Crossroads: American Scene Prints from Thomas Hart Benton to Grant Wood

Thomas Hart Benton 
Cradling Wheat, 1939
Lithograph and ink
9 1/2 x 12 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

Grant Wood
Seed Time Harvest, 1937
Lithograph
7 1/2 x 12 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

Edward Hopper
Night Shadow, 1921
Etching
7 x 8 3/8 inches
Gift of Yvonne and Mike Nevens, in honor of the San José Museum of Art's 35th anniversary

Peggy Bacon
Aesthetic Pleasure, 1932
Lithograph
9 3/4 x 15 1/4 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Friends of the Museum

George Bellows
The Life Class, 1917
Lithograph
13 7/8 x 19 3/8 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Friends of the Museum

Thomas Hart Benton
A Drink of Water, 1937
Lithograph
9 7/8 x 14 1/4 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

Alexander A. Blum
Tim the Blacksmith, ca.1935
Etching
10 x 13 1/2 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

Phillip Cheney
Steamboat Rock, Wyoming, ca. 1937
Lithograph
9 5/8 x 13 3/8 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

John E. Costigan
Woman, Boy and Goats, ca. 1940
Etching
7 7/8 x 9 7/8 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

Don Freeman
On the Fly Rail Above the Stars, 1938
Lithograph
9 ½ × 12 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Friends of the Museum

Gerald K. Geerlings
Perugia (West 32nd Street, N.Y.), 1927
Lithograph
14 x 7 3/8 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Friends of the Museum

Leon Gilmour
Mission Bell, San Juan Capistrano, 1932
Wood engraving
5 3/4 x 4 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Volcanic Rock, 1932
Wood engraving
5 1/2 x 9 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Pinnacles, 1933
Wood engraving
9 x 5 1/2 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Star of Bethlehem, 1934
Wood engraving
5 1/2 x 4 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Mountain Mahogany, 1935
Wood engraving
5 5/8 x 4 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Outposts, 1936
Wood engraving
6 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Christmas Candles, 1936
Wood engraving
5 3/4 x 4 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Let the Living Rise, 1937
Wood engraving
8 x 11 1/2 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Hedgehog Cactus, 1937
Wood engraving
5 5/8 x 4 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Poinsettia, 1938
Wood engraving
5 1/2 x 4 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Desert Still Life, 1938
Wood engraving
9 x 7 1/2 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Cement Finishers, 1939
Wood engraving
10 x 8 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Timberline, 1939
Wood engraving
7 1/2 x 5 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Chrysanthemums, 1944
Wood engraving
5 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Verdugo Hills, 1944
Wood engraving
4 3/4 x 7 1/2 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Pomegranates, 1945
Wood engraving
5 5/8 x 4 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Pine Cones, 1946
Wood engraving
5 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Mission San Luis Rey, 1947
Wood engraving
5 3/4 x 4 inches
Gift of the artist

Leon Gilmour
Grand Canyon, 1934
Wood engraving
7 1/4 x 9 3/4 inches
Gift of the artist

Albert Heckman
Cross-Roads, 1939
Etching and aquatint
8 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler 

Yasuo Kuniyoshi
Still Life, 1936
Lithograph
8 3/4 x 11 1/2 inches
Gift of Lee Stone

Clare Leighton
Sheep Shearing, 1933
Wood engraving
8 x 10 1/2 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Friends of the Museum 

Martin Lewis
Building a Babylon, Tudor City, NY, 1929
Drypoint
13 x 8 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Friends of the Museum 

Louis Lozowick
Subway Construction, 1931
Lithograph
6 3/8 x 13 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Friends of the Museum 

Louis Lozowick
In the Park-No Job!, 1929
Lithograph
19 1/16 x 14 inches
Gift of Lee Lozowick, in memory of his father 

Louis Lozowick
Sweet Peas, 1929
Lithograph
10 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches
Gift of Lee Lozowick, in memory of his father 

Louis Lozowick
Old Willow Tree, 1931
Lithograph
11 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches
Gift of Lee Lozowick, in memory of his father 

Louis Lozowick
Quiet Harbor (Swimming Hole), 1932
Lithograph
9 1/4 x 13 inches
Gift of Lee Lozowick, in memory of his father 

