Chimneys and Towers: Charles Demuth's Late Paintings of Lancaster

Overview

Charles Demuth (1883-1935) was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, into a prominent family in the tobacco business. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and later at the Académie Colarossi and Académie Julian in Paris, where he was first exposed to the European avant-garde. Returning to America after his studies, he participated in the transmission of modern European ideas into American art—along with Georgia O'Keeffe, Demuth was a proponent of Precisionism, a movement that incorporated the clean ...

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Fort Worth, Tex. 2007 Softcover. VG (Label & a few marks from previous gallery owner; a small scrape on front cover, minor edgewear, very nice. ) "During an intense period ... beginning in 1927, Charles Demuth (1883-1935) executed seven ambitious paintings depicting industrial sites in his native Lancaster, Pennsylvania." (flap) These pieces were never exhibited together. "Today, his small body of masterpieces is recognized as one ofthe most notable artistic achievements of twentieth-century America, and Demuth himself is comfortably situated among America's preeminent modernist painters." (flap) With essays by Betsy Fahlman and Claire Barry. Vital in both art and history circles. Gray & color illus. wraps, French flaps, 207 pp., 121 BW & color illus. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Charles Demuth (1883-1935) was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, into a prominent family in the tobacco business. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and later at the Académie Colarossi and Académie Julian in Paris, where he was first exposed to the European avant-garde. Returning to America after his studies, he participated in the transmission of modern European ideas into American art—along with Georgia O'Keeffe, Demuth was a proponent of Precisionism, a movement that incorporated the clean lines and geometrical forms of Cubism and Futurism into depictions of the American landscape.

Chimneys and Towers focuses on Demuth's late paintings of industrial sites in Lancaster. During this period he struggled with diabetes and painted little, but the powerful visual impact of the works he completed belies his diminishing physical strength. Depicting the warehouses and factories of the city's tobacco and linoleum industries in sharp, geometric forms, these paintings show an artist negotiating both artistic and personal identity, bringing to the depiction of his hometown the style of the American avant-garde that he helped create.

While scholars have long recognized the importance of these works, Chimneys and Towers offers new perspectives on their initial critical reception, as well as a more complete understanding of the paintings' relationship to Demuth's native Lancaster. Betsy Fahlman also explores in depth the effects of Demuth's failing health on his art, offering previously unpublished correspondence that reveals the central role that Pennsylvania art collector Albert C. Barnes played in extending Demuth's life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A well rounded picture of the artist and his work."—Art Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780883601020
  • Publisher: Amon Carter Museum
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Pages: 207

Meet the Author

Betsy Fahlman is Professor of Art History at Arizona State University and the author of several books, including Guy Pene du Bois: Artist About Town. The exhibition, Chimneys and Towers: Charles Demuth's Late Paintings of Lancaster, is organized by the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. The exhibition and the book written by Betsy Fahlman have been made possible in part by grants from The Henry Luce Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts,
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