The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 12, 2012

Prints, drawings, photographs | Loretto exhibition will feature works from permanent collection


LORETTO — Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Loretto is exhibiting a selection of 35 works from its permanent collection.

“Red, White and Blue in Black and White: The American Scene in Prints, Drawings and Photographs” opens Friday in the museum’s Margery Wolf-Kuhn Gallery.

The exhibition, in the museum’s balcony gallery, features works ranging in date from 1890 through 1991.

The majority are American-scene subjects produced during the heyday of Regionalism art in the 1920s and ’30s.

“This exhibition highlights American-scene subjects, such as farming, landscapes, industrial scenes, cityscapes, the railroad, politics, portraiture and more,” said Bobby Moore, SAMA’s interim curator.

“Genres included are drawing, printmaking and photography.”

Notable artists include George Bellows, Isabel Bishop, Mabel Dwight and Grant Wood.

Highlighted works include Luke Swank’s “Steel Worker With Foundry Crane,” Jan Peter Tripp’s “American Dream” and Frederic Remington’s “Football – A Collision at the Ropes.”

Remington, an illustrator, sculptor and painter, was highly acclaimed at the turn of the century.

“Football – A Collision at the Ropes” is one of Remington’s most famous works.

“It was published in Harper’s Weekly on Nov. 29, 1890,” Moore said.

“The work depicts football players in action and a large group of spectators divided by a single rope.”

The original painting is in Yale’s Whitney Collection of Sporting Art.

Whether conceived in the click of a shutter or through the laborious process of woodblock cutting, artwork on paper has lent itself well to representing the American experience.

Typically smaller in format and therefore more intimate and informal, paper media allow for a broader range of subjects and expression. American artists have known this since the days of Currier and Ives, and with the surge of Works Progress Administration inspired nationalism during the 1930s, they embraced paper media as the means to record nearly all aspects of contemporary society.

The connection between paper media and documentary remain strong to this day and is one of the characteristics of American art.

“I would think it is safe to assume that many artists resolved to create on paper during the years of the Great Depression because of its affordability,” Moore said.

The exhibition features works by significant artists at the turn of the 19th century.

“The subject matter of many of the works are time-based illustrations documenting the era,” Moore said.

The works will be on view through May 4.

On display

What: “Red, White and Blue in Black and White: The American Scene in Prints, Drawings and Photographs.”

Where: Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Loretto.

When: Friday through May 9.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Admission: Free.


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