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The American Scene on Paper: Prints and Drawings from the Schoen Collection on view at Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, S.C.

December, 2008

ATHENS, GA — The American Scene on Paper: Prints and Drawings from the Schoen Collection will be on view at the Gibbes Museum of Art from December 19, 2008, to March 22, 2009. Organized by the Georgia Museum of Art, this exhibition presents art that reflects the vast political, social and economic changes that occurred during the Great Depression and World War II.

“The dynamic period of American art spanning the 1930s and 1940s is an era rich in complexity and diversity,” said Jason Schoen, collector of American art. “I was captivated by the interest the artists had in American subjects. The quest for what was uniquely American inspired the artist to depict the heroic, the ordinary and the novel.”

Designed as a parallel exhibition to Coming Home: American Paintings, 1930- 1950, from the Schoen Collection, which GMOA organized with the Mobile Museum of Art in 2003,The American Scene on Paper features the same artists and much of the same subject matter, from portrayals of the plight of the farm laborer to depictions of industry and the growing urban environment. The prints, drawings and watercolors featured in the exhibition represent various manifestations of realism, whether magical, fantastic, social or romantic. Several of the artists moved from abstraction to realism as they searched for a distinctive, national voice.

The 55 works in The American Scene on Paper show the diversity of styles and techniques utilized by artists in the United States during the Great Depression and World War II. They illustrate the economic realities and social concerns of everyday life and served to document a shared past and provide assurance during a difficult present. Artists featured in this exhibition include Paul Cadmus, William Gropper, Joe Jones, Rockwell Kent, Martin Lewis, Millard Sheets and John Sloan. “This exhibition results from the collecting forethought and vision and the generosity of Jason Schoen,” said Paul Manoguerra, curator of American art at the Georgia Museum of Art. “These works are testament to the textured fabric of American life during the first half of the 20th century and are witness to the dynamism and vitality of America’s artists.”

Organized by the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens, this exhibition is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Council is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Landon Family Foundation, the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation, the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art, BNY Mellon Wealth Management and Alfred Heber Holbrook Society members Mrs. M. Smith Griffith, George-Ann and Boone Knox, Mr. D. Jack Sawyer, Jr. and Dr. William E. Torres.


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