New painting to be unveiled at June event
by Ellen Corker
Newnan-Coweta Historical Society will unveil a new, commissioned historical painting at a special event in June, just prior to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Brown’s Mill.
The event will be held at the historical society’s recently-opened McRitchie-Hollis Museum on Jackson Street in Newnan.
The painting by Martin Pate commemorates the battle, which took place south of the city on July 30, 1864. A final sponsor is being sought for the commission of the painting, which Pate expects to finish later this month.
“We need to raise about $2,000 more,” said Jeff Bishop, coordinator for the historical society. “We’ve already had one big donor step forth and we’re very thankful for that. This will be a wonderful addition to the visual history of our area.”
The painting will be used in promotional materials for the upcoming series of Civil War events in Coweta. A special commemoration is planned for the fall.
Pate was previously commissioned for a series of paintings interpreting Newnan and Coweta history now on display at the Depot History Center in downtown Newnan.
The society plans to produce posters and prints from the new painting.
A summer exhibit at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum will feature a combination of Pate’s historical-themed work and what he describes as “Newnan scenes.” About 15 works will be featured.
“I’ve always felt like I had to be diverse,” said Pate, who started out in illustration, not knowing from day to day what type of work was needed from him.
Jo Ann Ray, former executive director of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, has worked extensively with Pate on historical paintings. Pate was able to take information the historical society had on record and create a visual of events, like the standoff at the East Broad Street railroad tracks leading to the Battle of Brown’s Mill.
“He understands the importance of protecting the past,” said Ray. “His diversity is amazing.”
Pate, a past member of the historical society, was a familiar face when it came time to commission paintings.
“I really liked the idea of doing something local. It was more personal,” explained Pate. “The real story of Newnan is the doctors and nurses and hospitals that were here. The fact that Newnan is a hospital town is a really important story.”
Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor of the new work may contact the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at 770-251-0207 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.