November 7, 2016 | A decidedly different perspective on the pasture can be seen at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Pennsylvania.
Barn with Snow by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1933. San Diego Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge. © 2016 Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
While modernism was taking root in the cities of Europe, in this country urban artists from the Stieglitz circle and regionalist painters alike looked inland to the hinterlands, searching for an American style. “Rural modernism,” according to the Brandywine show, is what they created.
Drawing on techniques imported from the Continent and developed in the artistic crucibles of New York, Chicago, and Boston—but also in bucolic locales like rural Iowa and Texas—painters such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Maynard Dixon, Josephine Joy, N. C. Wyeth, and others created a body of work that was ebullient and beautiful—but often anything but idyllic.
Disaster was a common theme in the days of the D…» More
November 7, 2016 | Though the United States has been predominantly a nation of city dwellers since the 1920s, the farm still figures large in the American consciousness.
Spring Turning by Grant Wood, 1936. Reynolda House Museum of American Art, gift of Barbara B. Millhouse.
Two noteworthy exhibitions this fall examine artistic treatments of the agrarian landscape, offering a striking contrast in viewpoints. Grant Wood and the American Farm, at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, presents a lyrical survey depicting humankind in harmony with nature. It includes works from the Hudson River school’s Jasper Cropsey, impressionist Childe Hassam, and regionalists such as Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. A highlight is Wood’s 1936 oil Spring Turning—a hypnotic god’s-eye view of a rural universe untouched by twentieth-century progress. No automobiles, no machinery of any kind is seen as farmers and their teams of horses plow the land into a vast…» More
November 7, 2016 |
Self-Portrait (with Skeleton Arm) by Edvard Munch, 1895. Munch Museum, Oslo.
Asked to name two artists least likely to be paired in a museum exhibition, you could do worse than to suggest Edvard Munch and Jasper Johns. The former is the father of expressionism, maker of The Scream and other paintings filled with anxiety and existential dread; the latter is best known for his cool and detached depictions of commonplace objects such as flags and targets—works that laid the foundation for pop art and other contemporary art movements. But a new show at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts reveals unexpected links between the two artists, the most suggestive of which is a piece of bedding. The pattern of a coverlet in Munch’s late-life Self-Portrait Between the Clock and the Bed is nearly identical to a crosshatched motif that Johns used almost obsessively in his paintings of the mid 1970s to early 1980s. While the famously reticent Johns will not discus…» More
November 3, 2016 | Alice Ravenel Hunger Smith wrote in her Reminiscences that Middleton Place, the family seat of her Middleton ancestors, reminded her of "a jewel thrown down in the green woods."
Over time she filled three sketchbooks and created more than a dozen watercolors depicting life on the plantation, today a National Historic Landmark near Charleston, South Carolina. This year marks the 275th since Henry Middleton began the landscaped gardens there, the oldest and perhaps most important in America, and to celebrate the anniversary, a two-part exhibition of Smith's work will open this fall at Middleton Place and at the Edmonston-Alston house in Charleston.
Born in Charleston in 1876, Alice Smith maintained strong ties to Middleton Place throughout a lifetime of writing, painting, and drawing—a career instrumental in fueling the cultural renewal later called the Charleston Renaissance. Her art served to preserve the past and record the present with an eye to the future. Her watercolor…» More
October 18, 2016 | Since the early nineteenth century, Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States at 6,288 feet, has played muse to some of America’s most famous artists, including Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt. Dramatic views of the “Crown of New England” rendered by painters and photographers helped spur the growth of scenic tourism in New Hamphire’s The White Mountains, which rivaled Niagara Falls in popularity. By 1837 the Mount Washington House hotel charged $1.50 a night, and a trip on horseback to within three hundred feet from the summit could be had for $3.00—tidy sums in those days.
Glen Ellis Falls by Albert Bierstadt, c. 1869. Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University; photograph by Peter Jacobs.
The Currier Museum of Art will celebrate they heyday of the summit’s allure for both artists and sightseers this fall with the exhibition Mount Washington: The Crown of New England. The show will include works by artists of the Hudson R…» More
[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi» View All