A NEW VIEW: EARLY MODERNISM
Abstraction and the American Scene - Gallery 337In the first half of the 20th century, American artists often depicted scenes of everyday life, showing Americans at work as well as struggling in the wake of the Great Depression and World War II. Others began working in the new abstract style, approaching color and form as ends in themselves.
St. Louis Art Scene, 1930s-1940s - Gallery 327In the 1930s and 1940s, St. Louis enjoyed a vibrant and active art scene. Besides the City Art Museum (as the Saint Louis Art Museum was then known), galleries, department stores, and library branches served as venues for the display of national, international, and local art. Artists' groups formed to put on additional exhibitions, award prizes, or even support the cause of modern art. Many artists embraced bold colors, smooth contours, and simplification in their efforts to produce works that appealed to a local audience.
Alexander Calder's White Lily - Gallery 338Alexander Calder's White Lily is highlighted in this focus installation. Installed to allow the contemplation of a single great work of art, White Lily is an example of one of Calder's famous mobiles, sculptures of suspended and balanced elements that shift with currents of air. The sculpture is a poetic interpretation of botanical form.
The American Highlights installation was curated by Janeen Turk, assistant curator of American art.