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Collection: American Art
Date: 1948
Artist/Maker: Max Weber
Classification: Paintings

This striking image of two nude figures, hand in hand, standing in a flat landscape with an overcast sky defies easy interpretation. Max Weber was one of the first early modernists in American art. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 1900, Weber taught art in Virginia and Minnesota before travelling to Paris in 1905, where he met several avant garde artists including Henri Rousseau, Robert Delaunay, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Henri Matisse.

Collection: American Art
Date: 1982
Artist/Maker: William Wegman
Classification: Photographs

William Wegman immortalized Man Ray and his other Weimaraners through his lucid and clever photographs and videos. He invented a panoply of poses and characters, often using ingenious props and dressing up his dogs in crazy costumes imitative of human beings. Although sleek and elegant as a puppy, Man Ray filled out and became heftier as he aged. Respecting his “art partner,” Wegman more and more used camouflage and draping to disguise these physical changes.

Collection: American Art
Date: 1864
Artist/Maker: Worthington Whittredge
Classification: Paintings

This intimate landscape, considered by many Worthington Whittredge’s masterpiece, commands the attention of the viewer through dramatic use of light and a strong vertical composition. A limited palette, controlled brushstroke, and realistic forms create a picture of restrained natural beauty. However, the idyllic scene is disrupted by visual cues that describe a picturesque paradox between divinity and decay, allegory and exactitude.

Collection: American Art
Date: 1936
Artist/Maker: Grant Wood
Classification: Paintings

A high horizon line running along the exaggerated width of the composition paradoxically creates simultaneous feelings of expansion and compression in this depiction of an eastern Iowa landscape. The primary subject of Spring Turning, 1936, an oil painting on Masonite panel, is the remembered landscape of Grant Wood’s childhood in Anamosa, Iowa. There is no visual evidence of twentieth century progress in this setting—no automobiles, farm machinery, paved roads, or electric wires.

Collection: American Art
Date: 1851
Artist/Maker: Richard Caton Woodville
Classification: Prints

Richard Caton Woodville’s 1848 painting War News from Mexico was extraordinarily popular in the nineteenth century, and it remains one of the most recognized American genre paintings. The American Art-Union purchased the painting in 1849 and commissioned Alfred Jones to make an engraving, retitled Mexican News, for distribution to its members. Jones had studied engraving as an apprentice in Albany, New York.

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