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CLEVELAND (June 11, 2012) – The Cleveland Museum of Art presents Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties, a wide-ranging exhibition which brings together for the first time the work of more than sixty painters, sculptors, and photographers who explored a new approach to realism in the years between World War I and the Great Depression. Youth and Beauty will present more than 130 works by artists including Ansel Adams, George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Stuart Davis, Aaron Douglas, Walker Evans, Edward Hopper, Isamu Noguchi, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Grant Wood. Organized and presented by the Brooklyn Museum, Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties will be on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art from July 1 through September 16, 2012. Cleveland is the final venue to present Youth and Beauty, which traveled previously to the Brooklyn Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art.
The 1920s are often remembered as a raucous, even uproarious decade, one in which a Victorian past was replaced by a distinctly modern present. It is striking that American artists of the period responded to their rapidly changing world by creating works that conversely evoked clarity, order, and stillness. Confronted with situations and environments altered fundamentally by mechanization and urbanization, as well as shifts in attitudes toward the human body and behavior, artists adopted a distilled realism in order to seek out organization amid turmoil. Some looked to Old Master art for inspiration, while others took cues from recent avant-garde developments, as well as motion pictures and advertisements. Most Jazz Age artists were united in their drive to idealize modern existence, and the art in this exhibition highlights human and natural beauty, and captures the youthful potency of America's emerging industrial landscape.
"Youth and Beauty offers a compelling look at the Roaring Twenties, a decade that still continues to fascinate. A generous survey of great works of art, the exhibition reveals a nation coping with significant social changes that could be both inspiring and sobering," states Mark Cole, the Associate Curator of American Painting and Sculpture at the Cleveland Museum of Art. "Visitors will discover how people at the time responded to their new modern existence—one brought about by transformations in culture and technology—something that all future generations, including our own, can relate to."
Loans for the exhibition, almost all of which are making their Cleveland debut, have been secured from a host of distinguished public and private collections across the United States.
Highlights of Youth and Beauty include:
Adult tickets for Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties are $15, seniors and college students $13, children ages 6–17 $7.50, children 5 and under are free. The exhibition is free for museum members. The museum has planned complementary programming including architectural tours, gallery talks, lectures, silent films, and musical programs. Programming information is available at www.clevelandart.org .
Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, co-published by the Brooklyn Museum and Skira Rizzoli, featuring an essay by the exhibition's organizing curator, Teresa A. Carbone, the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art and Managing Curator, Arts of the Americas and Europe at the Brooklyn Museum, along with additional essays by notable America art scholars.
Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties is organized by the Brooklyn Museum. Major support for this exhibition and the accompanying catalogue was also provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Exhibition Fund, The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The accompanying catalogue is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and by a Brooklyn Museum publications endowment established by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.