Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
Pride in Place: Landscapes by The Eight in Southern Collections
April 1 - May 14, 2000
The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to present an exciting landmark exhibition, "Pride in Place: Landscapes by The Eight in Southern Collections." On view from April 1 through May 14, 2000, the exhibition is sponsored locally by Southern Guaranty and SouthTrust Bank.
Artwork by members of the early twentieth-century group of American painters known as "The Eight" is well represented in Southern museum collections with over 150 pieces held by regional institutions. The Albany Museum of Art, Albany, Georgia, collaborating with a number of these institutions including the MMFA, has organized "Pride in Place: Landscapes by the Eight in Southern Collections." This exhibition brings together paintings and works on paper by artists whose style was initially a source of controversy, but eventually proved revolutionary in the development of twentieth-century American art. (left: Maurice Prendergast, White House - Summer, watercolor on paper, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. Eva Underhill Holbrook Memorial Collection of American Art, Gift of Alfred H. Holbrook)
In 1908, eight painters - Arthur Bowen Davies, Ernest Lawson, William Glackens, Everett Shinn, Robert Henri, Maurice Brazil Prendergast, John Sloan, and George Luks - showed at the Macbeth Gallery in New York City. Their works challenged the academy-dominated system because the works primarily depicted everyday urban life in America showing the undignified side of city life. The dark, dingy palettes favored by these artists earned the group another name, the Ashcan School.
A core group within The Eight (Henri, Sloan, Shinn, Glackens, and Luks) had earlier been active in Philadelphia, primarily as newspaper illustrators, before migrating to New York, where they began to tackle sometimes tough and brutal urban Realist themes. Some of the artists were drawn, for various reasons, to pure nature, while all of them absorbed the relatively new categories of the urban and recreational landscape into their oeuvres.
The forty works in Pride in Place show mountain scenery, coastal scenes, foreign landscapes, rural and suburban scenes, recreational landscapes, as well as the urban environment. Dr. William Gerdts, the noted scholar of American art, remarks,"The exhibition is the first to focus on the achievements in landscape of the Eight. Their landscapes resonate with a sense of identification with their subjects that carry them beyond the pure objectivity of Realist observation."
An essay by Dr. Gerdts, is included in the full-color catalogue that accompanies this exhibition. After the exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, "Pride in Place" will travel to the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, Mississippi, and the Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, Tennessee.
See our earlier article on this traveling exhibition: Pride in Place: Landscapes by The Eight in Southern Collections (1/16/00)
Read more about the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Resource Library Magazine
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
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