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American Moderns: Masterworks on Paper from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 1910-1960

June 24 - September 12, 2010

 

This summer, the Portland Museum of Art presents an important and visually stunning exhibition of works on paper by nationally recognized artists such as Edward Hopper, John Marin, and Georgia O'Keeffe. American Moderns: Masterworks on Paper from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 1910-1960, on view June 24 through September 12, 2010, is the first in-depth examination and presentation of the Atheneum's American modernist works on paper-a collection recognized as one of the nation's finest. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see paintings by Edward Hopper depicting scenes of Maine in the state. (left: John Marin (United States, 1870-1953), Big Wood Island, 1914, opaque and transparent watercolor over graphite drawing on ivory paper, 14 1/4 x 16 3/8 inches. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, The Schnakenberg Fund. 1951.275.)

American Moderns features 90 works of art, including watercolors, pastels, pen & ink, and graphite on paper. The exhibition provides a groundbreaking new look at the diverse directions pursued by modern artists in America. The exhibition also highlight the Wadsworth's role at the forefront of American modern art through its acquisition of works by artists like Edward Hopper, Charles Demuth, Salvador Dalí, and Ellsworth Kelly.

The exhibition presents watercolor as an essentially American medium that was well suited to the restless, spontaneous, and confident American spirit. The inclusion of works by both the Neo-Romantics and the surrealists who came to the United States in the 1930s, in addition to that of native-born American artists, gives the exhibition a world context. The diversity of styles in the early 20th century, specifically the tension between modernism and anti-modernism is also explored.

The exhibition begins with sections on the Ashcan school, including works by John Sloan and William Glackens, and then traces the emergence of American modernism with works by John Marin, Georgia O'Keeffe, Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, and Edward Hopper, where there is tremendous depth in the collection. The Atheneum's collection also includes Social realism, represented by Reginald Marsh and Ben Shahn; Regionalism by Thomas Hart Benton and Jacob Lawrence; rich examples of Surrealism and Neo-romanticism, highlighted by Salvador Dalí and Pavel Tchelitchew, and drawings by modernist sculptors such as Alexander Calder, Gaston Lachaise, and Theodore Roszak. The exhibition concludes with strong examples of postwar realism and abstraction as seen in works by Ellsworth Kelly and Andrew Wyeth.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Yale University Press, January 2010. The catalogue includes scholarly essays by Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, Chief Curator and Krieble Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, and Carol Troyen, Kristin and Roger Servison Curator Emerita of American Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and artist biographies and entries on each object. The catalogue is available in the Museum Store.

This exhibition has been organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut. Made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius and the Henry Luce Foundation.

 

(above: Edward Hopper (United States, 1882-1967), Captain Strout's House, Portland Head, 1927, watercolor on paper, 14 x 20 inches. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund.)


Exhibition Checklist

 

All work from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of ArWadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art unless otherwise noted.
 
 
Milton Avery (United States, 1885-1965)
 
Church by the Sea, 1939, opaque and transparent watercolor on ivory wove paper, 22 9/16 x 30 7/8 inches. Gift of CIGNA, 2005.3.1.
 
 
 
William Baziotes (United States, 1912-1963)
 
Figure and Foliage, 1954, pastel, black crayon on gray paper, 19 x 24 7/8 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1955.266. 
 
Pompeii, 1953, pastel, black crayon on gray paper, 19 x 24 7/8 inches. Gift of Philip L. Goodwin, 1957.603.
 
 
 
Thomas Hart Benton (United States 1889-1975)
 
Oil Barge, circa 1940, graphite, pen & ink, sepia wash on tan wove paper, 13 3/4 x 16 1/2 inches. Gift of Esso Standard Oil Company, 1951.231.
 
 
 
Eugene Berman (United States, born Russia 1899-1972)
 
Devil's Holiday, Prologue, Costume for hat vendor, 1939, opaque and transparent watercolor, black pen and ink, on buff, medium weight, laid paper, 12 9/16 x 9 3/4 inches. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James T. Soby, 1939.697. 
 
Brooklyn Bridge, 1935, pen & ink, watercolor wash on buff wove paper, 10 1/2 x 15 inches. Purchased through the gift of Henry and Walter Keney, 1935.64.
 
