Every time I stroll through the Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties, I gain new insights into the complex decade of the 1920s. This time I was struck by how many different roles women play in the paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs on view. The 1920s was a time of rapid social change that offered new freedoms to women, who had slipped out of the corset and into the voting booth just a few years earlier.
Why were artists in the United States during the 1920s so fascinated by urban landscapes? Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties, on view now through September 16, has an entire gallery dedicated to the ways its featured artists engaged with urban life. Planes, trains, skyscrapers, and factories provided subject matter, interestingly portrayed in ways that sought beauty and individuality from things that were at times considered visually unremarkable or anonymous.