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Times of Change 1913-1945: Masterpieces of the Permanent Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will explore the development of modernism in American art with a featured exhibition, Times of Change 1913-1945: Masterpieces of the Permanent Collection. The exhibition from the Pennsylvania Academy collections -- showing Jun. 14, 2003 - Apr. 4, 2004 -- traces the growth of American art from the landmark Armory Show of 1913, which introduced explosive new ideas of modernism to many Americans, through the end of World War II.

Complementing Times of Change is the Pennsylvania Academy's recently installed Vivian O. and Meyer P. Potamkin Gallery. The new gallery, opened in February, contains 10 modern American masterpieces gifted to the Pennsylvania Academy from the private collection of the late Vivian O. and Meyer P. "Pat" Potamkin.

Drawn from the Pennsylvania Academy's permanent collection, Times of Change illustrates the tremendous energy of the 20th century at a critical juncture in America's history. Artists witnessed tremendous and rapid economic, social, geographic and cultural changes driven by advances in industry and technology. Their work recorded the rise of cities and the urban working class, social upheaval and the disparity of wealth, new roles for women, the influx of immigrant labor and the growing tensions of race and class relations.

While witnessing such rapid changes, artists were also faced with decisions about the direction of modern art, derived from European models and developed at home. Artists of the time chose between realism and abstraction, or forged their own stylistic advances by exploring combinations of the two. (right: Arthur B. Carles, Composition #6)

Times of Change will feature works by Pennsylvania Academy alumni John Marin, Charles Demuth and Arthur B. Carles, and works by Milton Avery, Isabel Bishop, Edward Hopper, Stuart Davis, Georgia O'Keeffe, Horace Pippin, Florine Stettheimer and many others.  

In addition, the Potamkin Gallery includes what many believe to be the most significant works from the couple's modern American art collection, renowned for its remarkable vision. "The Potamkin 10" consists of eight paintings -- including Georgia O'Keeffe's Red Canna, Maurice Prendergast's Promenade, and Marsden Hartley's Flower Abstraction -- along with Mary Cassatt's pastel on paper Smiling Sara in a Big Hat Holding Her Dog; and a wood sculpture, Chanteuse, by Elie Nadelman. The Potamkin pieces enhance an already extraordinary collection of American masterpieces, ranging from the first well-known American painters to today's contemporary artists.

Guided tours of Times of Change will be offered throughout the summer. In addition, family programs and Art-at-Lunch lectures will accompany the exhibition.

Times of Change1913-1945: Masterpieces of the Permanent Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts continues a series of features highlighting Academy collections, alumni, history and more. These Pennsylvania Academy features began with the patriotic exhibition George Washington: Picturing a Legend and will culminate in a grand celebration of the Pennsylvania Academy's 200th Anniversary in 2005 with the opening of the Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building.  The new building is currently under construction at Broad & Cherry Streets, adjacent to the historic Furness-Hewitt museum.


Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Resource Library Magazine.

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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