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Humor In Art

DATES November 22, 1935 through December 15, 1935
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  • November 19, 1935 The Department of Contemporary Art of the Brooklyn Museum will open an Exhibition of Humor in Art on Friday afternoon, November 23. The exhibition will continue through December 16. The work will include drawings, paintings, oils and water color, sculpture in plaster, wax , wood, pewter, faience, etc. Thirty artists will be represented, including Bruce Bairnsfather, Maurice Becker, Cecil C. Bell, Buk, David Burliuk, Daniel Celentano, Minna Citron, Mark Datz, McHarg Davenport, Victor De Pauw, Hunt Diederich, Aaron Douglas, Joseph B. Egan, Philip Evergood, Helen Farr, Forbell, Hans Foy, Anne Goldthwaite, Lena Gurr, Luis Hidalgo, S. B. Kahan, E. Barnard Lintott, C. Mall, Bruce More, Alice Harold Murphy, Jerome Myers, Nura, Louise Ochse, Bertba Herbert Potter, Frank Reale, Nelson Rosenberg, Martha Simpson, William Steig, Beulah Stevenson, Grace Treadwell, Devitt Welch and Harold Weston. A number of New York Galleries have cooperated by lending work to the exhibition; galleries cooperating are The A.C.A. Gallery, Contemporary Arts, The Dorothy Paris Gallery, The Montross Gallery, The Morton Galleries, Marie Sterner and The Walker Galleries.

    In commenting on the exhibition, Mr. Herbert B. Tschudy, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum, said:
    "What humor is cannot be fixed by a strict definition, for a humorous situation to one many be a tragedy to another, so variant are human reactions to the thoughts and doings of their fellowmen. Few artists paint or carve with a deliberately humorous point of view, and sometimes when they do the result is not universally accepted as humor.

    “American humor is to a great extent spontaneous and is more dependent upon situations in which the body rather than the mind is doing amusing things. But as we people we are growing away from merely comic actions towards the subtler kind of humor which relics upon facial expression or witty words.

    "The history of the use of humor for art expression is as old as art itself. Primitive peoples in their crude attempts at making pictures or images conveyed an amusing phase of their life reveled in it. Through the Greek to modern times humor has claimed a place in art, but it is always qualified by the individual point of view of the observer who says it is or is not humorous.
    “In organizing the Humor in Art Exhibition we had in view chiefly works which we hope will stand as art, the subject notwithstanding.”

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1931 - 1936. 10-12_1935, 116.
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