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Lines of Discovery: American Drawings

November 9, 2007 - February 10, 2008

 

Lines of Discovery: American Drawings at the Asheville Art Museum celebrates the rich history of American drawing and explores how artists have used the medium to define the nation's evolving character. The featured works were selected by the Asheville Art Museum from the holdings of The Columbus Museum in Columbus, Georgia.; one of the most important collections of American drawings in the Southeast.

The exhibition represents various styles and techniques through works by major artists from the late 19th century to the present. While showcasing an overview of American art, Lines of Discovery attests to the unique properties of drawing and its status as the most intimate, immediate and versatile art medium.

Lines of Discovery ncludes works by 19th century American artists William Merritt Chase, Thomas Cole and Winslow Homer. Also included are a range of works by diverse 20th century artists such as Charles Burchfield, Isamu Noguchi and Andrew Wyeth. In addition, there are drawings by contemporary artists like Thornton Dial, Leslie Dill and Jerome Witkin.

The selected works demonstrate the essential role drawing has played in the formation and development of American art. While representing an overview of American art, Lines of Discoveryattests to the unique properties of drawing and its status as the most intimate, immediate and versatile art medium.

Traditionally, drawing is the first step in planning any design or image. It can reflect the artist's most creative moments, a direct record of his or her immediate gestures and thought processes. While some drawings are preliminary sketches for a painting or sculpture, others are complete and finished works of art in and of themselves. The simplicity of the materials and immediacy of drawing allow the artist expressive freedom, thus making the process the most direct manifestation of an artist's ideas and talents.

Some drawings are preliminary sketches for a painting or sculpture. Others are complete and fully finished works of art in and of themselves. The works in the exhibition demonstrate how drawings serve various purposes.

Beginning in the early 20th century, drawings came to be appreciated for their immediacy and spontaneity.  Charles T. Butler, director of The Columbus Museum, said "This 'bigger is better' approach is easily challenged if one considers that a drawing is an artist's immediate response to an idea, a scene before one's eyes or a reflection of a memory long past."

Lines of Discovery underscores the importance of drawing as a medium and its historical role as the fundamental skill required of virtually all artists, architects and designers.

The exhibition is grouped according to several major themes.


 

(above: Thomas Cole, Study of a Blasted Tree, 1841, Pencil and gouache on brown-colored wove paper, 22 x 18 inches. Courtesy of The Columbus Museum.)

 

(above: Winslow Homer, Pond Lilies, 1884, Charcoal, chalk and gouache on laid paper, 25 x 31 inches. Courtesy of The Columbus Museum.)

 

(above: Andrea Newell Wyeth, North Sutton, 1940, Watercolor on wove paper, 29 x 38 inches. Courtesy of The Columbus Museum.)

 

(above: Charles Burchfield, Daybreak, 1920, Gouache, watercolor and pencil on wove paper, 26 x 35 inches. Courtesy of The Columbus Museum.)

 

(above: Rockwell Kent, Stubb and Tashtego, 1930, Pin and ink on wove paper, 20 x 16 inches. Courtesy of The Columbus Museum.)

 

Wall text from the exhibition

Lines of Discovery celebrates the rich history of American drawing and the many ways in which artists have used the medium to define the nation's evolving character. The 78 featured works are selected from the extensive holdings of The Columbus Museum, which owns one of the most important collections of American drawings in the Southeast. Assembled over 25 years and greatly enhanced with the recent and significant acquisition of the Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, it represents various styles and techniques by major artists from the 19 th century to the present. The Columbus Museum defines drawing as any unique work on paper, and its collection represents a variety of media, including pencil, charcoal, watercolor, gouache, pastel, tempera, ink and monoprint.

The exhibition is grouped according to several major themes. Works featured in Towards A New and United Country define the nation's identity through its unique landscape and people. American Renaissance and Cosmopolitan Outlook consists of drawings that reflect American artists' involvement in international art movements such as Impressionism. Progressive and Avant-Garde Artists focuses on works by Ashcan School artists and others who broke away from academic tradition and paved the way for modern movements of the 20th century. Regionalism, Socialism and American Visions includes images by Depression-era artists who portrayed American life in the city and on the farm during a time of great uncertainty and economic hardship. Post-War Modernism features ground-breaking images by artists seeking to free art from the shackles of visible reality in order to explore the expressive possibilities of abstraction. A Resurgence of Realism includes recent drawings by artists who turned away from abstraction and discovered realism to be a more effective style for expressing their artistic vision.

Lines of Discovery demonstrates the essential role drawing has played in the formation and development of American art. While representing an overview of American art, this selection of works attests to the unique properties of drawing and its status as the most intimate, immediate and versatile art medium.


Object labels from the exhibition

 

AMERICAN RENAISSANCE
 
 
ABBOTT HANDERSON THAYER
b. Boston 1849 - d. Dublin, New Hampshire 1921
Horse Team ca. 1870-85
Pencil and wash on wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
Although Abbott Thayer would later become famous for his figure painting, portraiture and landscapes, his earliest paintings focused on animal subjects. From childhood, he was a passionate naturalist who could identify bird species by a single feather. As a young artist, his first professional commissions were for a series of dog portraits. By 1870, he was also painting rural cattle and the lions and tigers at the Central Park Zoo. Horse Team depicts a team of five energetic white horses pulling a street trolley. Thayer's use of washes suggests an early morning fog, and the barking dog shows his love of detail and animals.
 
