After Many Springs: Regionalism, Modernism, and the Midwest
by Debra Bricker Balken
Notes for After Many Springs: Regionalism, Modernism, and the Midwest, by Debra Bricker Balken
1. On the content of these exchanges, see Debra Bricker Balken, Debating American Modernism: Stieglitz, Duchamp, and the New York Avant-Garde, exh. cat. (New York: American Federation of Arts and D.A.P., Inc., 2003).
2. Marcel Duchamp, "A Complete Reversal of Art Opinions by Marcel Duchamp, Iconoclast," Arts and Decoration, vol. 5, no. 2 (September 1, 1915), 427-28; reprinted in Studio International, vol. 189, no. 973 (JanuaryFebruary 1975), 29.
3. Marcel Duchamp, in "The Iconoclastic Opinions of M. Marcel Duchamps [sic] Concerning Art and America," Current Opinion, vol. 59 (November 1915), 346.
4. On the lineup of exhibitions at de Zayas's Modern Gallery, see Marius de Zayas, How, When, and Why Modern Art Came to New York, ed. Francis M. Naumann (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996), 134-55.
5. The writings of Clive Bell, one of the architects of formalist theory, were known to few figures in the United States until the early 1930s. Alfred Stieglitz had read Bell in the early 1920s; in 1922 he wrote to Arthur Dove, "I've been reading Clive Bell's 'Since Cezanne,' short essays published in magazines during the last few years. I had seen them but in book form they make amusing reading." Stiegltiz to Dove, August 7, 1922, reprinted in Dear Stieglitz, Dear Dove, ed. Ann Lee Morgan (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1988), 82. As for Marius de Zayas, while I have not encountered a specific reference that would substantiate that he read Bell, it seems likely that Stieglitz would have passed on his enthusiasms. De Zayas's writing, moreover, is marked by a distinct formalist bent that would suggest some acquaintance with, if not understanding of, Bell's ideas.
6. Thomas Craven, Modern Art: The Men, the Movements, the Meaning (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1934), 311.
7. Ibid., 29.
8. Marius de Zayas, "Untitled Statement," 291, nos. 56 (1915), n.p. For an analysis of this statement, see Balken, Debating American Modernism, 44-46
9. Thomas Craven, "John Marin," Shadowland, no. 5 (October 1921), 11, 75-77.
10. Alfred Stieglitz to Thomas Craven, Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe Papers, Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
11. Stieglitz to Dove, August 7, 1922, Stieglitz/O'Keeffe Papers; reprinted in Dear Stieglitz, Dear Dove, 82.
12. Rosenfeld to Stieglitz, August 30, 1920, Stieglitz/O'Keeffe Papers.
13. Thomas Craven, "The Province of Photography," MSS, no. 4 (December 1922), 8.
14. Thomas Craven, "Art and the Camera," The Nation, vol. 118 (April 16, 1924), 457.
15. Paul Rosenfeld, "Art: A Defense of Sensibility," The Nation, vol. 132, no. 3435 (May 6, 1931), 511.
16. Seamus Beg [Herbert J. Seligmann], "The Great Crenton-Baven Conspiracy," unpublished ms. sent to Stieglitz, 1925, Stieglitz/O'Keeffe Papers. Seligmann wrote for The New Republic, The New York Tribune, and the New York Evening Post, among other publications.
17. See Thomas Hart Benton, The Arts of Life in America, exh. cat. (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1932).
18. Craven singled out O'Keeffe's work in both Men of Art (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1931), 318, and in Modern Art. In the latter volume, he praised her by saying that "of all the women now painting . . . [she] is the most artistic" (325).
19. Craven, Modern Art, 341.
20. Georgia O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe (New York: Viking Press, 1976), n.p. The phrase "the Great American Thing" has been used both as a title and as a metaphor by Wanda M. Corn to elaborate on the ways in which American artists and writers grappled with setting their work apart from European dominance and contemporary expression. See Corn, The Great American Thing: Modern Art and National Identity, 1915-1935 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).
