Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TAM Docents: The American Scene "At Home" at Tacoma Art Museum Press Release

Hello Docents-

Below is the press release sent out for  At Home Across America: Scenes from the 1930s to 1950s in Prints which opens this weekend. Our training for this exhibition will be on November 30 from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm with Margaret Bullock. As soon as wall and label text are available, I will get those out to you. Meanwhile, dust off the knowledge you have on different types of printing techniques as this exhibition will likely feature them all. Books are available in the ARC for more information.

Thank you,



Jana Wennstrom | TACOMA ART MUSEUM

Manager of Public and Volunteer Programs

T: 253.272.4258 x3030


embrace art in everyday life Folk Treasures of Mexico October 29 - February 19


November 10, 2011
Media Contact: Lisa McKeown, Public Relations and Communications Manager, 253.272.4258 x3047, lmckeown@TacomaArtMuseum.org

The American Scene "At Home" at Tacoma Art Museum

New Exhibition Celebrates American Prints from the 1930s to 1950s


            (Tacoma, WA) – Images of the American Scene: They were pictures of everyday America created specifically for everyday Americans in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. They lifted spirits and reminded people of the nation's strengths during a time when the country struggled to navigate an economic depression, a world war, and the growing shadow of nuclear and environmental threats. They helped set the visual markers that now define regions of our country: the New England lighthouse, Midwest cornfield, and Western ranch scene.

            At Home Across America: Scenes from the 1930s to 1950s in Prints will be on view at Tacoma Art Museum November 19, 2011 through February 26, 2012 selected from the museum's extensive collection of AAA prints, which includes nearly 400 images by artists from all over the country and in a dizzying array of print techniques. More than 80 prints will chronicle the story of America at a crucial turning point in our history when populations shifted from small towns to cities and from a primarily rural way to an urban life. Nostalgic for the past and hungry for the familiar, Americans embraced images that celebrated day-to-day life and the nation's great size and varied landscapes, rich resources, and self-reliant people.

            The works in At Home Across America were printed and published by Associated American Artists (AAA), a gallery established in New York City in 1934 that marketed art to the average American rather than to wealthy art collectors. The affordable prints were sold through the gallery, by subscription, and via magazines. AAA was eager to support traditional artists as well as introduce modern art to a broader public. They published more than 2,500 prints by both prominent and lesser-known, mostly American, printmakers.

            "By making artwork in all styles readily available at a low cost, AAA hoped to encourage Americans to make art a part of everyday life and to support American artists," said Margaret Bullock, Curator of Collections and Special Exhibitions.

            Visitors will see works by such well-known regionalist artists as Thomas Hart Benton, Howard Cook, John Steuart Curry, and Robert Gwathmey as well as master printmakers including John Taylor Arms, Paul Landacre, and Doel Reed. Print types on view include etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, and screenprints as well as less familiar techniques like aquatints, collographs, mezzotints, and wood engravings. The last time the museum showed a group of these prints was in 1990 with the exhibition Beautiful Lands: Selections from the Schneider Print Collection.

            "This collection of prints is a rich community resource," said Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum. "We look forward to sharing these images of hearth and home with our visitors. The regional focus of these works is a nice compliment to our current special exhibition, Folk Treasures of Mexico, which also explores how artforms vary across regions of a country."

            At Home Across America is the last exhibition in the extended series celebrating the museum's permanent collection during its 75th anniversary year. The museum's collection of American prints was assembled by museum patron Carolyn Schneider and purchased for the museum by Colonel and Mrs. A.H. Hooker in 1970.


HOURS – Wednesdays–Sundays 10 am–5 pm, Third Thursdays 10 am–8 pm
ADMISSION – Adult $10, Student/Military/Senior (65+) $8, Family $25 (2 adults and up to 4 children under 18). Children 5 and under free. Third Thursdays free from 5-8 pm. Members always free.
CONTACT – 253.272.4258, www.TacomaArtMuseum.org, info@TacomaArtMuseum.org



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