Sketch for stage set used in Hartford Festival, February 16, 1936, 1936, watercolor, pen and ink on paper, 9 3/4 x 12 5/6 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1936.2.
 
Sketch for stage set used in Hartford Festival, February 16, 1936, 1936, watercolor, pen and ink on paper, 10 1/2 x 16 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1936.6.
 
Devil's Holiday, Sketch for setting, "Natural Bridge," 1939, opaque and transparent watercolor over traces of chalk and graphite on light gray wove, 13 x 19 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1941.388.
 
 
 
Peter Blume (United States 1906-1992)
 
Sketch for "The Italian Straw Hat," circa 1952, mixed media on ivory wove paper mounted to black wove paper, 4 1/2 x 6 inches. Gift of Peter Blume, 1956.482.
 
 
 
Charles Burchfield (United States 1893-1967)
 
Looking through a Bridge, 1938, translucent and opaque watercolor on paper mounted to heavy board, 22 5/8 x 33 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1939.208. 
 
Spring Evening [Salem], 1917, translucent and opaque watercolor, graphite on paper, mounted to heavy board, 20 x 13 7/8 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1940.27. 
 
Song in the Rain, 1947, translucent and opaque watercolor on paper, mounted to heavy board, 40 3/8 x 28 1/4 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1957.16. 
 
November Landscape, 1946, translucent and opaque watercolor on paper, mounted to heavy board, 33 7/8 x 26 inches. Gift of Priscilla Cunningham, 1991.42. 
 
Nature's Mystic Spiral, 1916, opaque and transparent watercolor with graphite on cream wove paper, 11 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches. Bequest of Edward Gorey, 2001.13.32. 
 
Study of Bats in Flight, circa 1954­1963, black crayon on cream wove paper, 13 3/4 x 19 1/2 inches. Bequest of Edward Gorey, 2001.13.34.
 
 
 
Paul Cadmus (United States, 1904-1999)
 
Ignis Fatuus, 1950, pastel on black wove paper, 18 3/4 x 23 2/3 inches. Gift of Henry E. Schnakenberg, 1953.218.
 
 
 
Alexander Calder (United States, 1898-1976)
 
A Strip-tease (with guide) / in the jungle / a rather obvious mucilage / To Nellie, with high esteem / 5/2/36 Sandy, 1936, black ink, white opaque watercolor, over collage on buff wove paper, 21 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches. Bequest of Eleanor H. Bunce, 1999.29.16.
 
 
 
Salvador Dalí (Spain, 1904-1989)
 
Figure Studies, 1934, graphite on cream colored wove paper, 10 3/4 x 7 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1935.11. 
 
Study for The Weaning of Furniture Nutrition, circa 1934, graphite, pen and ink on cream card stock, 5 9/16 x 5 5/8 inches. Bequest of Eleanor H. Bunce, 1999.29.20.
 
 
 
Stuart Davis (United States 1894-1964)
 
Gas Pumps, 1935, gouache, graphite, pen & ink on illustration board, 16 5/6 x 15 inches. Gift of Henry E. Schnakenberg, 1952.388. 
 
Yellow Hand Truck, 1939, opaque watercolor, graphite on paper, 11 15/16 x 15 7/8 inches. Gift of Mrs. James Laughlin, 1981.61.
 
 
 
Charles Demuth (United States, 1883-1935)
 
Eight O'Clock (Evening), 1917, watercolor wash and graphite on cream, light weight laid paper, 8 x 10 3/8 inches. Gift of James L. Goodwin and Henry Sage Goodwin from the Estate of Philip L. Goodwin, 1951.261. 
 
Eight O'Clock ((Morning), 1917, watercolor wash over graphite drawing on cream colored wove paper, 7 7/8 x 10 3/16 inches. Gift of George J. Dyer, 1958.228.
 
Still Life with Eggplant and Summer Squash, circa 1927, opaque and transparent watercolor over graphite drawing on wove paper, 13 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1928.40. 
 