 
JOHN HENRY TWACHTMAN
b. Cincinnati 1853 - d. Gloucester, Maine 1902
Bridge across the Ohio River at Cincinnati ca. 1878-1880
Pencil on wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
After studying in Europe, John Henry Twachtman returned to his native Cincinnati in the fall of 1879. There, he created a group of fascinating images depicting the city's hills, which were being quickly turned into suburbs after rail lines made them reachable. Despite this interest in the growth of his home city, this rare pencil sketch is the only drawing he did during that visit. It depicts a view looking east across the river toward the suspension bridge connecting Cincinnati and Covington, Kentucky.
 
With minimal outlines, Twachtman recorded curves of the shore, angles of barges on the water, tiny forms of figures walking on the riverbank, industrial warehouses in the distance, and bridge pilings, tower and cable.
 
 
WILLIAM MERRITT CHASE
b. Franklin, Indiana 1849 - d. New York City 1916
Portrait of Alice Gerson, Mrs. Chase ca. 1880s
Monotype on wove paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Sidney H. Yarbrough III for their generosity and long years of service to the Columbus Museum 2004.17.2
 
William Merritt Chase's wife, Alice Gerson Chase, was one of his favorite models from the time he married her in 1886. This small, intimate monotype shows her face emerging from the shadows. The image has the feeling of a sketch because it uses only lights and darks.
 
To make a monotype image, Chase brushed ink onto the smooth surface of the plate, as if he was painting it. He then used either a cloth or his fingertips to take ink away from the surface, which created highlights on the face and head. The horizontal line to the right of the sitter's head hints that the glass plate had a crack in it. The artist may have made this monotype so he would have an image of his beloved wife when they were apart.
 
 
JOSEPH PENNELL
b. Philadelphia 1860 - d. Brooklyn 1926
Norman Stairway in the Close 1885
Pen and ink on wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.3
 
 
JOHN SINGER SARGENT
b. Florence, Italy, 1856 - d. London, England 1925
Spanish Window ca. 1905
Watercolor on laid paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Louis Hazouri 80.50
 
Despite the fact that he was at the height of his popularity, by 1900 Sargent was becoming disenchanted with his usual subject matter of formal portraiture. He began to use the more spontaneous medium of watercolor. Over the next 25 years, he produced 1,500 acclaimed watercolors, which he exhibited to critical praise and commercial success.
 
Throughout his life, Sargent was an avid traveler, and during the early 20th century, he chose places that he had visited as a child -- the Alps, Venice and Spain. Spanish Window was probably made during a 1903 trip to Spain and has a kind of "snapshot" quality.
 
 
CATHERINE ALICE TREANOR ROUNDEY
b. 1857 - d. 1923, San Francisco, California
Still Life ca. 1900
Pastel on gold-colored wove paper
Gift of Paul G. Stein 2004.18
 
 
PHILIP LESLIE HALE
b. 1865 - d. 1931 Boston, Massachusetts
Lady with a Fan ca. 1910-1914
Pastel on brown wove paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Art Acquisition and Restoration Fund and the Endowment Fund in honor of D.A. Turner 2004.15
 
 
CHILDE HASSAM
b. Dorchester, Massachusetts 1859 - d. East Hampton, New York 1935
Bab's Cove 1912
Watercolor on paper
Gift of Hirschl and Adler Galleries, Inc., New York 74.32
 
In 1886, Childe Hassam made his first of many trips to Appledore Island off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. During his visit in 1912, he worked almost entirely in watercolor to capture the island's ledges and coves as well as the grand flower gardens of his friend and poet Cecilia Thaxter. These watercolors show daring brushwork and color.
 
Babb's Cove is an inlet of Appledore Island that was often used as a swimming hole. In this drawing, the cove is at low tide, with the curved rock in the background. Working quickly in choppy strokes, Hassam drew the seaweed on the shore, the line of plants on top of the rocks and the clouds in the sky.
 
 
WILLARD METCALF
b. Lowell, Massachusetts 1858 - d. New York City 1925
Sketch for Benediction 1920
Pencil and chalk on dark gray-colored wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
Willard Metcalf and his family spent the summer of 1920 in Kennebunkport, Maine, a lively seaside resort. The town's many fine examples of Colonial architecture became one of the artist's favorite themes in the 1910s. Sketch for Benediction features Kennebunkport's First Congregational Church. In the finished painting of the same name, the church is seen close up, standing tall under a full moon, and surrounded by a white rail fence and elm trees. Metcalf's wife, Henriette, gave the painting and its study the title. Benediction reflects the artist's own deep feelings about the Colonial Revival, which celebrated the American traditions of democracy and optimism.
 
