Feature Articles

March 2011

UNC-Greensboro in Greensboro, NC, Offers Narrative Works from the 1930s

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC, is presenting the exhibit, Telling Tales: Narratives from the 1930s, on view in The Gregory D. Ivy Gallery and The Weatherspoon Guild Gallery at the Weatherspoon Art Museum through May 13, 2012.

Artists of all periods have used narrative imagery to teach, enlighten, and/or inspire viewers. Derived in the past from literature, Biblical scripture, mythology, or history, narrative art created during the 1930s continued to record these themes as well as the dramatic economic, social, and political changes that were taking place across the nation. Artists who advocated both representational and abstract styles attempted to capture the spirit of their age - a time marked by the bleak reality of the Great Depression as well as the uplifting optimism linked with the machine age and its promise of progress. While works by Social Realist and Regionalist artists - the art market’s dominant styles at the time-abound, images by other artists whose concerns were more psychologically penetrating are also included.

The 1930s saw great changes in America politically, socially, and aesthetically. It was the decade in which President Herbert Hoover made the “Star Spangled Banner” America’s national anthem, the 1933 World’s Fair - called “A Century of Progress”- was held in Chicago, and Henry Ford established $5.00 per day as the minimum wage. The 1930s also saw the opening of San Francisco Bay’s Alcatraz maximum security prison where, for its first four years, prisoners were not allowed to talk, Babe Ruth hit his 700th home run, Billboard magazine published its first music hit parade, and Margaret Mitchell published her only book, Gone With the Wind.

The exhibition was organized by Elaine D. Gustafson, Curator of Collections.

On Mar. 31, from 2-3pm, art historian Ellen Wiley Todd will give a lecture entitled, The Lusty Modern Matron: Sex + Commerce in Kenneth Hayes Miller’s Paintings.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 336/334-5770 or visit (http://weatherspoon.uncg.edu/).


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