At the State Museum

In the Galleries: Art in Town

Art On Campus

Art in the Workplace

Art by the River

Art In Trenton

At the Museums

Other Galleries

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This article by Nicole Plett was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on August 18, 1999. All rights reserved.

Whitney’s Big Draw: American Century

Most of us would recognize Grant Wood’s 1930 painting,

"American Gothic," but could we talk about the times when

it was created? How about Alfred Stieglitz’s 1907 photograph, "The

Steerage" — What was life like back then? What lifestyle does

Florine Stettheimer’s 1921 "Spring Sale at Bendel’s" reflect?

What was happening in America? What kind of music was current? What

did people do for fun?

Such questions are readily answered at New York’s Whitney Museum of

American Art, where a walk through the first 50 years of "The

American Century: Art and Culture 1900-1950," curated by Barbara

Haskell, serves as a thrilling walk through history. Part I runs through

August 22 and is not to be missed.

"The American Century" will surprise, humble, and educate

you. Most of all, it will make you very proud. Starting on the museum’s

fifth level, four floors and a mezzanine are taken up with this multi-media

look back at America. The Whitney notes that "more than 1,200

paintings, sculptures, photos, and prints, supplemented by related

materials in architecture, music, dance, literature, film, and the

decorative arts," are involved in this exhibition. But let the

impact of a day’s walk-through convince you that this is "required

visiting" — and a prerequisite to Part II, the century’s second

50 years, opening in late September.

Photographic images of the Depression and Dustbowl will stir you,

and film clips of Charlie Chaplin spoofing technology in "Modern

Times" will amuse you. You will get a patriotic jolt from World

War II documentary film clips. Here, you can watch Fred Astaire and

Ginger Rogers, in tux and frothy dress, dancing on three big screens

(still not enough); there, it’s Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club Band,

live again on film. D.W. Griffith, Valentino, Fairbanks, Bogart —

the litany of now-classic film names and images highlights a half-century.

Even as you move from floor to floor, you will hear American music

in the stairwell by George Gershwin.

And, of course, you will see the art the times made possible and that

in turn reflected the times: turn-of-the-century society matrons and

Thomas Eakins’ portrait of Louis N. Kenton, "The Thinker;"

Edward Hopper’s mysterious scenes; and Georgia O’Keeffe’s New York

urban vistas to Jackson Pollock’s "Number 27" — with countless

icons and treasures in between. Mixed among these landmarks on the

50-year time line: Tiffany glassware, examples of design and architecture

(from furniture to the aerodynamic vacuum cleaner, and homes designed

by Frank Lloyd Wright), dioramas of stage settings, displays of movie

posters and sheet music covers. And old-time telephones you can pick

up to hear music of the times.

Plan a day for "The American Century." Sure, it’s likely to

be hot and humid in New York right now. And terribly crowded, too,

even on weekdays, with summer vacationers and tourists. But it’s the

only time left for you to see, hear, and thrill to it. Don’t wait

until Part II — that would be like seeing only the second half

of a great movie.

— Pat Summers

The American Century: Art & Culture, 1900-1950, Whitney

Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue, New York. Part II, 1950-2000,

September 26 to January 23, 2000. Not just one, but two, Web sites

tell all about it:, and

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At the State Museum

For those unable or unwilling to brave the crush of

another New York City blockbuster show, a single room of the New Jersey

State Museum currently offers a small oasis of esthetic pleasure.

"The Modernists," the first integrated showing of gems from

the museum’s permanent collection in over three years, opened last

month on the second floor, where it remains on view through January

23. The show is a tribute, of sorts, to the Hoboken-born Alfred Stieglitz

who, beginning in 1908, introduced America to European innovators

and its own home-grown mavericks at his 291 Fifth Avenue Gallery in

New York. He and his circle — John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Arthur

Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, Oscar Bluemner, Charles Demuth, and Max Weber

— are all represented here by works of the highest quality. The

show of some two dozen works by 16 artists also includes fine works

by Charles Demuth, Abraham Walkowitz, and Joseph Stella.

Here you will find a vintage print of Steiglitz’s iconic photograph,

"The Steerage" (just as at the Whitney), but you will not

have to press past any crowds to see it.

