American Art Museum Announces Exhibition of Modern Realism

“Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection” an exhibition on view Feb. 28, 2014 – Aug. 17, 2014, presents 71 of the most treasured artworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection, including works by Will Barnet, Isabel Bishop, Paul Cadmus, Arthur Dove, Nancy Grossman, Edward Hopper, Wolf Kahn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jacob Lawrence, Reginald Marsh, Ben Shahn and Honoré Sharrer, among others.

Edward Hopper, Cape Cod Morning, 1950, oil Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation

Edward Hopper, Cape Cod Morning, 1950, oil
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation

The exhibition includes 71 paintings and sculpture from the 1910s to the 1980s that encompass the range of what can broadly be called modern realism, from socio-political to psychological, from satirical to surrealist. The artworks on display were selected by Virginia Mecklenburg, chief curator at the museum. The exhibition will be on view from Feb. 28 through Aug. 17.

Several free public programs have been planned to complement the exhibition. Art historian William Kloss will discuss the range and styles of American realism represented in the Roby Collection in a lecture titled “RobyReal” Friday, March 7, at 6 p.m. in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium. Gallery talks will take place Wednesday, March 19, at noon when museum conservators talk about techniques used to treat and preserve selected artworks on display in the exhibition, and Mecklenburg will conduct a tour of the exhibition Wednesday, May 7, at 6 p.m. The 21st Century Consort performance Saturday, April 26, at 5 p.m. features music inspired by the exhibition. Additional information about programs is available online at americanart.si.edu/calendar.

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