If you were to take a walk around the streets of Bochum, a city once noted for its coal mining in western Germany, you would come across small bronze plaques slightly protruding from the sidewalk in front of many houses….
SUArt Galleries Presents ‘Art For Every Home: Associated American Artists, 1934-2000′
The Syracuse University Art Galleries is presenting “Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists, 1934-2000.” This traveling exhibition and its accompanying publications provides the first comprehensive overview of Associated American Artists (1934-2000), the commercial enterprise best known as the publisher of prints—sold via mail-order catalogue—by Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry and Grant Wood. Organized by the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, this impressive exhibition of 136 objects from over 25 museums and private collections concludes its national tour here at Syracuse University. Previous venues included the Grey Art Gallery, New York University and the Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University.
The exhibition will be on view Jan. 12-March 19 in the Shaffer Art Building. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; and Thursdays 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The gallery is closed on University holidays. The SUArt Galleries will host a gallery reception from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2. Patrons are welcome to view the exhibition until the gallery closes at 8 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.
“Art for Every Home” addresses not only AAA’s storied involvement in the popularization of American prints in the 1930s, but also its ongoing promotion of American art over six decades. Through aggressive marketing of studio prints, ceramics and textiles, and associations with corporate advertisers, AAA sought to bring “original” American art over the threshold of every American home. “From Studio to Doorstep—Wherever You Are,” the company promised in a 1945 mail-order brochure. “No longer would the would-be possessor of a beautiful picture have to go to town and visit an art dealer; or still harder, hire somebody to do it for him. Quite the contrary! Every American post office [is] to be like a branch agency for the creations of the pick of American artists.”
The exhibition’s co-curators are Liz Seaton of the Beach Museum of Art and Jane Myers, former curator at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas. Scholar Gail Windisch, Los Angeles, is a third important contributor to the exhibition. Her original research served as the basis for the project.
A major catalog distributed by Yale University Press containing essays by scholars in the fields of American painting, printmaking, textiles, ceramics and interior design accompanies the exhibition. The exhibition catalog, “Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists, 1934-2000,” can be purchased from the SUArt Gallery Shop.
“Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists, 1934–2000” has been organized by the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University. Major funding for the exhibition has been provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, Edward and Karen Seaton through the R.M. Seaton Endowment for Exhibitions, and the Ross and Marianna Kistler Beach Endowment for the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art. Additional support has come from the International Fine Print Dealers Association, Russell Clay Harvey and Patricia McGivern, and Candyce Russell.
In addition to the exhibition, the SUArt Galleries will host a special lecture series featuring a variety of scholars speaking on themes related to the exhibition’s contents. This five-week event, every Thursday at 6 p.m. starting Feb. 9, will feature special lectures by Domenic Iacono (director, SUArt Galleries), David Prince (associate director/curator, SUArt Galleries), Jeffrey Mayer (professor of fashion/curator, Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection), Liz Seaton (curator, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art) and Sascha Scott (associate professor of art history). Please check the SUArt Galleries website for updated information on the lecture series, as well as additional programming including lunchtime lectures and a special SUKids event in February.