Just in time for the Jewish High Holy Days in September, staff and volunteers from the LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts installed 16 brightly colored paintings depicting scenes from the Hebrew Bible.
The series of twenty Paintings from the Pentateuch created by artist, George Merritt Milton was given as a gift by the artist to the LeMoyne Permanent Collection in 1996.
Inspired by the text of the first five books of the Old Testament, the paintings with their enduring symbolism, incandescent colors and bold imagery offer viewers a deeply meaningful visual and spiritual experience.
George Merritt Milton was the first artist featured in a one-man exhibition by the LeMoyne Art Foundation and for thirty years his glowing paintings, bold drawings and rich crayon portraits delighted and inspired his viewers.
George grew up in Marianna, Florida, and received his formal training from the Corcoran School of Art and Florida State University. He served as professor and curator for the FSU Department of Anthropology, offering courses in Ancient Egypt, Meso-America, Mesopotamia, Central America, Primitive Art and Museum Techniques.
At age 62, George retired from FSU as Associate Professor Emeritus.
In the years following his retirement, George’s religious readings and studies strongly influenced both his life and his art.
Long time member and patron of LeMoyne, Nell Gibbs, was inspired by the Collection and commissioned the development of a folio, in honor of her late husband Lou Gibbs, which serves as a memento of the premiere showing of the paintings and provides the reader a rare opportunity to share in the creative journey of the artist through his own words.
Copies of the folio are available at LeMoyne and at the installation of the paintings.
Ann Kozeliski, LeMoyne Executive Director; Mike Brennan, Artist and LeMoyne Volunteer; Mayda Williams, LeMoyne Board Member and Kelly Dozier, LeMoyne Volunteer were on hand to install the paintings in Temple Israel’s recently renovated sanctuary.
Temple Israel and LeMoyne have had a strong relationship, with many of the Temple’s members having been supporters of LeMoyne from its founding in 1963. LeMoyne’s first board president was Al Block, a pillar of Temple Israel.
LeMoyne and Temple Israel, through this art installation, affirm their long lasting positive relationship and their appreciation of the artistry of George Merritt Milton.