Visit This Exhibit
January 15, 2020 – May 3, 2020
Open Wednesday – Sunday
11 AM – 4 PM CST
– Accessibility –
First floor historic rooms, exhibits, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Architectural and preservation concerns prevent us from being able to provide elevator service to second floor rooms, however, interpretive materials are available upon request for our second floor exhibits and displays.
If you have any questions or concerns about accessibility, do not hesitate to contact us.
– More Information –
Public Grand Opening of If These Walls Could Talk
In Collaboration with Artist Ginger Geyer and Jennifer Rousseau Cumberbatch
January 18, 2020
Free and Open to the Public
You are cordially invited to the opening reception for If These Walls Could Talk on Saturday, January 18, from 5-7 PM. The party will feature a sneak peek of the exhibit, a conversation with the artists, and a preview of the performance Rise and Shine. We will also debut the orientation film Chlora and Ruby at the Neill-Cochran House Museum, featuring Alexa McGlathery as Chlora and Araya Sue as Ruby Virginia. You will also have the special opportunity to meet Chlora and Ruby at this exciting event.
About the Performance Rise and Shine
Rise and Shine is Cumberbatch’s dramatic monologue and musical interpretation of the intersection of history between all characters connected with the Neill-Cochran House Museum and the surrounding community. The performance is written and performed by Jennifer Cumberbatch and inspired by Ginger Geyer’s sculpture Rise and Shine.
See the full performance on February 6. Doors open at 5:30, performance begins at 6 PM.
About the Film Chlora and Ruby at the Neill-Cochran House Museum
Chlora and Ruby at the Neill-Cochran House Museum is a film of conversations between two young girls, one white and one black. Through their voices, the film narrates the exhibition and provides historical and social context. Chlora, played by Alexa McGlathery, and Ruby, played by Araya Sue, highlight the similarities and dissonances between past and present, high art and material culture, and the experiences and treatment one would have received in a home like the Nell-Cochran House Museum’s Greek Revival-style mansion, depending on race, class, gender, and socio-economic status.
Meet Chlora and Ruby Virginia
Thirteen Year Old Alexa McGlathery has been acting on the screen and stage since she was 9 years old. She is an eighth grader at Trinity Episcopal School. Alexa also trains in voice and dance and performs with a band and in choir. Alexa’s favorite thing about acting is being able to create and develop new characters, as well as making new friendships on sets. Outside of theater Alexa’s favorite activities are wake surfing and skate boarding.
Nine year old Araya Sue is in fourth grade at Forest Creek Elementary School. While this is her debut in film acting, she hopes to continue to pursue acting as she enjoys being on stage and camera and meeting new people during production. Outside of school Araya loves soccer and hanging out with her family and friends.
Meet the Artists
Austin artist Ginger Geyer grew up in Springdale, Arkansas, attended the University of Arkansas and earned BFA and MFA degrees in painting and art history from SMU. She also has a lay degree from the Seminary of the Southwest in pastoral ministry. Formerly an art museum professional (Dallas Museum of Art and Kimbell Art Museum), she occasionally consults on collection management and architecture. For 15 years she directed artist workshops and curated the gallery for the H.E. Butt Foundation retreat center, Laity Lodge. All of this, plus being a mother of two and grandmother of one have informed her avid studio practice. Writing, serving as adjunct professor at both Seminary of the Southwest and Concordia University, and making art with homeless people have also influenced her art. For thirty years, porcelain sculpture has been the primary medium for combining her quests into art history, museology, spirituality, and culture. A large body of “not quite trompe l’oeil” works are accompanied by ever-changing narratives. A retrospective of her work in early 2020 at the Neill-Cochran House Museum in Austin takes it beyond the gallery scene into an immersive experience throughout the historic house and its slave dependency. “If These Walls Could Talk” is a collaborative with a performing artist to explore both the privileged and the enslaved who graced these grounds. More information can be found at , Instagram and Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden in Dallas.
Jennifer Rousseau Cumberbatch is a pastor, counselor, actress and playwright from Austin, the owner and founder of JR Cumberbatch Productions, and Cumberbatch Confections. Jennifer is sent out from Agape Christian Ministries, where she was an associate pastor, to found and establish Full Measure Ministries. She has written, starred in, staged and produced several productions, in Austin and throughout Texas. She has starred in her one woman show “R3: Real Life, Real Women, Real Stories”, “and performed as “Sadie” Delany in “Having Our Say, the Delany Sisters First 100 Years”, and Sally Burditt in “The Bluebellies in Austin: Readings from the Travis Country Slave Narratives”. Jennifer worked with and was directed by the late and venerable Boyd Vance, founder and artistic director of the now defunct Pro Arts Collective. The Boyd Vance Theater at Austin’s Carver museum is named after this great artist and visionary and is the inspiration for Jennifer’s Production Company and passion to tell the stories of African Americans, Black people and all peoples with authenticity and depth in the context of the American landscape. A graduate of Brown University and Austin’s Seminary of the Southwest, Jennifer also preaches, teaches, leads retreats, and is a vocalist and published writer.