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Ogun Meets Vulcan: Iron Scupltors of Alabama

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Featuring metal sculpture and paintings by acclaimed Alabama vernacular artists, this Ogun Meets Vulcan expo is important for several reasons, not the least of which is the chance to finally view the inside of the Ogden's Patrick F. Taylor Library building. Completed in 1889 and designed by New Orleans native H. H. Richardson, whose iconic medieval-romantic stone structures are most closely identified with Boston, it contains one of this city's most striking interiors, a vaulted chamber that could make any medieval baron proud. Once a city library, its restoration was begun by the late oil magnate Patrick Taylor and is being continued by the Ogden Museum, which still has a way to go. In its still-rugged condition, it makes a grand backdrop for the no less rugged work of Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, Joe Minter, Ronald Lockett and Charlie Lucas, artists who once worked in Alabama's steel industry. Currently, Lonnie Holley is working in residence at the Ogden, producing new pieces with local school children, a scene sure to make H. H. Richardson beam benignly down from his eternal Valhalla on high. -- D. Eric Bookhardt

Through June 19

Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., 539-9600; www.ogdenmuseum.com.

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