Jonquils, 1928, opaque and transparent watercolor over graphite drawing on tan paper, 17 5/8 x 11 3/4 inches. Gift of George J. Dyer, 1958.179.\
 
 
 
Preston Dickinson (United States, 1891-1930)
 
Still Life with Knife, 1924, oil and oil wash over graphite on cream, light weight wove paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1959.228.
 
 
 
Power Station - Night, 1924, unfixed pastel, graphite, and opaque watercolor highlights on cream laid paper, 25 x 18 1/2 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1928.323.
 
 
 
Arthur Dove (United States 1880-1946)
 
Flour Mill II, 1938, black ink and transparent watercolor on ivory wove watercolor paper, 9 x 7 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1955.264. 
 
Sunrise, 1937, opaque and transparent watercolor, pen and ink on ivory wove watercolor paper, 5 x 7 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1955.265. 
 
Color study from a portfolio of 24 sketches, 1942, mixed media on paper, 7 x 5 inches (sheet). Gift of William C. Dove, 1989.61.1. 
 
Color study from a portfolio of 24 sketches, 1942, mixed media on paper, 7 x 5 inches (sheet). Gift of William C. Dove, 1989.61.4. 
 
Color study from a portfolio of 24 sketches, 1942, mixed media on paper, 7 x 5 inches (sheet). Gift of William C. Dove, 1989.61.8. 
 
Color study from a portfolio of 24 sketches, 1942, mixed media on paper, 7 x 5 inches (sheet). Gift of William C. Dove, 1989.61.15. 
 
Color study from a portfolio of 24 sketches, 1942, mixed media on paper, 7 x 5 inches. Gift of William C. Dove, 1989.61.22. 
 
Color study from a portfolio of 24 sketches, 1942, mixed media on paper, 3 x 4 inches (object). Gift of William C. Dove. 1989.61.24.
 
 
 
Guy Pene du Bois (United States 1884-1958)
 
Roosevelt!, 1938, transparent watercolor, pen & ink on cream paper, 14 11/16 x 11 15/16 inches. Gift of George J. Dyer, 1963.500.
 
 
 
William Glackens (United States, 1870-1938)
 
[East Side] or Far from the Fresh Air Farm (study), circa 1911, charcoal with blue and red crayon on light  brown wove paper, 24 1/4 x 16 1/2 inches. Gift of Henry E. Schnakenberg, 1954.121.
 
 
 
Arshile Gorky (United States, 1904-1948)
 
Untitled, 1943, graphite over colored crayon on ivory wove paper, 27 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1955.275.
 
 
 
Morris Graves (United States 1910-2001)
 
The Myth of Division and Separation, 1940, opaue and transparent watercolor, possibly sumi ink, on Chinese paper, 23 x 20 3/4 inches. Gift of Henry E. Schnakenberg, 1952.298.
 
 
 
George Overbury "Pop" Hart (United States, 1868-1933)
 
Street Fair: Fort Lee Special, 1930 or 31, translucent watercolor, crayon on paper, 18 x 35 1/2 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1947.401.
 
 
 
Hans Hofmann (United States, 1880-1966)
 
Untitled, 1948, pen and ink, colored crayon on wove paper, 17 x 14 1/16 inches. Gift of Mr. Herrick Jackson, 1976.109. 
 
Provincetown, 1942, colored crayon on wove paper, 21 3/4 x 24 inches. Gift of Hazel McKinley Gallery in memory of A. Everett Austin, Jr., 1959.37.
 
 
 
Edward Hopper (United States 1882-1967)
 
Captain Strout's House, Portland Head, 1927, watercolor on paper, 14 x 20 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1928.3. 
 
Rockland Harbor, 1926, watercolor on paper, 13 7/8 x 20 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1928.324. 
 
Marshall's House, 1932, watercolor on paper, 14 x 20 inches. Purchased through the gift of Henry and Walter Keney, 1933.93.
 
Truro Station Coal Box, 1930, watercolor on paper, 19 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1934.9. 
 
Custom House, Portland, 1927, watercolor on paper, 14 x 20 inches. Gift of Robert W. Huntingon, 1946.232. 
 
Methodist Church, Provincetown, 1930, watercolor on paper, 25 x 19 3/4 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1951.19.
 
 
 
Ellsworth Kelly (United States, born 1923)
 
Corn #11, 1959, watercolor wash on paper, 22 11/16 x 23 5/8 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1975.57.  
 
