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American Art 1900 - 1945 Lecture with William Perthes

March 21, 2024 · 6pm-7:30pm
$15 members, $25 non-members

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The "American Century" Revisited

American Art 1900 - 1945

A Lecture with William M. Perthes

Bernard C Watson Director of Adult Education at the Barnes Foundation

Harold Evans called the 20th century “The American Century” and following his lead in 1999 the Whitney Museum of American Art staged a massive two-part exhibition triumphantly called “The American Century.” These lectures will look closely at American painting of the 20th century, a period that saw New York supplant Paris as the center of the global art market. Together we will explore paintings by artists from the Ashcan School to Abstract Expressionism and Andy Warhol to Kehinde Wiley.

American Art: 1900 – 1945

At the turn of the 20th century the social and cultural landscape of the United States underwent dramatic changes and American art began to develop a form informed by, yet distinct from, European modernism. Robert Henri and the Ashcan School painters and Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, and Charles Demuth, promoted at Alfred Stieglitz’s Galleries, began to shape a new “American” direction for painters. This session will explore American art up until the end of WW II and will consider painters both familiar and underrecognized.

William M. Perthes is the Bernard C. Watson Director of Adult Education at the Barnes Foundation. William is an art historian whose scholarship focuses on Modernism, particularly in the United States, with a special concentration on the Abstract Expressionist painter Robert Motherwell. William has a background in philosophy, specifically John Dewey and American pragmatism. His recent work has focused on how experiences with works of art, both short and long term, can impact and inform fields as varied as business, medicine, and criminal justice.

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