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Winston Churchill exhibition coming to Rome

01/22/15 12 p.m.

PRESS RELEASE

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s passing on January 24, 2015, the City of Rome, Berry College and Rome Area Council for the Arts have partnered with the Millennium Gate Museum and the Churchill family to present an exhibition of the iconic statesman, Nobel-prize winning, and wartime hero.

On view at Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum from February 13 through March 15, 2015, The Art of Diplomacy: Winston Churchill and the Pursuit of Painting will display six Churchill paintings and over one-hundred artifacts, honoring Sir Winston Churchill’s family connections to Georgia.

Although described by Churchill as the product of a “pastime,” these paintings and nearly 500 others he completed, profoundly influenced his personal and professional life.  Beginning in 1915 at the age of 40, painting pulled Churchill out of his darkest days and set him on his journey towards his finest hour.  It was painting, he wrote, that helped him cope with the stress of political life, and painting that allowed him to be productive as he developed his thinking about the rising danger of Hitler and Nazi Germany.  In addition, Churchill found that the skills he learned from painting made his leadership more effective, and he used his painter’s eye to achieve his political and diplomatic goals.

As Churchill wrote, “If it weren’t for painting I could not live. I couldn’t bear the strain of things.” If he was right – in the words of esteemed art historian Ernst Gombrich – “his painting may have helped to save Western civilization.”

Winston Churchill was Prime Minister from 1940-1945 and again from 1951-1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the twentieth century, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, and a writer.  He was made an honorary citizen of the United States in 1963. Churchill’s family has maintained a legacy of influence and involvement in Georgia since its founding.  His ancestor, John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, trained General James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, in military tactics.  Churchill himself lectured and toured in Georgia in 1932.

This exhibition is organized by the Millennium Gate Museum and the family of Winston Churchill’s Great Grandson, Duncan Sandys. Rome is one of eight cities in Georgia selected as a host city for the exhibition that commemorates the 50thanniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s passing.

Admission to the exhibition held at The Martha Berry Museum is $5 for students and $8 for adults. The museum is openMonday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

A special black-tie optional gala that includes cocktail museum tours of the Churchill exhibition, and baronial dinner with Former Lord Mayor of Westminster and Winston Churchill’s Great Grandson Duncan Sandys is planned to benefit Rome’s showcase of this international exhibition.  The gala will be held at Oak Hill & Martha Berry Museum on Sunday, March 15 at 5:00 p.m.  Tickets are $100 and are available online at RomeGeorgia.org/Churchill.  Purchase tickets by Monday, March 2, 2015.

The exhibition is presented by Berry College, Oak Hill & Martha Berry Museum, City of Rome and sponsored by the Rome Area Council for the Arts.