Hanging appropriately nearby are two rivetting O’Keeffe’s, one of

her signature early drawings and "East River" of 1927. The

latter offers a fabulous intersection of her early urban precisionist

period with her sky-swept mature work: a rippling sky drenched in

acid blues and reds set above the static buildings of a gloomy gray


Among the unexpected joys of this show are two powerful works by Helen

Torr, wife of artist Arthur Dove, whose career as a painter was evidently

eclipsed by that of her gifted husband. Hanging beside Dove’s concise,

"After the Storm," is Torr’s dynamic 1930s abstraction, "Mountain

Mood." Also featured in the show is Torr’s "Paper and Glass,"

of 1932.

— Nicole Plett

The Modernists, New Jersey State Museum, 205 West

State Street, Trenton, 609-292-6464. Through January 23. Tuesday to

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Free.

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In the Galleries: Art in Town

Chapin School, 4101 Princeton Pike, 609-924-7206. The

school grounds have become a showcase for seven big wood, stone, and

bronze sculptures by the Lambertville-based artist Harry Gordon. Also

featured, Gordon’s large, climbable artwork in the lower school playground.

Marsha Child Contemporary, 220 Alexander Street, 609-497-7330.

Summer group exhibition features Robert Asman, Magi Puig, Natalya

Zaloznaya, Alain Hermand, Valeriy Skrypka, Atanas Zgalevski, and Georges

Mazilu. Show runs to September 15. Gallery hours are Wednesday to

Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and by appointment.

Gallery at Doral Forrestal, 100 College Road East, 609-452-7800.

"View Finders," a group show featuring photographs by Clem

Fiori, Rhoda Kassof-Isaac, William Vandever, and Selena Rose. The

upper lobby exhibit continues to September 7.

Rhoda Kassof-Isaac is a painter and psychoanalyst and a graduate of

the Pratt Institute. Clem Fiori is a photographer, environmentalist,

and writer who specializes in landscape photographs of the rural countryside,

and author of "The Vanishing New Jersey Landscape." Bill Vandever

has had his commercial studio in South River for over 20 years.

DeLann Gallery, Princeton Meadows Shopping Center, Plainsboro,

609-799-6706. Summer show of gallery artists including the whimsical

sculpture of Bob Matranglo. Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.;

Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 to 6 p.m.

Medical Center at Princeton, Witherspoon Street, 609-497-4192.

Watercolors by Harriet J. Kaftanic. Proceeds benefit the medical center.

To September 16. At Merwick, paintings by Alice Warshaw, to September


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Art On Campus

Art Museum, Princeton University, 609-258-3788. "Photographs

from the Collection of Dr. M. Jay Goodkind ’49," a show of 39

works of landscape and nature photography collected since 1964, part

of the collector’s promised bequest to the museum. The show includes

Ansel Adams’ "Aspens, New Mexico," 1958, the first work acquired

by Goodkind in 1964, which, together with eight additional Adams photographs,

set the tone of the collection. The brave Dr. Goodkind also presents

his own landscape photographs for scrutiny. To September 5.

Also "From Ritual Simplicity to Imperial Splendor: Chinese Ceramics

from the Collection of Nelson Chang ’74," to September 26; "Chinese

Painting and Calligraphy: In Memory of John B. Elliott," to September

30. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;

and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Free tours of the collection are given every

Saturday at 2 p.m.

Princeton University, Firestone Library, 609-258-3184.

In the Milberg Gallery, "Artifacts: The Biographical Object in

the Princeton University Library Collections," to September 15.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; noon to 5 p.m. on weekends.

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Art in the Workplace

Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters Gallery, New Brunswick,

732-524-3698. "The Woodcut Printmakers of Jiangsu Province, China,"

a show organized by the Printmaking Council of New Jersey comprising

work by 30 artists of Jiangsu, a southeastern province adjacent to

Shanghai. The art technique that remains basically unchanged since

originating in China more than 2,000 years ago, has prospered in the

region since the 16th century. To September 30. Free by appointment.

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Art by the River

Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville, 609-397-4588.

"Diversity," an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Taylor

Oughton and Peter Petraglia, both of Bucks county. To August 29. Gallery

hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Goldsmiths Gallery, 26 North Union Street, Lambertville,

609-397-4590. "Silver Prints," an exhibition of photographs

by New Jersey multi-media artist Victor Macarol, to September 30.

Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Morningstar Carriage House Gallery, 7 North Main Street,

Lambertville, 609-397-3939. "Broad Street to Bridge Street,"

a series of new drawings and sculpture by Susan Twardus inspired by

scenes observed during her daily Route 29 commute along the Delaware.

To August 22. Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5

p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Nagy Gallery, 20-B South Main Street, New Hope, 215-862-8242.