Louis Lozowick
Georgia Landscape, 1943
Lithograph
9 x 12 3/4 inches
Gift of Lee Lozowick, in memory of his father 

Louis Lozowick
Crow's Nest, 1944
Lithograph
11 1/4 x 8 5/8 inches
Gift of Lee Lozowick, in memory of his father 

Louis Lozowick
The Quick and the Dead, 1946
Lithograph
8 7/8 x 12 3/4 inches
Gift of Lee Lozowick, in memory of his father 

Louis Lozowick
Low Horizon, 1947
Lithograph
8 3/8 x 12 15/16 inches
Gift of Lee Lozowick, in memory of his father 

Luigi Lucioni
Farm in the Hills, 1937
Etching
7 3/4 x 10 3/8 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

William Maclean
Silent Night, 1945
Etching
8 5/8 x 11 3/4 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

Joseph Margulies
Abandoned, n.d.
Etching and aquatint
8 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

Reginald Marsh
Switch Engines, Erie Yards, Jersey City, 1948
Lithograph
9 x 13 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Friends of the Museum

Jay McVicker
Horses and Landscape, 1947
Aquatint on paper
10 1/4 x 15 3/4 inches
Gift of Lee Stone

Joseph Pennell
Making War Locomotives, ca. 1917
Lithograph
15 1/2 x 20 1/4 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Friends of the Museum

John Sloan
Connoisseurs of Prints from the series "N.Y. City Life," 1905
Etching
4 1/2 x 6 3/4 inches
Museum purchase with funds contributed by the Friends of the Museum 

Charles Surendorf
Frontyard Columbia, 1955
Lithograph
18 x 13 1/2 inches
Gift of Lee Stone

Otto Wackernagel
George Washington Bridge, 1944
Etching
10 5/8 x 13 1/2 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

Grant Wood
Seed Time Harvesy, 1937
Lithograph
7 1/2 x 12 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

Grant Wood
July 15--Summer Landscape, 1939
Lithograph
8 7/8 x 11 3/4 inches
Gift of Josephine Chandler

Friday, November 17, 2017Sunday, September 30, 2018

Rapid industrialization of cities and the nation’s expansion westward. The Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. The rise of Fascism in Europe and America’s involvement in two global wars. During the first half of the twentieth century, the United States experienced tremendous social and cultural change. In response, many artists developed a uniquely American aesthetic based on realism and American subject matter, from towering skyscrapers and verdant landscapes to floral still lifes and locomotives, sheep shearers, and cement finishers. Artists explored both urban scenes and images of the heartland, reinforcing an American identity centered on working-class values.

Crossroads: American Scene Prints from Thomas Hart Benton to Grant Wood focuses on early twentieth-century American culture and society through lithographs, etchings, and wood engravings. The fifty-seven prints in this exhibition, produced between 1905 and 1955, encompass a broad range of art styles collectively known as “American Scene.” Artists explored changes in urban life; conveyed a romantic vision of the American countryside; examined the grim realities of the Great Depression; and responded to European ideals and conflict with American morals and beliefs.

Printmaking flourished during the 1930s. Through the Federal Art Project, a unit of the US Government’s Works Progress Administration, artists were paid a weekly stipend and given access to expensive government printing presses. With the founding of Associated American Artists in 1934, even more artists could produce prints for relatively low prices—an art for the people—to be offered for sale in department stores and via mail order catalogues. Federal sponsorship and public support gave American artists an unprecedented sense of purpose and acknowledged the important contributions artists make to society.

Donated to SJMA in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the prints in this exhibition will be on view together for the first time since 1985. Artists featured include Peggy Bacon, George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Phillip Cheney, Don Freeman, Leon Gilmour, Edward Hopper, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Clare Leighton, Louis Lozowick, Luigi Lucioni, Reginald Marsh, John Sloan, Charles Surendorf, Diane Thorne, and Grant Wood, among others.

 

Sponsored by Doris and Alan Burgess.

 

Press

San Jose Museum of Art: 'Crossroads,' Metro Silicon Valley (Metroactive)
December 20, 2017