By examining American art and artifacts from the museum’s collection, these teacher materials promote discussion of America’s national character and heritage.
This unit plan focuses qualitative and quantitative research methods, data and uses as well as color theory, its history and its meaning in various cultural contexts.
John Rogers Cox (American, 1915-1990)
oil on canvas, Framed - h:116.00 w:152.00 d:12.50 cm (h:45 5/8 w:59 13/16 d:4 7/8 inches)
Unframed - h:91.50 w:151.80 cm (h:36 w:59 3/4 inches). Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1943.60
Cox painted Gray and Gold shortly after the United States joined the Second World War, and its image of amber waves of grain threatened by ominous storm clouds likely has symbolic overtones. The painting's foreground features an intersection of two dirt lanes, as well as a telephone pole emblazoned with political campaign posters. The artist seems to imply that American democracy is at a crossroads during this time of combat against the spread of fascism in Europe and Asia. Interestingly the work was inspired by the landscape around Cox's hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana, a location nicknamed "The Crossroads of America" due to the junction of major north-south and east-west national highways within its city limits.
The museum purchased this painting out of a traveling exhibition entitled "Artists for Victory," which consisted of works by artists who wanted to assist in the war effort. The exhibition opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on the first anniversary of the bombing at Pearl Harbor.
1Purchased with income from the Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund, from Artists for Victory, Inc. The Artists for Victory exhibition, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, was also mounted at the Cleveland Museum of Art, in 1943.
Artists for Victory: An Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, Paintings, Sculpture, Prints. 2 vols. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1942.