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Modern Art

               Modern Art Film Clips

Public Murals: the Art of the 1930s (Literary Digest, 1935)

A quick read on the subject of that uneasy union that existed between art and industry during the 1930s. References are made to the work of muralists Dunbar D. Beck (1902-1986), Arthur Watkins Crisp (1881 - 1974), Kenneth B. Loomis, Charles S. Dean and Charles Louis Goeller (1901 - 1955).


William Orpen and the Portrait of Mrs. Oscar Lewisohn (Vanity Fair, 1915)

Here is a petite notice that appeared in a 1915 issue of VANITY FAIR heralding a new portrait by the British painter William Orpen (1878 - 1931), which depicted the likeness of a popular American stage actress Mrs. Oscar Lewisohn (Edna May Pettie 1878 - 1948). The anonymous reviewer compared the portrait styles of Orpen with that of London's reigning portrait painter, John Singer Sargent:

"Sargent had a way of showing his sitters as they didn't think they looked. On the other hand, Orpen has a trick of making his sitters look like what they would like to be."


C.R.W. Nevinson Rants About the American Art World (Literary Digest, 1922)

Sounding a good deal like Simon Cowell (b. 1960), British painter C.R.W. Nevinson (1889 - 1946) had some nasty words for the American people and the art market they created.

"Here emphatically they have lost their courage. They are afraid to buy what they like; they rely entirely on the auction-room value. To read the American art news is like reading our "Financial Times". The American art critic has no use for a picture which does not tell a story..."

Pegged as a Futurist, Nevinson is best remembered for his W.W. I paintings of the Western Front, which can be read about here.


Artist of the Ashcan School: John Sloan (Touchstone Magazine, 1919)

The editors of TOUCHSTONE MAGAZINE hired one of John Sloan's (1871-1951) groupies to interview him for one of their feature articles. It is an informative interview and there are a number of seldom seen sketches reproduced; the opening paragraphs give one a sense of what 1920s Greenwich Village was like at night, although one comes away feeling that the man could do no wrong. John Sloan's friend, Robert Henri (1865-1929), when given the chance also failed to make any nasty comments about the painter.


Arthur B. Davies (Vanity Fair, 1919)

An Arthur B. Davies (1862 - 1928) review written by VANITY FAIR art critic Frederick James Gregg following the opening of an exhibition highlighting the the private collection of N.E. Montross. The critic wrote:

"Since the death of Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847 1917), Mr. Davies has been recognized, by persons abroad who are familiar with art in America, as the leading living painter on this side of the Atlantic."


Harsh Words for the Futurists (Vanity Fair, 1916)

Writing for one of the earliest issues of VANITY FAIR, playwright and culture critic Mary Cass Canfield slammed some nails into the Futurist coffin a wee bit prematurely in this critical essay titled "The Passing of the Futurists".


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