Urban Views: Realist Prints and Drawings by Robert Henri and His Circle
- Dates: January 9, 2006 through May 16, 2006
- Collections: American Art
- Location: This exhibition is no longer on view in Entrance to Luce Center for American Art, 5th Floor
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November 2005: Urban Views: Realist Prints and Drawings by Robert Henri and His Circle, an exhibition of nineteen works on paper, will open on January 13, 2006. On view through the early spring, it is the latest presentation in a planned series of four yearly small exhibitions of rarely seen, selected works on paper from the permanent collection to be held in the Luce Visible Storage ? Study Center of the Luce Center for American art.
Sometimes popularly known as the Ashcan School, Henri and the the artists of the circle were leaders of a new movement in early twentieth-century American art. Departing from an aesthetic that focused on the wealthy and beautiful as subjects, these artists instead document some of the more mundane activities of everyday city life. The exhibition focuses on the graphic work of Henri and his followers, most of whom were successful commercial illustrators, cartoonists, and newspaper sketch artists. Three of the works included are illustrations for books or magazines. Despite their beginnings as commercial artists, they were persuaded, under Henri’s influence, to pursue art more seriously as a calling.
Among the prints and drawings on view is a George Bellows lithograph that takes a comic look at a group of ungainly businessmen trying to improve their physiques at a YMCA; an unusual, unfinished watercolor by Maurice Prendergast of a seaside scene; a John Sloan etching from memory of a quiet evening spent together with Robert Henri and their wives; and an ink sketch by Henri of a party scene.
Urban Views has been organized by Margaret Stenz, Ph.D., Andrew W. Mellon Research Associate in the Department of American Art at the Brooklyn Museum.