21. Craven, Modern Art, 325.
22. Rosenfeld to Stieglitz, September 1, 1923, Stieglitz/O'Keeffe Papers.
23. Stieglitz to Rosenfeld, September 15, 1923, Stieglitz/O'Keeffe Papers.
24. Of the many books and articles that have been written on the emergence of a nationalist aesthetic in the United States after 1915, see, in addition to Corn, The Great American Thing, Matthew Baigell, "American Landscape Painting and National Identity: The Stieglitz Circle and Emerson, " Art Criticism 4, no. 1 (1987), 27-45. Neither Corn, nor Baigell introduces the writing of Craven; their analyses focus instead on modernist developments. Baigell mentions Craven in a subsequent article, "American Art and National Identity: The 1920s," Arts Magazine, vol. 64, no. 5 (July 1987), 54, although he does not elaborate upon Craven's role in this nationalist debate.
25. Thomas Craven, "American Men of Art," Scribner's Magazine, vol. 92 (November 1932), 262.
26. Lewis Mumford, "An American Epic in Paint," The New Republic, April 6, 1927, 197.
27. Samuel M. Kootz, "Foreword," Modern American Painters (New York: Brewer & Warren, Inc., 1930), n.p.
29. Charles Sheeler, quoted in Constance Rourke, Charles Sheeler, Artist in the American Tradition (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1938), 119.
30. I use the word "marginal" in the context of Man Ray, as once he turned to photography, in 1921, he largely gave up his earlier activity as a painter.
31. Charles Brock, Charles Sheeler: Across Media, exh. cat. (Washington, D.C., and Berkeley, Calif.: National Gallery of Art in association with University of California Press, 2006), 42 ff, has traced Sheeler's relationship to film, noting that the artist was drawn to the medium as early as 1914.
32. This is not true in the case of Manhatta, which does contain imagery of people. However, in the film they are frequently crowded and always anonymous, present to emphasize the overwhelming scale of New York's vertiginous architecture as well as to call attention to its huge population of workers.
33. Sheeler, quoted in Rourke, Charles Sheeler, 130.
34. Of course, references to industrial buildings, railroads, factories, and the new suburbs that encroached upon Paris in the late nineteenth century do appear with great frequency in Impressionist and Postimpressionist painting, becoming part of the subject matter that would later inform Cubist painting. Fernand Léger, for instance, would make the factory and the factory worker primary thematic conceits in the late 1910s, but again these images would remain fodder for his larger desire to expand the known limits of pictorial design.
35. Charles Sheeler, quoted in Martin Friedman, "Interview with Charles Sheeler," June 18, 1959, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
36. Samuel Kootz, quoted in Brock, Charles Sheeler, 79.
37. Sheeler quoted in Friedman, "Interview with Charles Sheeler."
38. For a discussion of Benton and the Forum exhibition, see Henry Adams, Thomas Hart Benton: An American Original (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989), 74-75.
39. For a recent description of John Weischel's activities as a writer and his creation of the People's Art Guild, see Allan Antliff, Anarchist Modernism: Art, Politics, and The First American Avant-Garde (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 5361.
40. On Weischel's influence on Benton, see Erika Doss, Benton, Pollock, and the Politics of Modernism: From Regionalism to Abstract Expressionism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 47-49.
41. For reproductions of Benton's entries, see Forum Exhibition of American Painters (1916; rpt. New York: Arno Press, 1968), n.p.
42. John Weischel, "Another New Art Venture: The Forum Exhibition," International Studio, vol. 58, no. 232 (June 1916), 116-17.
43. Doss has connected the composition of one of Benton's lost paintings, titled Figure Organization No. 3 (1915-16), which appeared in the Forum Exhibition, to Michelangelo's The Battle of the Lapiths and the Centaurs (ca. 1492).
44. See J. A. Spencer, History of the United States from the Earliest Period to the Administration of James Buchanan, 3 vols. (New York: Johnson, Fry & Company, 1858).
