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INDUSTRIAL SUBLIME
Modernism and the Transformation of New York’s Rivers    
1900-1940

Hudson River Museum    October 12, 2013 - January 17, 2014
Norton Museum of Art    March 20 - June 22, 2014

Billowing smoke, booming industry, noble bridges, and an epic waterfront are the landscape of New York changing and growing in the first 40 years of the 20th century. Industrial Sublime: Modernism and the Transformation of New York’s Rivers, 1900-1940 at the Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, October 12, 2013 to January 17, 2014, shows the convulsive changes in the New York metropolis and its rivers embraced in modern paintings from Robert Henri to Georgia O’Keeffe.
            Industrial Sublime takes a first time look at the links between American Modernism and Hudson River School painting. The ideals expressed in thousands of Hudson River School canvases from the 1820s through the turn of the century expressed a vision to which many artists clung decades after the great change to the region’s landscape. Other artists though, some from the Ashcan School, eagerly turned towards the Machine Age, and painted, not majestic mountain ranges, but arching bridges, swinging cranes, and streamlined ocean liners moving in and out of the city’s harbor.  In hailing the new, these artists created a new vocabulary for their century.
            Industrial Sublime includes over 60 works from museums around the country, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; High Museum of Art; The New-York Historical Society; the Phillips Collection; Smithsonian American Art Museum; The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virgina; the Norton Museum of Art; and, the Terra Foundation for American Art.
            The exhibition is co-curated by Kirsten M. Jensen, Curator, and Bartholomew F. Bland, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Hudson River Museum. The Museum and Empire State Editions, an imprint of Fordham University Press, will publish a fully illustrated companion catalogue to the exhibition, the fifth in the Hudson River Museum’s series The Visitor in the Landscape. Essayists for the publication include Wendy Greenhouse, co-author of Chicago Modern 1893-1945: Pursuit of the New; Katherine E. Manthorne, Professor of Modern Art of the Americas, Graduate Center, City University of New York; Ellen E. Roberts, Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Curator of American Art, Norton Museum of Art; and, Kirsten Jensen and Bartholomew Bland.
The exhibition and the accompanying catalogue have been made possible by a generous grant from the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Inc. The exhibition catalogue is supported, in part, by Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

Image: George Ault, (1891-1948). From BrooklynHeights, 1925.
Collection of the Newark Museum, Purchase of the General Fund, 1928, 28.1802

 

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The largest cultural institution in Westchester County, the Hudson River Museum is a multi-disciplinary complex that draws its identity from its site on the banks of the Hudson River, and seeks to broaden the cultural horizons of all its visitors. It engages in the presentation of exhibitions, programs, teaching initiatives, research, collection, preservation, and conservation – a wide range of activities that interpret its collections, interests and communities.

 

 



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