What It Meant to Be Modern: Seattle Art at Mid-Century
Image 1 / 3: What It Meant to Be Modern: Seattle Art at Mid-Century.
Image 2 / 3: What It Meant to Be Modern: Seattle Art at Mid-Century.
Image 3 / 3: What It Meant to Be Modern: Seattle Art at Mid-Century.
During the first fifty years of the 20th century, the interaction of various ideas and forces in the Seattle community encouraged the formation of an ideal persona for the modern artist. Incorporating ideas engendered not only by Seattle’s Northwest location and local cultures, but by visiting artists, influences form Europe, Asia, New York, and San Francisco, and by contemporary psychology, Seattle artists, including the famous four: Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves, and Mark Tobey, created a particular definition of modern artistic activity that enlivened culture in the region and provided its guideposts for more than fifty years. “What It Meant To Be Modern” was drawn from the Henry’s collection of paintings and works on paper, and from public and private collections in the region. To illustrate the connections to community, the relationships among artists and the sense of a lively scene that contributed to the growth of Seattle itself, and archival material was included in the exhibition, including facsimiles of letters, newspaper reviews and other ephemera. Works by Wendell Brazeau, Louis Bunce, James FitzGerald, Walter Issacs, Helmi Juvonen, John Franklin Koenig, Carl Morris, Ambrose Patterson, Margaret Tomkins, Wes Wehr, as well as by Anderson, Callahan, Graves, Tobey, and others were included in this view of Seattle’s relationship to the idea of modern art. This was the first of two exhibitions supported by the Henry Luce Foundation. A three-year grant was awarded to the Henry’s permanent collection, to further accessibility of the Henry’s American art objects, and produce additional scholarship on American art. Support for this exhibition was also provided by the Museum Loan Network.