American art has a serious moment at two new exhibitions.
Charles Demuth’s End of the Parade, Coatesville, Pa., 1920, is part of “Rural Modern: American Art Beyond the City” at Brandywine River Museum.
Philadelphia museum visitors are in for some deep reflection this winter with two new exhibits at PAFA and Brandywine River Museum. Some 160 works in “World War I and American Art,” running through April 2017 at PAFA (118–128 N. Broad St., 215-972-7600), weave the war’s narrative through eight themes, from Prelude: The Threat of War to Celebration and Mourning. A key inclusion in the Battlefields theme is John Singer Sargent’s haunting 1918 masterpiece Gassed, on loan from London’s Imperial War Museum.
“Sargent’s painting will be the centerpiece of the exhibition and one of the highlights of the American national centenary recognition of this chapter in world history,” says David R. Brigham, PAFA president and acting director. On view at the Brandywine (1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, 610-388-2700) through January 22 is “Rural Modern: American Art Beyond the City.” The exhibit spotlights 60 pieces from artists including Pennsylvanian Charles Demuth and Georgia O’Keeffe that channel the architecture, landscapes, and people of rural America—including depictions of economic and environmental strife—from the period between World Wars I and II when the Modernist movement was sweeping the country.