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JCA to host reception for Humphreys tonight

The Johnson Center for the Arts will host a reception and art talk featuring Stephen Humphreys from 6 until 8 p.m. tonight in the JCA’s lower level gallery. The public is invited.

The exhibition features Humphreys’ Cuban and Vietnamese art collections that originated when he was working in Washington DC and traveling on government business to countries with which the United States had very limited relations at the time.

Wiley White, JCA exhibition coordinator, said Humphreys spent his free time finding the leading artists in these then-remote outposts and visiting them in their homes and studios.

“Over time, Stephen made many close friends in the artist community. He also met artists’ friends through this network,” White said.

After leaving Washington, Humphreys continued to visit, sometimes for weddings and other important occasions, immersing in the life of these countries. He developed a large body of his own intimate photography.

The collection of Vietnamese art included in the Johnson Center exhibition also includes works from major museum collections, including the British Museum, the Vietnamese Military History Museum, and the Birmingham Museum of Art.

Humphreys’ collection contains various media, including oil paintings, woodblock prints, gouaches, and a style of lacquer paintings unique to Vietnam.

Humphreys is a native of Birmingham who studied painting and art history at Princeton University, and is a self-taught photographer.