February 24-August 25, 2005
This exhibition represents the first exhibition of the women students of Robert Henri—widely regarded as the most important American art teacher of the early twentieth century— and seeks to challenge the dominant narrative of modern art in America
by drawing attention to a range of work that has been marginalized in the historical account. Critical theorists of the 1950s and 1960s restricted the definition of American modernism to a narrow set of artistic practices and philosophical beliefs, emphasizing the formal elements of abstract art and thus excluding many artists from the history, as this exhibition affirms. As art and cultural historians uncover a wider array of modernist work, expanding the definition of American modernism has become an important scholarly agenda in the field. The exhibition includes a stunning variety of paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, textiles, and furniture, borrowed from 41 lenders in 19 states. Approximately 100 works by 32 artists, dating from 1910 through the 1940s, occupy 5000 square feet of gallery space.