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Alfred H. Maurer: American Modern


Alfred H. Maurer: American Modern will be on view at the Georgia Museum of Art from April 5 through June 15, 2003.

Alfred Maurer, often referred to as "the first American modern," was one of the most prolific and progressive artists of the period. Apprenticed in his father's lithography shop in New York, Maurer was inspired by this artistic environment at an early age. He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York and with William Merritt Chase, the well-known American Impressionist. Maurer exhibited in New York at the infamous 1913 Armory Show and at Alfred Stieglitz's 291 Gallery. (left: Alfred Henry Maurer, Landscape (Autumn), 1909, oil on canvas)

"Maurer's career permits viewers to experience the impact of European modernism on an American artist," says Paul Manoguerra, curator of American Modern for the Georgia Museum of Art. "This exhibition allows us to present Maurer's works in galleries that are adjacent to spaces that show paintings by his contemporaries­some of the important American Impressionists and 'moderns' in our permanent collection at the Georgia Museum of Art."

Although he attracted sporadic critical praise during his lifetime, recent scholarship reveals a fresh perspective of Maurer's various methods and styles. His restless spirit and valiant pursuit of an authentic expression are prized as the work of a progressive artist who is now respected by collectors and institutions alike.

Organized by the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, this touring exhibition is the first devoted to Maurer since a Smithsonian retrospective of his work in 1973. American Modern consists of 21 oil or casein paintings on canvas or board; 10 large gouache, tempera, or watercolors on paper or board; and 21 pen and ink, conté crayon, graphite, or pastel drawings on paper. (right: Alfred Henry Maurer, Nude, 1927, oil on composition board)

This exhibition, comprises a full range of his Fauvist landscapes and still lifes, Cézannesque watercolors, bold nudes, haunting portraits, and delicate drawings. The Weisman's collection is considered the single largest holding of Maurer's work.

On view in the Philip Henry Alston, Jr. and Lamar Dodd Galleries, and the George-Ann and Boone Knox Gallery of Prints and Drawings, Alfred H. Maurer: American Modern is organized, circulated, and curated by the University of Minnesota's Fredrick R. Weisman Art Museum. In-house curator for the Georgia Museum of Art is Paul Manoguerra, curator of American art.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous bequest of Hudson and Ione Walker; the catalogue and exhibition tour are made possible by support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the B.J.O. Nordfelt Fund for American Art.

Sponsors at the Georgia Museum of Art include the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation and the Friends of the Museum.


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Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

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