45. Thomas Hart Benton, An Artist in America, 4th rev. ed. (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1983), 47.
46. Benton, "Statement," in Forum Exhibition.
47. Willard Huntington Wright, "The Forum Exhibition," The Forum, vol. 55 (April 1916), 439. Wright reiterates this position in "Modern Art: An American Painter of Promise," The International Studio, vol. 61 (May 1917), 95-96.
48. I throw out this generalization knowing that a few other twentieth-century American artists had garnered widespread publicity for their work before Benton. I am thinking primarily of Georgia O'Keeffe, who had attracted the attention of the mainstream media after her first one-person show at Alfred Stieglitz's "291" Gallery in 1917. Similarly, Marcel Duchamp became something of a sensation when he arrived in New York in 1915, two years after his Nude Descending the Staircase No. 2 was exhibited at the Armory Show. But these figures emerged before Henry Luce launched magazines such as Time, Fortune, and Life, which had huge subscription bases and were populist in orientation. Of course, O'Keeffe would later benefit from these media outlets, which would make her into a national icon as well.
49. Clement Greenberg, "Avant-Garde and Kitsch," reprinted in Greenberg, The Collected Essays and Criticism, Vol. 1: Perceptions and Judgments, 1939-1944, ed. John O'Brian (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986), 5-22.
50. Jackson Pollock, in William Wright, "An Interview with Jackson Pollock," in Francis V. O'Connor, Jackson Pollock, exh. cat. (New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1967), 79.
51. See, for example, the first of these essays, "Mechanics of Form Organization in Painting," The Arts, vol. 10, no. 5 (November 1926), 285-89. Subsequent chapters or sequels appeared in The Arts through March 1927. These essays grew out of Benton's discussions with both Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Willard Huntington Wright in New York.
52. On Benton's debt to the Wright brothers for his five essays in The Arts, see Adams, Thomas Hart Benton, 112.
53. Benton, "Mechanics of Form Organization in Painting," 286.
54. Synchromism was not the only modernist style that Benton tried out. He was also briefly drawn to Constructivism in 1917, all the while pursuing his figurative painting. Earlier, he had been taken with Impressionist painting, setting in motion the various progressive movements with which he would flirt through the early 1920s.
55. Benton, An Artist in America, 47.
57. Thomas Hart Benton, "My American Epic in Paint," Creative Art, vol. 3, no. 6 (December 1928), 31.
58. Benton to Stieglitz, May 20, 1923, Stieglitz/O'Keeffe Papers.
59. Stieglitz was the first to exhibit the work of Picasso in the United States. The show opened at "291" on March 28, 1911. See Charles Brock, "Pablo Picasso, 1911: An Intellectual Cocktail," in Sarah Greenough, Modern Art in America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries, exh. cat. (Washington, D.C., and Boston: National Gallery of Art in association with Bullfinch Press, 2000), 101-16.
60. Thomas Hart Benton, An American in Art: A Professional and Technical Autobiography (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1969), 188.
61. Benton to Stieglitz, February 13, 1921, Stieglitz / O'Keeffe Papers.
62. Benton to Stieglitz, September 21, 1919.
63. Ibid. Benton was grateful to Stieglitz for recommending him for a teaching position in 1919, a gesture that served to momentarily restore his "confidence" in their relationship. Stieglitz also included Benton in an auction, "The Artists' Derby," that he organized at the Anderson Galleries in 1922, just as the special issue of MSS devoted to "Can Photography Have the Significance of Painting?" was being developed. See Dorothy Norman, Alfred Stieglitz: An American Seer (New York: Aperture, 1990), 216.
64. Thomas Hart Benton, "Painting and Photography," MSS, no. 4 (December 1922), 8.
65. Craven, "American Men of Art," 267.
66. Benton, "American Regionalism, A Personal History of the Movement, " 187.
67. Craven, Modern Art, 341.
68. Benton, "American Regionalism, A Personal History of the Movement," 167.
69. For a discussion of Benton's numerous mural commissions from the late 1920s through the mid-1930s, see Adams, Thomas Hart Benton, and Doss, Benton, Pollock, and the Politics of Modernism.