Briar, 1961, black pen and ink on wove paper, 22 1/2 x 28 1/2 inches. Gift of Mr. Samuel Wagstaff in memory of Elva McCormick, 1980.7.
 
 
 
Rockwell Kent (United States 1882-1971)
 
Illustration for Moby Dick, chapter CXXXV, circa 1929, pen and ink on paper, 10 x 7 inches. Gift of E. Weyhe, 1955.398.   
 
Illustration for Moby Dick, circa 1929, pen and ink on paper, 10 x 7 inches. Gift of E. Weyhe, 1955.399.
 
 
 
Yasuo Kuniyoshi (United States, born Japan, 1889-1953)
 
Grapes in White Bowl, 1923, pen and ink, brush and ink, colored ink, and graphite on paper, 22 x 15 1/2 inches. Gift of William E. Hill, 1959.16.  
 
Wild Flowers, 1922, pen and ink, ink and wash on paper, 17 5/8 x 12 inches. Gift of William E. Hill, 1959.17.
 
 
 
Gaston Lachaise (United States, 1882-1935)
 
Male Nude, circa 1932, graphite on paper, 23 11/16 x 18 3/4 inches. Gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1934.21.
 
 
 
Jacob Lawrence (United States, 1917­2000)
 
Rain, 1937, opaque watercolor heightened with graphite on paper, 28 x 20 3/4 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1990.30.
 
 
 
Seymour Lipton (United States, 1903-1983)
 
Earth Forge, 1954, black crayon on paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Gift of the Terese and Alviin S. Lane Foundation, 1962.156.
 
 
 
John Marin (United States, 1870-1953)
 
Downtown New York, 1913, graphite on heavy tracing paper with canvas texture, 10 x 8 1/4 inches. Purchased through the gift of Henry and Walter Keney, 1960.226.  
 
Big Wood Island, 1914, opaque and transparent watercolor over graphite drawing on ivory paper, 14 1/4 x 16 3/8 in ches. The Schnakenberg Fund. 1951.275. 
 
Movement No.3, Related to Downtown New York Series, 1926, opaque & transparent wc over charcoal drawing on ivory wove paper, 17 1/2 x 22 3/8 inches. Gift of James L. Goodwin and Henry Sage Goodwin from the Estate of Philip L. Goodwin, 1958.229. 
 
From the Bridge, N.Y.C., 1933, opaque and transparent wc and charcoal, collage pieces on ivory paper 21 7/8 x 26 3/4 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1948.479. 
 
Green Sea, Cape Split, Maine, 1941, opaque and transparent watercolor, graphite drawing on ivory paper, 15 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches. Bequest of Arthur P. Day, 1952.405.
 
 
 
Reginald Marsh (United States, 1898-1954)
 
New York, 1938, opaque and transparent watercolor over graphite drawing on ivory paper 19 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1939.209. 
 
Woman Walking, 1944, watercolor wash over faint chalk drawing on ivory paper, 19 1/2 x 13 1/4 inches. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Benton, 1961.158.
 
 
 
Isamu Noguchi (United States, born Japan 1904-1988)
 
Nude, circa 1920s, black chalk on bond paper mounted to cardboard, 17 1/8 x 25 1/8 inches. Purchased through the gift of Henry and Walter Keney, 1959.85.
 
 
 
Georgia O'Keeffe (United States, 1887-1986)
 
Slightly Open Clam Shell, 1926, pastel on white ground on pressed artist's board, 18 1/2 x 13 inches. The Douglas Tracy Smith and Dorothy Potter Smith Fund, 2009.1.1.
 
 
 
Philip Pearlstein (United States, born 1924)
 
Standing Figure (Back View), 1962, watercolor or sepia ink wash on paper, 14 x 11 inches. Gift of Alex Katz, 1971.96.
 
 
 
Joseph Pennell (United States, 1866-1926)
 
Building New York, circa 1920, transparent and opaque watercolor heightened with black chalk on buff paper, 11 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches. Gift of Philip L. Goodwin, 1930.7.
 
