RELEASE (July 24, 2002)
Diane G. Dufllho, Director, Meadows Museum of Art, 318-869-5040
Date of Event:
August 10 - October 20, 2002
Opening of A Celebration of Rural America
Meadows Museum of Art
Opens the 2002-03 Season with A Celebration of Rural America
SHREVEPORT, LA -- An exhibition of
print works by many of America's most renowned Regionalist artists opens
to the public on Aug. 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary
College of Louisiana and sets the tone for the 2002-03 season.
More than 20 of America's finest
artists are featured in the exhibition that captures the idealized, early
20th Century vision of rural America through landscapes and working people.
Works by American artistic luminaries Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, John
Steuart Curry and Mabel Dwight are included in this exhibition and make
this special season opener as historically and aesthetically important
as it is timely.
Shortly after the turn of the century,
American artists sought to release the art establishment from the grip
of European studio painting and produce works that defined America through
depictions of everyday life. The Ash Can School artists, a group
that included John Sloan and George Luks, created images of urban daily
life that realistically depicted the streets of New York. These artists
were dubbed The Ash Can School by the critics because they depicted
subject matter that in the previous century was considered inappropriate
for works of art.
Other artists followed the trend
of depicting common people but chose the daily life of rural peoples as
their subject matter. A Celebration of Rural America fully illustrates
the range of works created by these artists, who as a group became identified
as the American Scene Movement. It was during the grip of the Depression
(1929-1943), however, that the American Scene Movement became known
Working in a style that became synonymous
with America, artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry and
Grant Wood, fled the urban centers of New York and Paris to return to their
roots in order to capture the sights of America's rugged, rural hinterland.
Other artists such as Isabel Bishop and Reginald Marsh (on view in the
Meadows Museum of Art Permanent Collection exhibition galleries) continued
the trend of the Ash Can School artists and depicted common urban
scenes, the contextual polar opposite of the Regionalist subject
It was through the Regionalist works
of Thomas Hart Benton, Adolf Dehn and Stow Wengenroth that a new vision
of America and a uniquely American style emerged. As with the works
created by the Ash Can School artists, the subject matter of Regionalist
works had been previously considered inappropriate by the establishment
because it captured common people from a variety of eclectic cultures.
Ultimately, it was this group of rural immigrants that helped to form the
unique fabric of American culture.
"The Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary
College of Louisiana is delighted to be able to open the season with this
exhibition celebrating American rural life, its peoples and the extraordinary
group of artists that produced these works," said Diane Dufilho, director
of the museum. Members from the community-at-large are invited to
attend a special volunteer training session for A Celebration of Rural
America on Monday, Aug. 26, at 9:30 a.m. in the Meadows Museum of Art
galleries. A special gallery talk on Regionalist prints and
a tour of this collection will be included. For further information
about the Meadows Museum of Art Volunteer Program or to reserve a spot
at A Celebration of Rural America Volunteer Training, call the Meadows
Museum of Art Education Department at 318-841-7271.
This collection of historic prints
was organized for the Meadows Museum of Art by Blair-Murrah Exhibition,
the service organization that provides a wide range of historic, cultural,
educational and contemporary exhibitions to institutions throughout the
The Meadows Museum of Art is located
on the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana at 2911 Centenary Boulevard
in Shreveport, La. The Museum is open to the general public from noon to
4 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday;
from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed on Monday.
The Museum is free of charge to the general public. For further information
or to receive a 2002-2003 Exhibition and Program Guide, call the
Museum Business Office at 318-869-5040.
The printing of educational and informational
materials for this exhibition has been supported by a generous grant from
the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National
Endowment for the Humanities. The Museum receives general operating support
from the Shreveport Regional Arts Council with funds from the City of Shreveport.
The Museum receives annual support from the Friends of the Algur Meadows
Museum. The Museum seeks and receives funding and support from both public
and private foundations and other sources on a project-by-project basis.
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