American Moderns on Paper:
Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Davenport, Iowa (June 17, 2015) – The Figge Art Museum will welcome a new traveling exhibition to the third and fourth floor galleries beginning Saturday. American Moderns on Paper: Materworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art will provide a front row seat to the development of American art during perhaps its most dynamic period (the early 20th century) through a priceless collection of personal and spontaneous works—those done on paper.
The exhibition features 87 works by 44 artists, created between 1902 and 1962, and ranging in style from the urban realism of John Sloan to the pioneering abstractions of Arthur Dove. Signature works by American masters such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper, as well as works by lesser-known, but influential artists such as Peggy Bacon and William Baziotes will be on view.
During the period in which these works were created the United States and New York City in particular became the world center of innovation in the visual arts. Many artists in the exhibition emigrated from Europe, while others were Americans who made frequent trips to travel and study in Paris and other European capitals, absorbing the influences of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and other modernists.
The artists in American Moderns on Paper responded in different ways to the influence of the Europeans and to the dynamic changes of the 20th century. John Marin, for instance, incorporated Cubist elements into his cityscapes to express the energy of New York’s bridges and skyscrapers. Works by Charles Burchfield, Ellsworth Kelly and others continue the great tradition of landscape in American art, giving it a modern vocabulary.
American Moderns on Paper: Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is presented with the generous support of the Riverboat Development Authority in celebration of the Figge’s 10th anniversary, with additional support from Genesis Health System and Per Mar Security Services and will be on view June 20-September 20, 2015.
This exhibition was 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.
I Heart Figge Family Day
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, June 20
Free admission all day
Engage in hands-on activities in celebration of American Moderns on Paper and I Heart Figge exhibitions.
Opening Reception/Curator Talk
Thursday, June 25
5:30 p.m. Opening Reception: American Moderns on Paper
7 p.m. Curator Talk
Erin Monroe will speak about curating the exhibition American Moderns on Paper. Monroe is the Robert H. Schutz, Jr. Assistant Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.
Art Film: The Show That Shook The World
7 p.m. Thursday, July 2
In addition to recreating the history of the original Armory Show through archival footage, the film features a previously unknown and unpublished lecture by Marcel Duchamp delivered at the 50th anniversary exhibition in 1963. Until the premiere of the documentary in 2013, the previously unknown recording of Duchamp's lecture had been preserved in a private archive for more than 50 years.
7 p.m. Thursday, August 13
Giselle Simon from the University of Iowa’s preservation/conservation department will discuss the care of works on paper.
7 p.m. Thursday, August 20
Sally Pemberton, Murdock Pemberton’s granddaughter, will speak about her book, Portrait of Murdock Pemberton—The New Yorker’s first art critic.
1:30 p.m. Sundays • June 28, July 12, 19, August 2, 23,
1:30 p.m. Saturdays • June 27, July 11, 18, August 8, 22, 29,
About the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
The Wadsworth Atheneum was founded in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1842 by Daniel Wadsworth, whose bequest of Hudson River School paintings gave the museum an early focus on American art. Wadsworth’s collection included pastel portraits of George and Martha Washington and several rare early American watercolors. Subsequent acquisitions of works on paper by Winslow Homer and Mary Cassatt laid the foundation for the museum’s collection of works on paper. In the 20th century, the Wadsworth’s curators, directors and donors had close ties with pioneering artists and dealers in New York—including Alfred Stieglitz, Edith Halpert and the many artists who lived or vacationed in the environs of Hartford—and the collection grew to include works on paper by the key artists of the time.