 
 
Maurice Prendergast (United States, 1859-1924)
 
The Amusement Park, circa 1902, reworked in 1915, pastel over opaque and transparent watercolor over graphite, drawing on wove paper, 18 1/4 x 15 3/4 inches. Bequest of George A. Gay, 1941.172.
 
 
 
Theodore Roszak (United States, born Poland 1907-1981)
 
Study for Firebird, 1949, pen and ink and ink wash on cream wove paper, 14 3/4 x 20 inches. Gift of Belle Ribicoff, 1991.156.
 
 
 
Sonja Sekula (Switzerland, 1918-1963)
 
Spring... (Hurtings), 1950, black ink, applied with pen and brush, transparent and opaque watercolor on cream wove, 14 15/16 x 22 1/2 inches. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine, 1975.158.
 
 
 
Ben Shahn (United States, 1898-1969)
 
Vacant Lot, 1939, watercolor on paper mounted to plywood, 19 x 23 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1941.390.
 
 
 
Charles Sheeler (United States, 1883-1965)
 
The Stove, 1931, black conte crayon on wove paper, 6 7/8 x 9 3/ 8 inches. The collection of Philip L. Goodwin through James L. Goodwin and Henry Sage Goodwin, 1958.232.
 
 
 
John Sloan (United States, 1871-1951)
 
Study for Hairdresser's Window, circa 1907, black crayon on cream wove paper, 6 3/4 x 5 1/8 inches. The Dorothy Clark Archibald and Thomas L. Archibald Fund, 1998.7.1. 
 
Picture Hat, n.d., black crayon on tan paper, 13 x 9 inches. Gift of Henry E. Schnakenberg, 1952.72.
 
 
 
David Smith (United States, 1906-1965)
 
Untitled, 1951, gouache on paper, 25 3/4 x 19 7/8 inches. Pending gift, pending. 
 
[Dancing Figures], 1953, gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 11 11/16 inches. Pending gift, pending.
 
 
 
Yves Tanguy (United States, 1900-1955)
 
Dream Landscape, 1933, opaque watercolor on paper, 3 7/16 x 11 1/4 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1936.59.
 
Untitled, 1949, black pen and ink on buff card stock, 22 1/8 x 28 1/4 inches. Bequest of Kay Sage Tanguy, 1963.51.
 
 
 
Mark Tobey (United States, 1890-1976)
 
Broadway Afternoon, 1950, opaque and transparent watercolor on antique laid paper, 18 3/4 x 24 1/2 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1955.263.
 
 
 
Kristians Tonny (Netherlands, 1907-1977)
 
Portrait of Gertrude Stein as St. Barbara, after Van Eyck, circa 1936, tempera, black ink on primed masonite, 24 x 18 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1937.78. 
 
Sketch for a mural in Avery Auditorium (left wall with white city), circa 1937, opaque and transparent, watercolor on cream wove watercolor paper, 21 3/4 x 37 1/4 inches. Museum Purchase 1938.24a. 
 
Sketch for a mural in Avery Auditorium (right wall with volcano), circa 1937, opaque and transparent, watercolor on cream wove watercolor paper, 21 3/4 x 32 inches. Museum Purchase, 1938.23a.
 
 
 
Abraham Walkowtiz (United States 1880-1965)
 
Future New York, 1912­1914, graphite on wove paper with canvas texture, 10 3/8 x 6 inches. Gift of Abraham Walkowitz, 1949.246.
 
Isadora Duncan, 1917, unfixed pastel on plum colored wove paper, 19 x 12 1/2 inches. Gift of Abraham Walkowitz, 1949.232. 
 
Isadora Duncan, 1917, unfixed pastel on plum colored wove paper, 19 x 12 1/2 inches. Gift of Abraham Walkowitz, 1949.233.
 
 
 
Max Weber (United States, 1881-1961)
 
Three Figures, 1910, watercolor on paper, 20 x 25 3/4 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1963.457.  
 
Meditation, 1917, pastel on paper, 24 1/4 x 15 1/4 inches. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1963.458.
 
 
 
Andrew Wyeth (United States 1917-2009)
 
Granddaughter, 1956, dry brush, watercolor on paper, 16 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches. Gift of Mrs. Robert Montgomery, 1991.79.


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