Sculpture by award-winning artist on exhibition at Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum

AUBURN – “Dark Harmony,” a large-scale fabricated steel sculpture by award-winning artist Dorothy Dehner, is on exhibition in the Grand Gallery of Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.

“Although the sculpture is abstract in composition, its jagged shapes and totemic structure reflect natural forms, such as a dancer’s gestures or the silhouette of a tree,” said museum director Marilyn Laufer. “‘Dark Harmony’ displays a lyrical quality not found in the work of many of Dehner’s first-generation abstract expressionist colleagues.”

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1901, Dehner started her career in visual arts after a trip to Europe in 1925. She was inspired by the experience of viewing important Cubist and Constructivist works of art while there and enrolled at the Art Students League after returning to New York. Dehner’s early art consisted mainly of Cubist- and Surrealist-inspired paintings and drawings but in the mid-1950s, at the age of 54, she turned her attention to sculpture. After working in cast bronze for several decades, Dehner began producing sculpture in fabricated steel in the 1980s that was often executed in very large scale.

The subject of more than 50 solo exhibitions in the United States, Dehner is represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Phillips Collection and others. She continued to make sculpture until her death in 1994 at age 92.

The exhibition of “Dark Harmony” was made possible by an extended loan from the Dorothy Dehner Foundation for the Visual Arts and through the consideration of Kraushaar Galleries in New York.

For more information about the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, go to or call (334) 844-1484.

Contact: Colleen Bourdeau, (334) 844-7075 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (