For the People: American Mural Drawings of the 1930s and 1940s
This exhibition presented approximately thirty preliminary drawings for murals from the 1930s and 1940s, drawn from the permanent collection of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center along with numerous loans. This era in America’s history saw record numbers of workers unemployed along with intense interest in national and regional identities and international politics. American mural paintings of these years infused everyday life with a communal vitality, covering walls with oils or frescoes that revealed artists’ heightened interests in historic or contemporary issues. In addition, the mural movement in Mexico, which had emerged in the twenties, spurred numerous American artists to travel there to paint frescoes. Featured in the exhibition are several drawings from the early 1930s by Woodstock artist Marion Greenwood, prepared for murals for the Universidad San Nicolás Hidalgo in Morelia and the Mercado Abelardo L. Rodríguez in Mexico City. Alongside these large-scale works that extol Mexican workers and farmers are documentary photographs by Mexican photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo. These and other rarely exhibited mural studies by Ben Shahn, Arshile Gorky, and other American artists are presented here, executed in a range of mediums, including watercolor, gouache, charcoal, graphite, and oil.
Exhibition: January 12–March 11, 2007
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The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
124 Raymond Ave
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604-00703