Committed to Paper The Media of American Modernism, 1900-1930

Committed to Paper
The Media of American Modernism, 1900-1930
Jan 25 - Mar 31, 2002
Marsden Hartley, Landscape: France (Aix-en-Provence) (detail), 1926. Graphite with black crayon on paper, 12 x 15 in. Bequest of Mrs. Toivo Laminan (Margaret Chamberlain, Class of 1929), 1979.59

During the early decades of the 20th century the New York avant-garde struggled to define an aesthetic that would be both modern and American. Led by photographer, connoisseur, and entrepreneur Alfred Stieglitz, they sought to reevaluate traditional European theories and attitudes, and adopted an outlook of change, renewal, experiment, and hope. The media they embraced–photography, watercolor, drawing, and avant-garde journals–were prized for their freshness, mobility, and authenticity, becoming vehicles for the expression of a new American tradition and innovation. These works on paper, favored by some of the best-known artists of the Stieglitz circle including Paul Strand, John Marin, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, and Charles Demuth, spoke aggressively of a uniquely American modern art.

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