Westervelt Warner Museum of American Art, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Warner Museum grounds.
Warner family guesthouse.
Warner residence on the museum grounds.
Visiting Tuscaloosa, Alabama
In Tuscaloosa, the shore tour took us through the sprawling University of Alabama campus, which sends its graduates to work in hospitals all over the country. It is home to the Crimson Tide football team and Bryant-Denny Stadium. We spent the day at nearby Westervelt Warner Museum of American Art, where priceless artwork - some of the most famous images of U.S. history - are tucked safely away in a private collection, which is open to the public. The museum is a stone building on the shore of Lake Tuscaloosa. The property includes the museum, several private residences, and acres of landscaped gardens.
Mr. Warner lives on the site and took us on a guide through his museum, explaining what he sees in his favorite works of art. His collection includes The Spirit of 76, the Peaceable Kingdom, portraits of George Washington painted from life, and illustrations of famous events like the signing of the Constitution. Besides historic American oil paintings, Mr. Warner collects Impressionist art, marble sculpture, artifacts, and antiques. Mr. Warner bid hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars in auctions, if he wanted a piece for his collection. He is an awesome figure on the antique art scene.
Tuscaloosa is the biggest town on the Black Warrior River; they both derive their names from Tuskaloosa, Chief of the Maubilian tribe. In 1540 Tuskaloosa met Hernando DeSoto, a Spanish conquistador, and led him into an ambush in what is now Mobile, Alabama. Our Delta Queen journey started on the Black Warrior, meandering around the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains. On the second day of our cruise, we join the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway, a manmade canal for barge traffic, and headed north.
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