70. Allen Jackson, "Art: U. S. Scene," Time, December 24, 1934, 25.
71. I realize that the term "U. S. Scene" broadly encompasses both Regionalism and Social Scene painting, or the work produced by artists such as Isabel Bishop, Reginald Marsh, and the Soyer Brothers. But for the sake of clarity, and for my argument here, I am referencing Jackson's usage to reinforce the stark contrasts that Benton and others established to offset modernism and Regionalism.
72. On the "virile' or masculine rhetoric used to describe the work of the Stieglitz circle, see Balken, Debating American Modernism. Marcia Brennan, in Painting, Gender, Constructing Theory: The Alfred Stieglitz Circle and American Formalist Aesthetics (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001), 207-15, has also noted the macho character of Benton's language. Benton certainly knew of the writing of Paul Rosenfeld, having been included in his discussion of "American Painting," The Dial, vol. 71 (December 1921), 649-70. Rosenfeld, following Stieglitz's cues, was one of the primary Freudian critics to discuss contemporary American art in sexualized terms.
73. Benton, quoted in Jackson, "Art: U. S. Scene," 25.
74. Waldo Frank et al., America and Alfred Stiegltiz: A Collective Portrait (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Doran, 1934).
75. Thomas Hart Benton, quoted in Artists in Their Own Words / Interviews with Paul Cummings (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979), 36.
76. Thomas Hart Benton, "America and/or Alfred Stieglitz," Common Sense, vol. 4 (January 1935), 22. Stieglitz's black "long-flung cape" was a signature part of his image.
79. Thomas Craven, Modern Art: The Men, the Movements, the Meaning (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1934), 212.
80. Stieglitz to Dove, January 2, 1935, in Dear Stieglitz, Dear Dove, 325.
81. Dove to Stieglitz, January 4, 1935. Brennan has also cited this letter in her Painting, Gender, Constructing Theory, 228. Dove had written an earlier letter to the editor of The Nation in 1924 in which he rebutted Craven's review of Stieglitz's photographs at the Anderson Galleries, "Art and the Camera." This letter represented one of his many ongoing defenses of Stieglitz, his modernist cause, and photography in general. However, The Nation printed Stieglitz's reply to Craven's piece rather than Dove's letter. See Irita Van Doren to Dove, April 29, 1924, Arthur and Helen Torr Dove Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
82. Walker's exhibition for the Kansas City Art Institute was titled American Painting Since Whistler and drew on Ralph Blackelock, Albert Pinkam Ryder, Frank Duveneck, George Luks, Everett Shin, and others. Given the Kansas City venue, the project aimed to provide a historic and contemporary frame for the work of Benton, Curry and Wood.
83. Maynard Walker, quoted in "Mid-West Is Producing an Indigenous Art," Art Digest, vol. 7 (September 1, 1933), 10.
86. Regional centers such as Chicago, Kansas City, and St. Louis did, of course, provide exhibition outlets and media opportunities for all of the Regionalist artists. But Manhattan was clearly the most sought-after venue, as it enabled a sharper juxtaposition with the "degenerate" modernism that issued from Europe.
87. This was first observed by Adams, Thomas Hart Benton, 220.
88. Thomas Craven, "John Steuart Curry," Scribner's Magazine, vol. 103 (January 1938), 96.
89. For discussion of Curry's upbringing and his later life as an artist, see M. Sue Kendell, Rethinking Regionalism: John Steuart Curry and the Kansas Mural Controversy (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986).
