The Great American Thing: Modern Art and National Identity, 1915-1935

February 4 – May 21, 2006

The Great American Thing explores the varied ways in which American artists from 1915 to 1935 conveyed what it meant to be a modern American. The exhibition takes its title from a prominent artist of this generation, Georgia O’Keeffe who asked, “How was the Great American Thing going to happen” if talented American artists continually traveled to Europe to create art, rather than seeking inspiration for their work at home? The exhibition presents 130 seminal works of art by prominent artists of this generation which help to answer O’Keeffe’s question. Featured American and European artists include Berenice Abbott, Stuart Davis, Charles Demuth, Aaron Douglas, Arthur Dove, Marcel Duchamp, Archibald J. Motley Jr., Georgia O’Keeffe, Man Ray, Charles Sheeler, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, and Max Weber. This exhibition is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.