 
 
PROGRESSIVE AND AVANTE GARDE
 
 
JOHN SLOAN
b. Lock Haven, Pennsylvania 1871 - d. Hanover, New Hampshire 1951
Cheering ca.1903
Crayon on buff-colored wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.46
 
John Sloan's detailed scenes of everyday urban life made him one of the most original artists of early 20th century America. Sloan, like so many other important artists of his day, began as a newspaper illustrator before becoming a painter. Cheering is based on John Kendrick Bangs' "The Genial Idiot," a series of humorous stories about manners published in the Philadelphia Press in the fall of 1903. In Sloan's drawing, the hero of Bangs' tale annoys the other spectators, while his girlfriend adoringly looks on. Soon after Sloan finished his illustrations for "The Genial Idiot," he left Philadelphia for New York. There, he joined friends and fellow artists William Glackens, George Luks and Robert Henri, and became one of the founders of the "Ashcan School" of urban realism.
 
 
WILLIAM GLACKENS
b. Philadelphia 1870 - d. Westport, Connecticut 1938
Mulberry Street ca. 1905
Pencil and charcoal on paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer 2002.47.4
 
Although William Glackens wanted to succeed as a painter, he was also one of the best illustrators of his generation. As an artist for Philadelphia and New York newspapers and many illustrated magazines, Glackens trained himself not only to make rapid on-the-spot sketches, but also to memorize whole scenes. He would then return to his studio and reproduce them in vivid detail. Here, he depicts Mulberry Street, which in 1900 was a main street in New York's Little Italy and Chinatown districts and was filled with immigrants. Glackens' street is crowded with vehicles, people of different ethnic backgrounds, and shops of all kinds. Working quickly in short, rapid strokes of charcoal and pencil, he captures the passing image of a mother and child in front of a storefront where a satisfied salesman looks admiringly at the bridal mannequin he displays.
 
 
GEORGE LUKS
b. Williamsport, Pennsylvania 1867 - d. New York City 1933
Celebrating the Completion of the Third Avenue El ca. 1905
Watercolor and ink on buff-colored wove paper
Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., in memory of his grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Dan Bradley 68.250
 
 
JOHN MARIN
b. Cape Split, Maine 1870 - d. Rutherford, New Jersey 1953
Untitled (View of Bay) 1914
Watercolor on wove paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Art Acquisition and Restoration Fund and the Endowment Fund in honor of D. A. Turner 82.1
 
This double-sided watercolor was created by John Marin during his first visit to Maine's Casco Bay region in the summer of 1914. It became a site for many of his best-known images, and he visited the area each year for the rest of his life. In a letter from 1914, Marin described the area as "fierce, relentless, cruel, beautiful, fascinating....At high tide...our little shack is 15 feet from the water on a ledge of rock running down into the water. In fact, all ledges run down into the water here, and it is all ledges." In this watercolor, the artist depicts hidden coves, open seas, distant hills, small rocky islands, high cliffs and banks of trees in his angular, simplified style. More than likely, Marin painted Untitled at the end of the season's trip on the back of an earlier watercolor after he ran out of paper.
 
 
GEORGE WESLEY BELLOWS
b. Columbus, Ohio 1882 - d. New York City 1925
Study of Leon Kroll, 1915-16
Crayon on wove paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer 2002.47.1
 
 
ROBERT HENRI
b. 1865 - d. 1929 Cincinnati, Ohio
A Place in the Woods 1918
Pastel on tan wove paper
Museum purchase made possible by an anonymous donor 83.7
 
As the leader of The Eight, Robert Henri was an important writer, teacher and painter. His interest in depicting various types of ordinary people led him to varied locales such as Monhegan Island, Maine, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Spain and Ireland. Henri first visited Monhegan Island in 1903, and he was immediately enthralled with the wild and picturesque landscape. He returned to Monhegan Island repeatedly and encouraged other artists of his circle to visit, as well. This pastel was one of a group of over 100 sketches that Henri made on the island during the summer of 1918.
 
 
ERNEST LAWSON
b. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 1873 - d. Miami Beach, Florida 1939
Landscape ca. 1919
Monotype in oil on wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
 
CHARLES BURCHFIELD
b. Ashtabula, Ohio 1893 - d. Buffalo, New York 1967
Daybreak ca. 1920
Gouache, watercolor and pencil on wove paper
Gift of the Royal Crown Cola Company on the occasion of the Museum's Silver Anniversary 77.37
 
 
WILLIAM ZORACH
b. Eurburick-Kovno, Lithuania 1887 - d. Bath, Maine 1966
Lightning Storm, Provincetown 1922
Watercolor on wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.52
 
 
OSCAR F. BLUEMNER
b. Prenzlau, Germany 1867 - d. South Braintree, Massachusetts 1938
Red House by a Stream 1927
Watercolor and gouache on wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.42
 
 
ISAMU NOGUCHI
b. Los Angeles 1904 - d. New York City 1988
Female Nude 1928-29
Charcoal on buff-colored wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.43
 
 
JAN MATULKA
b. Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1890 - d. Queens, New York 1972
Interior ca. 1930
Watercolor on wove paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer in honor of the Museum's 50th Anniversary 2003.38.4
 
Jan Matulka was a talented artist and teacher who was familiar with the latest European art trends of the first part of the 20th century. His style combined traditional drawing and composition with a strong interest in abstraction. In many of his landscapes, seaport scenes, cityscapes and still lifes, Matulka turns objects into flattened and basic shapes, inspired by the Cubism style made popular by Picasso and George Braque. In Interior, Matulka depicts an ordinary room with commonplace objects on a table. The banjo and a wind-up record player reflect his love of progressive jazz music and modern technology, which were a part of his daily life in New York City.
 
 
ARSHILE GORKY
b. Dzov, Turkish Armenia 1904 - d. Sherman, Connecticut 1948
Abstract Figure 1931
Pen and ink on wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
During the early 1930s, drawing was the central focus of Arshile Gorky's art, including small line studies such as Abstract Figure. "Drawing is the basis of art," Gorky wrote in 1942. "A bad painter cannot draw. But a good drawer can always paint. Drawing gives the artist the ability to control his line....This is the path toward masterwork." This important ink drawing is one of his first works to combine Surrealist ideas with the abstract geometry of Cubism.
 
 
BLANCHE LAZZELL
b. Maidsville, West Virginia 1878 - d. Morgantown, West Virginia 1956
Calendula 1932
Monotype in oil on wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
 
MARSDEN HARTLEY
b. Lewiston, Maine 1877 - d. Ellsworth, Maine 1943
Granite Rocks, Dogtown 1934
Crayon on wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
Marsden Hartley was one of America's most adventurous modernists of the early 20th century. Believing in a mystical earth spirit, Hartley followed modern art trends that led to simplified landscapes as a way to express nature's spirituality. The ancient-looking landscape of Granite Rocks, Dogtown reflects this philosophy; the boulders and rough hills influenced the artist on a strong emotional level. This drawing is one of several that Hartley produced during the 1930s that depict the landscape formed by glaciers near Gloucester, Massachusetts.
 
 
HANS HOFMANN
b. Weissenburg, Bavaria, Germany 1880 - d. New York City 1966
Untitled 1935
India ink on wove paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Edward Swift Shorter Bequest Fund 2002.53
 
In 1930, Hans Hofmann was asked to teach at the University of California, Berkeley, and he enjoyed the United States so much that he moved here permanently, becoming a citizen in 1941. After moving to New York, Hofmann spent his summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he operated a school for artists. He taught important artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Larry Rivers, Mary Frank and Richard Stankiewicz.
 
In Untitled, Hofmann uses flat forms and shapes to describe the monumental female figure. A leg or arm is no longer a volume; it is a two-dimensional element that occupies space. White and dark areas appear to move forward and then recede, using what he calls his "pushes and pulls." This last aspect of using bold color, line, gesture and adding emotional energy is essential in Abstract Expressionism.
 
 
FEDERICO CASTELLON
b. Altamira, Spain 1914 - d. Brooklyn Heights, New York 1971
The Bride ca. 1938
Pencil on wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.36
 
Like fellow Surrealist Salvator Dali, Federico Castellon followed his own artistic visions. His mysterious images float between dreams and nightmares. His drawing of The Bride is filled with strange figures and fragments of buildings. The bride could symbolize the beginning of a new life, but the darkened doorway hints at danger. Castellon's undefined landscape adds to the feeling of uncertainty.
 
 
MILTON AVERY
b. Altmar, New York 1893 - d. New York City 1965
Nude on Chair ca. 1943-1953
Brown and black marker on wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.10
 
 
POST-WAR MODERNISM
 
 
HANANIAH HARARI
b. Rochester, New York 1912 - d. New York City 2000
218 E.12th Street 1945
Ink, gouache and crayon on wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
 
BURGOYNE DILLER
b. 1906 - d. New York City 1965
Study for Wall Construction 1950
Graphite and crayon on tissue paper
Gift of halley k harrisburg and Michael Rosenfeld 98.8
 
 
ALFONSO OSSORIO
b. Luzon, Philippines 1916 - d. New York City 1990
Untitled 1951
Ink, watercolor and wax on handmade paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Art Acquisition and Restoration Fund 2004.3
 
Alfonso Ossorio, born in the Philippines, settled in New York by the 1930s, and was friends with noted modern artists Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet. The three believed that rational society and traditional art were no longer valid after the trauma of World War II. Instead, they were inspired by cave art paintings, hieroglyphics and folk art that seemed unplanned and spiritual.
 
This drawing was made with the wax-resist method: hot wax is applied to paper in certain areas to block paint or ink that is applied afterwards. The drawing is one of several that Ossorio made as part of a commission to decorate a church in the Philippines during 1950 and 1951. Most of these works include a simplified central figure in a tangle of geometric and linear forms. Wax resist gives this work a rich, dense surface.
 
 
MORRIS COLES GRAVES
b. Fox Valley, Oregon 1910 - d. Loleta, California 2001
Sleeping Animal 1954
Pencil on Kraft paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.26
 
 
DAVID SMITH
b. Decatur, Illinois 1906 - d. Bennington, Vermont 1965
Study for Tanktotems 1954
Purple-black egg ink on wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.49
 
 
THEODORE ROSZAK
b. Pozhan, Poland 1907 - d. New York City 1981
Untitled (Winter Sun) ca. 1954
Pen and ink on buff-colored wove paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Art Acquisition and Restoration Fund 99.1
 
World War II completely changed Theodore Roszak's worldview and the direction of his art. After 1945, his lost confidence in science and technology was replaced by faith in nature. The smooth geometric shapes in his earlier work were replaced by spiky, organic shapes. Untitled records the spontaneous creation of a primordial landscape. The simple crescent shape appears again and again in his art over many years. Here it represents the feminine principle of creation. Roszak liked to use inks and washes together with various pens and nibs, and he drew in scales from small notebook sketches to large sheets more than six feet across.
 
 
HYMAN BLOOM
b. Brinoviski, Latvia 1913
Abattoir III 1955
Red crayon on wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
 
MORRIS COLES GRAVES
b. Fox Valley, Oregon 1910 - d. Loleta, California 2001
Standing Crow 1956
Sumi ink on rice paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Art Acquisition and Restoration Fund, the Edward Swift Shorter Bequest Fund and the Museum's General Acquisition Fund 99.9
 
 
MILTON AVERY
b. Altmar, New York 1893 - d. New York City 1965
Trees of Summer 1956
Monotype on Japan paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer 2001.16.2
 
 
GRAY FOY
b. Dallas, Texas 1922
Thicket 1958
Pencil on buff-colored wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.13
 
 
JARED FRENCH
b. Ossining, New York 1905 - d. Rome, Italy 1988
Syzygy 1965
Pencil, ink and crayon on wove paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Edward Swift Shorter Bequest Fund 2004.4
 
During his early career, Jared French produced detailed drawings and tempera paintings of men and women performing everyday manual labor. Later, he showed them in strange, dream-like settings that reflected his interest in Carl Jung's psychological theories about the subconscious. Syzygy is a Jungian term for the combination of opposites (e.g. sun/moon, male/female). This work is a masterful example of French's large, surrealist drawings that mix together anatomical parts and landscapes. In this work, French used cross­hatched marks in pencil and then applied gray, dark-brown and yellow-ochre inks.
 
 
ROBERT MOTHERWELL
b. Aberdeen, Washington 1915 - d. Provincetown, Massachusetts 1991
Untitled 1961
Oil on wove paper
Museum purchase made possible by Etta Dykes Blackmon, in memory of Natilu McKenney Dykes; Annie Ruth Baker Davis; Gail B. Greenblatt; Rebecca H. King; Edith Landrum; Marjorie Newman; Laura P. Porter, in memory of Mary F. Passailaigue; Thelma M. Robinson; Miriam Tidwell; special assistance from the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions; and a gift of the Dedalus Foundation 2000.13.1
 
Robert Motherwell was a pioneer in the American art movement Abstract Expressionism. Occurring just after World War II, this style was the first major visual arts movement in the 20th century to bring Americans international attention. Motherwell, and other artists such as Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, combined abstract forms and personal emotion in their work.
 
Paintings on paper are a major part of Robert Motherwell's art, and Untitled is a classic example. In it, several strong horizontal bands are countered by one equally strong diagonal, and both are contrasted with the curved line at top center. Motherwell's signature colors are included in the piece: yellow ochre, white, black and what might be called "Motherwell blue."
 
 
ROBERT MOTHERWELL
b. Aberdeen, Washington 1915 - d. Provincetown, Massachusetts 1991
Lyric Suite 1965
Ink on rice paper
Gift of the Dedalus Foundation in honor of Tom Butler 2000.13.13
 
 
LUCAS SAMARAS
b. Kastoria, Greece 1936
George Segal and His Wife 1968
Pencil on wove cutout paper
Gift of halley k harrisburg and Michael Rosenfeld 2005.29
 
 
RICHARD POUSETTE-DART
b. St. Paul, Minnesota 1916 - d. New York City 1992
Untitled 1976
Gouache and graphite on wove paper
Museum purchase made possible by Dr. Franklin and Barbara Broda Star, in memory of Donald F. Broda, Jr. 2004.10
 
Richard Pousette­Dart was the youngest of the Abstract Expressionists, and became known for his abstract paintings, sculptures and works on paper produced during a career that lasted more than 50 years. Like fellow New York School legend Jackson Pollock, he was attracted to the mysteriousness of ancient and tribal art, and saw the act of painting as deeply spiritual.
 
Untitled shows Pousette­Dart's characteristic primal forms that look like microscopic organisms, orbs, portals or moons. The central circle hovers in a glowing background made from white pigment mixed with thin pencil marks.
 
 
LESLEY DILL
b. Bronxville, New York 1950
A Thought Went Up My Mind Today 1996
Ink, thread and photograph on silver print paper
Gift of Gail B. Greenblatt in memory of Benjamin M. Greenblatt 2004.8
 
New York artist Lesley Dill combines photographic figures, printed text, hand­made paper, fabric and thread in works that explore the differences between mind, body and spirit. Her labor-intensive images are often sewn, cut and bent in ways that remind the viewer of the fragility of human life. Dill's compositions often include lines from the poetry of Emily Dickinson as a way to show the power that words have to express ideas and emotions. A Thought Went Up My Mind Today presents the cut-out figure of a woman sewn onto a jet-black surface. It includes painted words from a Dickinson poem of the same title and delicate threads trailing from the outline of the woman's body.
 
