To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America

February 18, 2012 - April 16, 2012
Boone and George-Ann Knox I, Rachel Cosby Conway, Alfred Heber Holbrook and Charles B. Presley Family Galleries

This is the first major exhibition of Ault’s work in more than 20 years and includes 47 paintings and drawings by Ault and his contemporaries. It centers on four paintings Ault made between 1943 and 1948 depicting the crossroads of Russell’s Corners in Woodstock, N.Y. The mystery in Ault’s series of nocturnes captures the anxious tenor of life on the home front. "To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America" is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from Dolores and John W. Beck, Joan and E. Bertram Berkley, Diane and Norman Bernstein Foundation, Janet and Jim Dicke, Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins, Barney A. Ebsworth, Tania and Tom Evans, Kara and Wayne Fingerman, Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation, Joffa and Bill Kerr, Robert S. and Grayce B. Kerr Foundation, John and Gail Liebes Trust, Paula and Peter Lunder, Betty and Whitney MacMillan, Margery and Edgar Masinter, Oriana McKinnon, Susan Reed Moseley, and Betty and Lloyd Schermer.  Additional funding is provided through the museum's William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund and Gene Davis Memorial Fund. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum's traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go. 

George Ault (1891-1948)
Bright Light at Russell’s Corners, 1946
Oil on canvas 19 5/8 x 25 inches Smithsonian American Art Museum,
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Lawrence

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George Ault (1891-1948)
Nude and Torso, 1945
Oil on canvas
26 x 16 inches
Courtesy of Zabriskie Gallery

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George Ault (1891-1948)
Daylight at Russell’s Corners, 1944
Oil on canvas
Collection of Sam Simon
Image © Christie’s Images Limited 2002

In-House Curator

Annelies Mondi, deputy director


The West Foundation, Boone and George-Ann Knox, the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art.