Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mildred Nix Huie (1906-2000) was a remarkable woman, American Impressionist artist, sculpture, historian, and writer  who in 1967 made the historic Mediterranean house her St. Simons Island studio, packing every inch with her artwork and memorabilia. 

Born in Augusta, Georgia, Mrs. Huie spent much of her childhood at her family's home in Savannah, Georgia, were she was a playmate of the beloved songwriter Johnny Mercer who was three years her junior.  Here in Savannah, Mrs. Huie was a member of one of Juliet Gordon Low's first Girl Guide troops (now the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.)  
Mildred Huie in one of Juliette Gordon Low's first Girl Scout troops in Savannah, Georgia, 1913.  Huie is standing third from left.  Johnny Mercer lays on the stretcher.  This photograph was taken for a chapter in  How Girls Can Help Their Country: Handbook for Girl Scouts on caring for the injured.

Mrs. Huie attended Shorter College (now Shorter University) in Rome, Georgia and graduated from Florida State College for Women (now Florida State University) with a degree in Classical Education.  
Mildred Nix (later, Huie) at age 17, Shorter College, Rome, Georgia, 1923
As manager of WALB Radio and Television from 1941 to 1953, Mrs. Huie followed in her grandfather, John M. Weigle's journalistic footsteps as he was an employee of the Augusta Chronicle in 1861 until he left the office to join the Confederate service, in Company 1., (Walker Light Infantry), First Regiment, Georgia Volunteers.  Mrs. Huie was named Albany's Woman of the Year in 1950 for her efforts to found the Easter Seals Southern Georgia.  She also established the Albany Junior College in 1963, now Darton State College.  While at first the Huie family only vacationed to St. Simons Island, Georgia, Mrs. Huie retired from her career in Albany in 1965 to reside full-time at their 8th Street, East Beach home to focus on her artistic endeavors.  Along with Island artists Stella Morton and Selma Shelander, Mrs. Huie established the Left Bank Art Gallery on St. Simons Island in 1965, beginning a long,  family tradition of sharing a love of arts and humanities with the Golden Isles community.

Mildred Huie's original paintings, and the work of her contemporaries, are permanently on display in the historic Mediterranean House built in 1929 on St. Simons Island.  The house was built as a design home by renowned engineer, Fred R. L. Stroberg (1878-1969) of Macon, Georgia and boasts unique characteristics such as possessing the only functioning basement on St. Simons Island!

The Plantation and Landmark Room of the museum showcases Mrs. Huie’s passion for local history.  An avid historian, Huie researched the former plantations on St. Simons and created models and historically accurate paintings which are on display. 

Mildred Huie's St. Simons Island Landmark and Plantation Mural, 1980. Oil/canvas, 12' x 4'. Mediterranean House collection. 
Plantation models designed by Mildred Huie.

Visitors may look through museum archives which include information on famous people who left footprints on St. Simons/Sea Island such as Aaron Burr, Maxfield Parrish, Eugene O'Neill, Eugenia Price, Sidney Lanier, General James Oglethorpe, the Wesley Brothers, Thomas Spalding and others. Visitors may also peruse Huie memorabilia and a collection of rare books in the Museum's Spalding-Oglethorpe Room.  New in February 2012, guests may research in the extensive Civil War library, with over one-hundred books on this fascinating event in Southern history. 
Spalding-Oglethorpe Room.

Spalding-Oglethorpe Room.
In the Great Room of the Museum visitors are surrounded by paintings and art works which represent the whimsical side to the artist's vision. This room contains a special exhibit of "Parlor Dolls/A Man for All Seasons." These life-size, soft sculptures were created by Mrs. Huie late in her career and even gained national attention when CBS news correspondent, Charles Osgood interviewed the artist in 1989. 
The Great Room.

The Great Room.
You are invited to walk through the grounds of today’s museum, enjoy the live oaks canopy covered grounds abounding with azaleas and wisteria, and catch a glimpse of the enchanted world of Mildred Nix Huie.  Visit today and receive your personalized tour of this distinctive museum!  
Mildred Nix Huie (seated) and daughter Mildred Huie Wilcox on the beautiful grounds of the Mediterranean House, 1995.

1819 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522

The Museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 or by appointment any time. It is available for groups to have small functions such as board meetings and receptions, as well as for Artist in Residence Programs and workshops. For more information please call 912-638-3057 or 912-638-3017, e-mail: MedHouse@bellsouth.net

Mildred Nix Huie's love for the natural beauty and history of Coastal Georgia is reflected in her sketches and paintings, now available at The Mildred Huie Gift Shop at LeftBankArtGallery.com for purchase as prints, cards, books, and calendars. Gene Grey was selected by Mrs. Huie to reproduce her paintings as he captured the delicate  impressionistic color of her work. 


Video The Legacy of the Two Mildreds

Video  Mildred Nix Huie Interview with Charles Osgood- aired in 1989 on CBS This Morning