Thursday, April 24, 2014

ART - New Exhibit of 120 American Artists 1850 to 1970

"‘Made in the USA’ examines the evolution of American art" by Frank Carlson, PBS NewsHour 4/23/2014


Phillips Collection curator Susan Frank discusses “Made in the USA,” a new exhibit showcasing works by more than 120 American artists from 1850 to 1970.  American masters like Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper are represented in the exhibit, as well as under recognized works from African-American artist Jacob Lawrence and many more.

What does an 1886 oil painting share with an abstract mobile made of sheet metal and wire in 1950?

They both belong to “Made in the USA,” an exhibit at Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection that chronicles how American artists evolved — from romantic depictions in the 19th century, to dealing with urbanization and its discontents in the 20th, to abstract expressionism following World War II.

Spanning a vast period — 1850 to 1970 — the show relies on the tastes of the museum’s founder, Duncan Phillips, who sought out works that he believed worth protecting, as its filter.

“Our founder spent his entire career, 50 years of collecting, really trying to identify American artists who were at the beginning of their careers, and assembling what he believed to be the very best American art,” says exhibit curator Susan Frank.

Through more than 200 works, the collection showcases artists from very different backgrounds and periods as they wrestled with and interpreted their sense of place in a vast and changing America, in settings both rural and urban.

The exhibit runs through August 31, 2014.

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