90. Craven, "John Steuart Curry," 40.
91. John Steuart Curry to Frederic Newlin Price, November 17, 1930, Walker Maynard Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
92. See Kendell, Rethinking Regionalism, 20.
93. Curry was quoted in Royal Cortissoz, "Kansas Heals Breach with a Native Son," New York Herald Tribune, 5 February 1935, as saying, regarding his childhood in Kansas, that "the highest calling, the most honored in the community, was that of a foreign missionary, the next in line was a preacher, and then came the farmer." Whatever his own vocation or calling as an artist rather than as a preacher, biblical themes would become a staple of his work. See Robert L. Gambone, "The Use of Religious Motifs in Curry's Art," in Patricia Junker, John Steuart Curry: Inventing the Middle West, exh. cat. (New York: Hudson Hills Press in association with the Elvehjem Museum of Art, 1998), 133-49.
94. "Curry of Kansas," Life, vol. 1, no. 1 (November 23, 1936), 28.
97. John Steuart Curry, "What Should the American Artist Paint?" Art Digest, September 1935, 29.
98. Kansas Cornfield was not reproduced in the spread of pictures in Life magazine. However, another verdant landscape, Line Storm (1934), was illustrated, reinforcing the metaphors of bounty and abundance that the publication sought to distill.
99. Curry's political activism has been described by James M. Dennis in Renegade Regionalists: The Modern Independence of Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steaurt Curry (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998), 62.
100. Life had reproduced Curry's Sanctuary (1936), a painting of animals that had been imperiled by floodwaters, rather than a work depicting the more polemical subject of lynching.
101. Noted in Dennis, Renegade Regionalists, 10.
102. Doss has devoted a chapter to Benton's painting Hollywood. See Doss, Benton, Pollock, and the Politics of Modernism, 14-22.
103. Benton, quoted ibid., 215.
104. The NAACP had organized an exhibition titled An Art Commentary on Lynching for
the Jacques Seligmann Galleries in New York in February 1935 that featured work by Curry and Benton, among others. The show was canceled by Seligmann, who capitulated to opposition, but it opened later at the Arthur U. Newton Galleries.
105. Benton had begun to explore racial strife in murals such as The American Historical Epic (1924-1926). Some writers and artists, however, maintained that he was responsible for perpetuating racist stereotypes rather than enlarging political debate. Stuart Davis was one of Benton's most outspoken adversaries in the 1930s.
106. Thomas Hart Benton, "John Curry," reprinted in Junker, John Steuart Curry, 74.
107. Benton, "American Regionalism," 148.
108. Allen Tate, "Regionalism and Sectionalism," The New Republic, vol. 59 (December 23, 1931), 158.
109. For an analysis of Tate's own misuse of regionalism, see Debra Bricker Balken, Harold Rosenberg, forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, 2009.
110. Tate, "Regionalism and Sectionalism."
111. Grant Wood, "Revolt Against the City," reprinted in Joseph S. Czestochowski, John Steurt Curry and Grant Wood: A Portrait of Rural America (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1981), 130.
112. For a recent study of the Southern Agrarian writers, see Allan Carlson, The Agrarian Mind: The Movement Toward Decentralist Thought in Twentieth-Century America (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2000).
113. Timothy Egan, The Worst Hard Time, The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006), describes the vast number of foreclosures that took place throughout the Depression. See especially pp. 79-80.
114. Balken, Harold Rosenberg.
115. Meyer Schapiro, "Populist Realism," Partisan Review, vol. 4, no. 2 (January 1938), 54.
116. Ibid., 56.
117. Stuart Davis, "The New York American Scene in Art," Art Front, February 1936, 6. I admit that my references to Benton's Persephone and Prodigal Son are anachronistic, having emerged after Davis's article was written, but within the confines of this exhibition they serve a point. There are numerous earlier such examples that could be referenced to reinforce my argument. I am thinking of the imagery that comprises his numerous murals.
118. Luce's publications, such as Fortune, Time, and Life, predated the Picture Post (London) and Paris Match. However, the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung appeared before these periodicals, having been revamped in the 1920s to become a magazine of pictures with extended captions and limited accompanying articles.