 
THORNTON DIAL
b. Livingston, Alabama 1928
Rooster Picture 1991
Watercolor and pastel on white wove watercolor paper
Gift of William Arnett, Judy Arnett and Robert Arnett in memory of our dear friend, Thomas M. Horton 2006.85
Combining watercolor, charcoal, graphite and pastel, Dial analyzes his personal experiences and values that reflect his identity as an African-American man in the American South. In his drawings, Dial responds to current and historical events. He presents stories or moral lessons through a colorful vocabulary of humans and animal characters. These narrative drawings illustrate the racial tensions that Dial has experienced his entire life.
Dial uses the rooster to convey maleness. Although the male character in Rooster Picture seems to overwhelm the woman, Dial believes that it is, in fact, women who control men. He believes this idea is universal, regardless of race and nationality.
 
 
ALEJANDRO AGUILERA
b. Holguin, Cuba 1964
Black Drawing 1997
Ink, charcoal, coffee wash and crayon on Kraft paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Art Acquisition and Restoration Fund 2004.14
 
 
JOHN HIMMELFARB
b. Chicago 1946
Hello Again 2000
Ink, graphite and acrylic on wove paper
Gift of Susan Himmelfarb 2006.80
 
Born in 1946 in Chicago, John Himmelfarb grew up in a household of artists. In 1970, he opened a studio in Chicago, where he has primarily worked since that time. His work combines text and child­like shapes.
 
Hello Again includes written passages such as It's a Carl Jungle out there, referring to the nightmare of modern life as both a Jungian conscious and subconscious experience. Around this text are drawings of fantastic plants and animals, objects that have been found in his work since his childhood. He began this drawing with black sumi ink brush marks, then covered them with a wash of white acrylic, but left their shadows showing under the surface. He drew another layer of marks in graphite over the first. The two layers seem to be pieces of a puzzle that should, but do not, fit together.
 
 
WOLF KAHN
b. Stuttgart, Germany 1927
Three Barns in a Row 2000
Pastel on wove paper
Museum purchase with funds provided by the Swift Family Foundation in honor of Mrs. Gunby Jordan 2001.23.2
 
 
 
A RESURGENCE OF REALISM
 
 
NANCY GROSSMAN
b. New York City 1940
Gunhead #2 1973
Pencil on wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.37
 
 
JACK BEAL
b. Richmond, Virginia 1931
Self Portrait at Age 51 1982
Pastel on wove paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2001.10.2
 
 
YVONNE JACQUETTE
b. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1934
Searsport Harbor with Salt Tanker 1982
Pastel on gray wove paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Edward Swift Shorter Bequest Fund 2003.34
 
Yvonne Jacquette depicts contemporary landscape from an aerial view. She has recorded sights in different seasons and parts of the world, but concentrates mainly on Maine and New York City, the two places she calls home. This pastel drawing of an industrial site by a remote deep-water inlet in Maine was done from the seat of a Cessna plane. The lights on the pier and tanker twinkle in the night sky.
 
 
WILLIAM BECKMAN
b. Maynard, Minnesota 1942
Overcoat Series no. 3 ca. 1995-2002
Charcoal on Stonehenge wove paper
Gift of the Collections Committee and a Friend of the Museum in honor of Philip and Lorraine Brewer 2005.7
 
In a group of large drawings that William Beckman calls his "Overcoat" series, he pairs himself and his female model as either in a cloak or nude in different combinations. Though they are presented as a couple, they do not touch or relate to one another as they look at the viewer as separate and equal. Beckman drew his own image by looking into a full-length mirror. However, he created the figure of his ex-wife using a photograph from an earlier time when they were married. Therefore, in this drawing, the artist speaks about memory and the way that the impression we hold of someone who is no longer part of our daily life becomes frozen in time.
 
 
JEROME WITKIN
b. Brooklyn, New York 1939
A Lonely Woman (Laura Nasser) 1999
Charcoal and charcoal paper with collage elements
Museum purchase made possible with generous donations by the Friends of Donald F. Broda, Jr. 2005.7
 
 
STEVEN ASSAEL
b. New York City 1957
Michael 2000
Crayon and graphite on paper
Gift of Thornton and Sue Jordan 2006.1
 
 
REGIONALISM
 
 
GUY PÈNE DU BOIS
b. Brooklyn 1884 - d. New York City 1958
Seated Woman
Pencil on wove paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer 2002.47.2
 
 
GEORGE OVERBURY "POP" HART
b. Cairo, Illinois 1868 - d. New York City 1933
Bathing Beach (Palisades Interstate Park, Fort Lee, New Jersey) 1921
Watercolor and pencil on wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.48
 
Though George Hart sketched the people and landscape of such places as Egypt, Tahiti and Mexico, he also loved to depict the local scene of New York and its environs. This included Coytesville, a Fort Lee, New Jersey neighborhood where he lived and worked as a designer of stage sets for World Pictures Film Studio. Hart identified this scene as Interstate Park, which in 1921 was a lively recreational area that stretched from Fort Lee along the Palisades north into New York state. Marinas, fishing piers, picnic pavilions and bathing beaches attracted crowds during the warmer seasons. Hart used jewel-like watercolors and an energetic pencil line to capture this scene of leisure and relaxation.
 
