of his Santa paintings. The
details of each scene all work together to emit kindness, joy, laughter, peace and serenity.
As a wildlife artist, McDonald’s career is second to none. He was commissioned by the
governor of Tennessee to paint the official state bird, the mockingbird, and by the governor of
South Carolina to paint the state animal and fish, the whitetail deer and striped bass. McDonald
has twice been Featured Artist in several of the most prestigious wildlife art shows in America,
among them the Southeastern Wildlife Expo and World Wildlife Expo.
The opening of Magic of Santa, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, coincides
with this year’s Christmas Tree Elegance. Five stylish, seven-foot Christmas Trees, donated by
Vickman Company, are gorgeously decorated by noted designers. Each tree is uniquely
appointed to match a particular theme. Trees are also embellished with gifts and sold through a
silent auction. All proceeds support the MACC’s arts education and outreach activities.
Other holiday happenings at the MACC include:
• Merry Monthaven Christmas (4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3): This popular
annual event features the lighting of the MACC’s outdoor Christmas tree along
with performances by the Hendersonville High School Jazz Vocal Ensemble and
special Christmas performance by Cole Ritter and the Night Owls.
• Appalachian Road Show (2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17): This visionary
acoustic ensemble will perform in an intimate, Bluebird Café-like setting at the
Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) is a jewel-box art museum and education
facility housed in one of Tennessee’s most spectacular antebellum mansions. A 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization, the MACC has staged exhibitions featuring everything from the ceramic
art of Pablo Picasso to the evening gowns of Princess Diana. The artwork of local artists and
military veterans are also on frequent display. As an art school, the MACC offers classes to more
than 800 children and adults each year. The MACC also provides free arts outreach and healing
arts to underserved children, families and military veterans. For more information, visit
www.monthavenarts.org or call (615) 822-0789.
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2023) – A collection of highly stylized ceramics,
designed by Spanish master Pablo Picasso—the 20th century’s most lauded artist—will be on view at Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center. The exhibition, titled Master in Clay Part II, opens Sept. 17, 2023 and continues through Nov. 12, 2023.
A trove drawn from Picasso’s unusual Edition Ceramics, all created from 1947 to 1971, will commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death (1881-1973). The acclaimed maestro of multiple mediums was 91 when he passed away at his home on the French Riviera.
The MACC exhibition will showcase 60 of Picasso’s Edition Ceramics—-from plates to platters to pitchers to non-functional sculptural pieces. With 633 different designs, Picasso’s effort to reach a worldwide, mass market at a far more accessible price point, was extremely successful. Additionally, it was said that he relished the idea that people could dine on his simple, earthenware plates.
Cheryl Strichik, Executive Director of the MACC, said she is delighted to offer this unique, free opportunity to museum goers. More than 10,000 people from across the country visited Monthaven in 2019 when other objects, drawn from this same collection, were exhibited.
Albert & Mitsie Scaglione, avid art collectors from Southfield, Michigan, are the founders of the Park West Museum, the Park West Gallery and the Park West Foundation. They are widely known for their philanthropic generosity, according to Strichik.
Morris Shapiro, Park West Gallery’s senior gallery director, will be at Monthaven to give a special presentation of Picasso’s ceramics at 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 18, 2023. Space is limited, and registration for the event is available at the MACC’s website (monthavenarts.org).
Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) is a jewel-box art museum and education facility housed in one of Tennessee’s most spectacular antebellum mansions. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the MACC has staged exhibitions featuring everything from the ceramic art of Pablo Picasso to the evening gowns of Princess Diana. The artwork of local artists and military veterans are also on frequent display. As an art school, the MACC offers classes to more
than 600 children and adults each year. The MACC also provides free arts outreach and healing arts to underserved children, families and military veterans. For more information, visit www.monthavenarts.org or call (615) 822-0789.
Bullfight Scene (Scene de Tauromachie)
1957, A.R. 393
Red earthenware clay plate, painted and partially engraved. Inscribed ‘Edition Picasso’, ‘Madoura’ and numbered on the verso. With the ‘Edition Picasso’ and ‘Madoura Plein Feu’ pottery stamps. From the Arabic numbered edition of 500 examples.
Yan Face (Yan Visage)
1963, A.R. 512
Red earthenware clay pitcher, unglazed and painted. Stamped with the ‘Madoura Plein Feu’ and ‘Edition Picasso’ pottery stamps, and incised ‘Edition Picasso,’ ‘Madoura,’ and numbered on the base. From the Arabic numbered edition of 300 examples. 10 1/4″ x 4 5/8″ x 6 1/4″