119. On Stuart Davis and his separation of art and political advocacy, see Balken, Harold Rosenberg.
120. Stuart Davis, "Davis' Rejoinder," Art Digest, vol. 9, no. 13 (April 1, 1935), 12-13.
121. On Grant Wood and the transgressive properties of his work, see James M. Dennis, Grant Wood: A Study in Americana and Culture (New York: Viking Press, 1975).
122. Noted by Stephen Biel, American Gothic: A Life of America's Most Famous Painting (New York: W. W. Norton, 2005), 63-67.
123. Wood, quoted ibid., 46.
124. H. W. Janson, "Benton and Wood, Champions of Regionalism," Magazine of Art, May 1946, 199.
125. Wood taught at the University of Iowa from 1934 to 1941, Janson from 1938 to 1941. H. W. Janson, "Artists and Art Historians," Art Journal, vol. 33 (Summer 1974), 334. Janson would be reinstated by the Art Department at the University of Iowa before moving on to Washington University in St. Louis in 1941.
126. Gertrude Stein, quoted in Biel, American Gothic, 59.
127. Wood, "Revolt Against the City," 130.
128. Wood, quoted in Dennis, Grant Wood, 112.
129. Biel, American Gothic, 48-82, has traced the history of the diverse readings projected onto this painting.
130. I am referencing here the subtitle of Biel's book.
131. See Dennis, Grant Wood, 112-20.
132. Sinclair Lewis's Main Street was originally published in 1921; it was reissued in a special edition with illustrations by Wood in 1937.
133. American Gothic was first exhibited in New York at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1933, in an exhibition titled Paintings and Prints by Chicago Artists.
134. Lewis Mumford, "The Art Galleries: A Group of Americans," The New Yorker, May 4, 1935, 28-29.
135. Ibid., 28.
136. Lincoln Kirstein, "An Iowa Memling," Art Front, July 1935, 8.
137. Mumford, "The Art Galleries," 28, 29.
138. Kirstein, "An Iowa Memling."
139. Mumford, "The Art Galleries," 28.
140. James Johnson Sweeney, "Grant Wood," The New Republic, vol. 83 (May 29, 1935), 76.
142. Joe Jones, quoted in Karal Ann Marling, "Joe Jones: Regionalist, Communist, Capitalist," Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, no. 4 (September 1987), 50.
143. Joe Jones, quoted in "Angry Man Calms Down," Time, October 22, 1951, 81.
144. Balken, Harold Rosenberg.
145. James Agee, "The Drought by Margaret Bourke-White, a Post-Mortem in Pictures," Fortune, October 1934, 76.
146. Margaret Bourke-White, Portrait of Myself (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1963), 107.
147. Ibid., 70.
148. On the reaction of Agee, Evans, and others to Bourke-White's new "documentary'" photographs, see John Stomberg, "A Genealogy of Orthodox Documentary," in Beautiful Suffering: Photography and the Traffic in Pain, ed. Mark Reinhardt, Holly Edwards, and Erina Dugganne, exh. cat. (Williamstown, Mass., and Chicago: Williams College Museum of Art in association with University of Chicago Press, 2007), 37-56.
149. For a recent discussion of Roy Stryker and the photo division of the Farm Services Administration, see Miles Orvell, "Introduction," in John Vachon, John Vachon's America: Photographs and Letters from the Depression to World War II, ed. Orvell (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).
150. Roy Stryker, quoted in Robert L. Snyder, Pare Lorentz and the Documentary Film (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968), 23.
151. On Rothstein and Stryker, see Beverly W. Brannan, "To Make a Dent in the World," in Gilles Mora and Brannan, FSA: The American Vision (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2006).
152. The dates ascribed to some of these images of South Dakota seem to clash with Lange's actual presence in the state. I would propose that all of her photographs of churches date from 1941, the year that she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
153. Richard Doud, "Interviews with Roy Stryker," October 17, 1963, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
156. Ben Shahn, The Shape of Content (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1957), 40.
157. Evans and Shahn, as well as Lange, were originally assigned to the Resettlement Administration (RS) in 1935, a government agency that was absorbed by the FSA in 1937. Shahn had covered the South for the RS.