 
JAMES DAUGHERTY
b. Asheville, North Carolina 1887 - d. Weston, Connecticut 1974
The Beach ca. 1930
Pencil and charcoal on wove paper
Gift of Charles M. and Lisa L. Daugherty 98.25
 
 
ROCKWELL KENT
b. Tarrytown Heights, New York 1882 - d. Au Sable Forks, New York 1971
Stubb and Tashtego ca. 1930
Pen and ink on wove paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer 2002.47.6
 
 
THOMAS HART BENTON
b. Neosho, Missouri 1889 - d. Kansas City, Missouri 1975
Wilbur Leverett, Galena, Missouri ca. 1931
Ink, sepia wash and pencil on buff-colored wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
Thomas Hart Benton's great interest in American music is shown in The Arts of Life in America, a mural commissioned in 1932 for the Whitney Museum of American Art. It included panels on Western and Southern arts, which emphasized the importance of gospel, jazz, and country and western music for ordinary Americans. For the musicians in The Arts of the West panel, he included a portrait of Wilbur Leverett. Wilbur and his brother, Homer, were Southern gospel musicians who dressed in striped overalls and carried their guitars in flour sacks. The brothers were the kind of ordinary Americans that Benton idealized, who were country-bred and self-trained but produced sophisticated and exciting music.
 
 
GEORGE COPELAND AULT
b. Cleveland, Ohio 1891 - d. Woodstock, New York 1948
Kitchen Stove 1932
Pencil on buff-colored wove paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer 2001.16.1
 
George Ault's drawing, Kitchen Stove, is a striking example of Precisionism, the American style of the 1920s and 1930s in which artists depicted objects in a realistic way, but with a concentration on geometric forms. Ault's drawing of right angles within right angles includes a glimpse of a stove and stovepipe against the far wall. Although one often thinks of factories and smokestacks with Precisionism, Ault's stove and its chimney suggest the same sense of large scale objects in a simple domestic scene.
 
 
JOHN STEUART CURRY
b. Dunavant, Kansas 1897 - d. Madison, Wisconsin 1946
The Fugitive ca. 1933
Charcoal on wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
Like fellow regionalists Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, John Steuart Curry believed that art could be used to change society. Much of Curry's art is a criticism of the intolerance, corruption and injustice he saw around him. One of several works by Curry showing the heroic struggles of African Americans, The Fugitive depicts a man who has climbed a tree to hide from the approaching lynch mob. The Fugitive focuses on the humanity of the runaway, who looks upward and prays for divine help. A passing butterfly (a lone symbol of hope) and the dark sky help build the dramatic tension.
 
 
ISABEL BISHOP
b. Cincinnati, Ohio 1902 - d. Riverdale, New York 1988
The Ashcan ca. 1935-1938
Pen and ink on wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
 
PAUL CADMUS
b. New York City 1904 - d. Weston, Connecticut 1999
Male Nude
Colored Crayon on Prepared Paper
Museum purchase made possible by Norman S. Rothschild in honor of his parents Aleen and Irwin B. Rothschild 1998.53
During the early 20th century, when art was dominated by abstraction, Paul Cadmus sketched from live models daily and experimented with Renaissance painting techniques. He was a master at depicting the human form, and used the figure as a way to reveal inner emotions.
 
 
ARTHUR GARFIELD DOVE
b. Canandaigua, New York 1880 - d. Long Island, New York 1946
Gas Tank executed before 1939
Watercolor and ink on wove paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.51
 
Arthur Dove was one our country's first abstract painters; around 1910, he produced what is known as the first purely abstract painting to come out of America. Dove's work was largely based on the natural world. He called his form of abstraction "extraction," pulling the abstract forms out from a landscape. For Dove, visiting rural areas was a welcome escape from chaotic New York. In this drawing, the gas tank and electrical tower become massive forms visible in the world around him, either as evidence of modern progress or perhaps unwelcome additions to the perfect landscape.
 
 
ANDREW NEWELL WYETH
b. Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania 1917
North Sutton 1940
Watercolor on wove paper
Bequest of Edward Swift Shorter 91.7.6
 
Although Andrew Wyeth is best known for his egg tempera paintings, watercolor was his favorite medium early in his career. He first attracted national attention in the late 1930s on the strength of his watercolors. He has continued to use the medium even after shifting largely to tempera in the early 1940s. Wyeth painted North Sutton in 1940 while in New Hampshire visiting his future wife, Betsy James. He uses violet blues, dark reds, earthy greens and pale grays to portray a group of homes in a snowy landscape. Telephone lines drawn in pencil repeat the lines of the branches in the field below, drawn with a dry brush.
 
