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Figure Study: The Fourteenth Street School and the Woman in Public

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8/26/2011 - 12/23/2011
Organizing institution: Melissa Ragain

This Exhibition includes the following Venues:
  • 00/00/00 - 00/00/00

Drawing on the University of Virginia Art Museum's collection and significant loans, Figure Study: The Fourteenth Street School and the Woman in Public exhibits paintings, prints, and drawings by members of the "Fourteenth Street School." This group of American realists, active between the World Wars, all lived and worked in New York's Union Square neighborhood and studied or taught at the Art Students League (asl). Together, these artists created a typography of urban dwellers, depicting them in various public and private activities with the casual relish of the voyeur.

Through these urban types, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Isabel Bishop, Guy Pène du Bois, Reginald Marsh, Raphael Soyer, and Moses Soyer catalogued the changes in social and sexual politics that took place in the first half of the twentieth century. The painters of the Fourteenth Street School situated their modernity in this fluctuating social landscape, even though their painterly ideal was grounded in the art of the sixteenth century. Members of the group modeled contemporary womanhood on the physical types of Titian, Raphael, and Rubens—their interest buttressed by the ASL's emphasis on life drawing courses for both male and female students. Yet, unlike the abstract painters who were also beginning to inhabit the neighborhood, these painters depicted rapid social change through the enduring subject of the human form, especially the emergence of women in the business and artistic arenas of modern life.

Curated by Melissa Ragain, Guest Curator

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Albemarle Magazine, Arts$, B. Herbert Lee '48 Endowed Fund, The Hook, and Ivy Publications LLC's Charlottesville Welcome Book.

Exhibition Objects (50)

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