The gallery features Delaware Valley artists in a variety of creative

media including painting, sculpture, photography, woodworking, blown

glass, and stained glass.

Travis Gallery, 6089 Route 202, Solebury, 215-794-3903.

Featured artist for August is owner Lauren Travis Wylie exhibiting

landscapes and garden scenes of central Bucks County. To August 31.

Web site: Gallery hours are Tuesday

to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday noon to 4 p.m.

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Art In Trenton

Capital Health System, Mercer Campus, 446 Bellevue Avenue,

Trenton, 609-394-4095. "Ennis Beley Photography Project,"

an exhibition of photography by young artists Troy Bridgewater, Maurice

Bridgewater, Joseph Cawley, Dashar Coons, Esau Coons, Gennara Crews,

Alyma Cross, Contelle Forte, Brandy Forte, Alex Johnson, Kionna Laldler,

Vincent Laldler, Christian Melendez, Ashley Mitchell, Cintella Spotwood,

Alisia Turner, and Jamar Turner. In the main lobby, to September 17.

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park, 609-989-3632.

"TAWA Invitational III, a members’ juried group show, selected

by Brian H. Peterson of the Michener Museum in Doylestown. Selected

artists are Judy Fowler, Mary Person Hrbacek, Ruth Jourjine, Tomi

Urayama, and Nancy Zamboni. To September 12. Museum hours are Tuesday

to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Web site is at

Extension Gallery, 60 Ward Avenue, Mercerville, 609-890-7777.

"Zero Tolerance Area," Kate Graves’ exhibition of cast bronze

sculptures depicting three abandoned houses. To September 2. Gallery

hours are Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"Zero Tolerance Areas" is a designation given by a Trenton

city ordinance to discourage illegal activity in vacant structures,

explains Graves, A Trenton resident of four years. Her meticulous

scale models of these mute structures reveal decay, yet echoes of

their original architectural splendor remain. Says Graves, "Let

these sculptures document the wasteland, places used and discarded,

and remind us to pay attention and be vigilant about where we presently


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At the Museums

James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown,

215-340-9800. "The Philadelphia Ten: A Women’s Artist Group, 1917

to 1945." Show presents work by 30 Philadelphia-based painters

and sculptors to banded together with the sole purpose of "showing

just the work they wished to present, in the most dignified and harmonious

manner." To October 3.

Fern Coppedge and M. Elizabeth Price are among the Bucks County artists

represented. The show was organized by the Moore College of Art and

Design, curated by Page Talbott and Patricia Tanis Sydney.

Also, "From Soup Cans to Nuts," an exhibition of prints by

Andy Warhol, on loan from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. The artist,

who died in 1987, is best known for his flamboyant, multiple silkscreen

prints that explore icons of popular culture from the famous soup

to Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. To September 5.

Museum hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday

evenings to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed

Mondays. $5 adults; students $1.50; children free.

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Other Galleries

The Artful Deposit, 46 South Main Street, Allentown, 609-259-3234.

Portraiture by watercolorist Elizabeth Lombardi and landscapes by

new gallery artist Carol Lehr. Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday

(call for hours) and by appointment. To September 10.

The Artful Deposit, 201 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown,

609-298-6970. New works from impressionist Robert Fodor and collages

by Hanneke DeNeve. Gallery is open Thursday through Saturday, 4 to

7 p.m.

Highlands Gallery, Forsgate Country Club, Jamesburg, 732-521-0070.

"Panoramas," an exhibition of landscapes and seascapes by

Dorothy Wells Bissell and Eileen Shahbender, is the inaugural show

at Forsgate’s new Highlands Gallery, open to the public during club

hours. Anita Benarde is the series curator. Show runs through September


Montgomery Cultural Center, 1860 House, 124 Montgomery

Road, 609-921-3272. Community Art Exhibit continues to September 30.

Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton,

609-586-0616. Summer Exhibition featuring new additions outdoors by

Itzik Benshalom, Kenneth Capps, Chas Colburn, J. Seward Johnson Jr.,

Kevin Lyles, and Susanne Wibroe. Also featured, George Segal’s "Bread

Line," part of the F.D.R. Memorial commission in Washington, D.C.

In the Museum and Domestic Arts Building, a group exhibition by 40

members of the Sculptors Guild. To September 12. Free.

The 22-acre landscaped sculpture park is on the former state fairgrounds

site, with indoor exhibitions in the glass-walled, 10,000 square foot

museum, and the newly-renovated Domestic Arts Building. Friday through

Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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