158. Doud, "Interview with Ben Shahn," April 14, 1964, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
159. Shahn, The Shape of Content, 40.
160. Shahn, quoted in The Photographic Eye of Ben Shahn, ed. Davis Pratt (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975), viii.
161. Shahn, The Shape of Content, 40.
162. Shahn, The Photographic Eye, viii.
163. Shahn, The Shape of Content, 60.
164. Harold Rosenberg, "The Herd of Independent Minds," reprinted in Rosenberg, Discovering the Present: Three Decades in Art, Culture, and Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973), 1528.
165. John Vachon worked for the FSA from 1936 to 1943 (after it had been absorbed by the OWI). He was not made a full time-photographer until 1941, however; prior to that, he was responsible for "organizing the files." See Richard K. Doud, "An Interview with John Vachon, April 28, 1964," Archives of American Art Journal, vol. 45, nos. 1-2 (2005), 19.
166. Many writers in the 1980s and 1990s would dwell on the function of FSA photographs as propaganda. See, for example, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, "Who Is Speaking Thus? Some Questions about Documentary Photography," in her Photography at the Dock, Essays on Photographic History, Institutions and Practices (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991), 17883.
167. See Snyder, Pare Lorentz and the Documentary Film, 24-31.
168. Pare Lorentz, "Document: The Plow that Broke the Plains," http://newdeal.feri.org.
169. Snyder, Pare Lorentz and the Documentary Film, 32.
170. "Dust-Storm Film," Literary Digest, May 16, 1936, 23.
172. Pare Lorentz, "The Script of the River," http://xroads.virginia.edu/~1930s/FILM/lorentz/riverscript1.html.
173. James Joyce, quoted in W. L. White, "Pare Lorentz," Scribner's Magazine, vol. 105, no. 1 (January 1939), 11.
174. Noted by Randy Griffey, "Ross Braught," in The Collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: American Paintings to 1945 (Kansas City: Nelson-Atkins Museum and the University of Washington Press, 2007), 154.
175. Also observed by Michael Shapiro, in Philip Guston: Working Through the Forties, exh. cat. (Iowa City: The University of Iowa Museum of Art, 1997), 5.
176. Philip Guston, quoted in Thomas Albright, "A Survey of One Man's Life," San Francisco Chronicle, May 15, 1980.
177. H. W. Janson, "Philip Guston," Magazine of Art, vol. 40, no. 2 (February 1947), 55.
179. H. W. Janson, "The International Aspects of Regionalism," College Art Journal, vol. 2 (1943), 110.
180. Ibid., 111.
181. Janson, "Benton and Wood," 198.
183. Philip Guston to Bill Berkson, October 7, 1973, Bill Berkson Papers, University of Connecticut Library, Storrs.
184. Philip Pavia, quoted in Doss, Benton, Pollock, and the Politics of Modernism, 322.
185. Pollock, quoted ibid., 324. Doss discusses Pollock relationship to Benton and to Regionalism at length; see pp. 322-224.
186. Pollock, quoted in Jeffrey Potter, To A Violent Grave: An Oral Biography of Jackson Pollock (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1985), 115. This quote was transmitted via Dr. Raphael Gribnitz.
187. Benton, An Artist in America, 341.
188. Ibid., 338.
189. Pollock, quoted in Doss, Benton, Pollock, and the Politics of Modernism, 330.
190. Thomas Hart Benton, "What's Holding Back American Art?" Saturday Review of Literature, December 15, 1951, 10.
191. Benton, quoted in Robert S. Gallagher, "An Artist in America," American Heritage, vol. 24, no. 4 (June 1973), 48.
192. James Thrall Soby, "A Reply to Mr. Benton," Saturday Review of Literature, December 15, 1951, 11.
Return to After Many Springs: Regionalism, Modernism, and the Midwest by Debra Bricker Balken
Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.
Copyright 2009 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.