 
YASUO KUNIYOSHI
b. Okayama, Japan 1889 - d. New York City 1953
Artist's Ball ca. 1940-1950
Black ink and gouache on paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.40
 
 
JACK LEVINE
b. Boston, Massachusetts 1915
Volpone: A Study ca. 1940-1950
Sepia ink on brown-colored laid paper
Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection, Museum purchase made possible by the Ella E. Kirven Charitable Lead Trust for Acquisitions 2003.1.30
 
 
REGINALD MARSH
b. Paris, France 1898 - d. Dorset, Vermont 1954
Learn to Dance 1946
Egg tempera on wove paper
Gift of the Estate of Felicia Meyer Marsh 79.32
 
 
WALTER INGLIS ANDERSON
b. 1903 - d. 1965 New Orleans, Louisiana
Horn Island ca. 1947-1965
Watercolor and graphite on wove typing paper
Museum purchase made possible in part by the Museum Guild 80.39
 
 
NEW AND UNITED COUNTRY
 
 
THOMAS COLE
b. Bolton-on-Moors, England 1801 - d. Catskill, New York 1848
Study of a Blasted Tree 1841
Pencil and gouache on brown-colored wove paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer 2001.16.3
 
For Thomas Cole, the "father of Romantic landscape painting in America," trees were symbolic of his view of nature. Cole saw the wild American scenery, and its trees, as very unlike civilized European land. Cole wrote, "Trees are like men, differing widely in character." To him, ancient trees were the "monarchs of the forest," and their weather-beaten condition reminded him of the human experience.
 
Although Cole drew Study of a Blasted Tree during a tour in the Swiss Alps in late October 1841, the tree was found in a landscape that reminded him more of the Catskills than of any of his earlier thoughts of what European scenery looked like.
 
 
JOHN GADSBY CHAPMAN
b. Alexandria, Virginia 1808 - d. Tottenville, New York 1889
Shepherdess, Holding Sheaf of Hay 1852
Pen and ink on buff-colored wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
John Gadsby Chapman was known as a multi-talented and easy-going artist and always at work on a new project. He wrote the first text on drawing in America, which became a handbook for art students for decades. Chapman suffered from bad health, and in 1848 he moved to Europe to improve his medical and artistic chances. When he settled in Rome in 1850, he stopped creating book illustrations, which had been his main support for many years. Chapman began to produce paintings and etchings of the Italian people and countryside for the tourist trade. Shepherdess, Holding Sheaf of Hay dates from this period. Political revolutions in Italy and the American Civil War ended the tourist trade, which led to a major decrease in Chapman's income; he eventually returned to America and died penniless in Tottenville, New York in 1889.
 
 
JOHN MACKIE FALCONER
b. Edinburgh, Scotland 1820 - d. Brooklyn 1903
Washing Day Down South in Georgia ca. 1853
Watercolor on brown-colored wove paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Art Acquisition and Restoration Fund 98.1.1
 
 
WILLIAM MORRIS HUNT
b. Brattleboro, Vermont 1824 - d. Boston 1879
Figure on Horse ca. 1855-1860
Lithographic crayon on wove paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Theodore E. Stebbins Jr. 2004.21.2
 
 
FRANCIS HOPKINSON SMITH
b. Baltimore, Maryland 1838 - d. New York City 1915
A Quiet Stream ca. 1870
Charcoal and white chalk on buff-colored laid paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
 
WILLIAM TROST RICHARDS
b. Philadelphia 1833 - d. Newport, Rhode Island 1905
Beach Scene, East Gloucester ca. 1871
Watercolor and gouache on light gray-colored wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
 
WILLIAM MORRIS HUNT
b. Brattleboro, Vermont 1824 - d. Boston 1879
Child at Water's Edge ca. 1877
Charcoal on buff-colored wove paper
Promised Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer Collection
 
Charcoal was the favorite medium of Boston artist William Morris Hunt. "Painting," said Hunt, "is vulgar by the side of a fine charcoal drawing. Imagination and suggestion are everything in art." Above all, Hunt preached simplicity. "You are to draw not reality, but the appearance of reality. Look first for the big things. Get the effect of light, and you won't miss color!"
 
After his studio and most of his earlier artworks were destroyed in the Great Fire of Boston in November 1872, Hunt focused on landscapes. In the following years, he painted and drew along Boston's North Shore, often at Magnolia, near Gloucester. Child at Water's Edge was probably drawn at Magnolia in 1877.
 
 
SAMUEL COLMAN
b. Portland, Maine 1832 - d. New York City 1920
Mount Sir Donald
Watercolor and gouache on wove paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer in honor of the Museum's 50th Anniversary 2003.38.1
 
 
WINSLOW HOMER
b. Boston, Massachusetts 1836 - d. Prout's Neck, Maine 1910
Pond Lilies 1884
Charcoal, chalk and gouache on laid paper
Museum purchase made possible by the Art Acquisition and Restoration Fund, the Endowment Fund in honor of D.A. Turner, and the Edward Swift Shorter Bequest Fund 89.2
 
Early in his career, Winslow Homer illustrated books and magazines. During the Civil War, he worked as a pictorial reporter for Harper's Weekly. In 1881, he went to England, where he worked mostly in watercolor recording the residents of fishing villages. When he returned in late 1882, he remained fascinated by the people and landscape of Maine, and the power of the sea.
 
Pond Lilies is a quiet scene of women picking water lilies. This work is a very unusual work for Homer because most of his other large drawings of 1884 show deep sea fishing fleets or rough coastal scenery. Unlike the elegant young women in his works of the 1870s, the women in Pond Lilies look like the fishermen's wives that he drew and painted along the Maine coastline.


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