A Celebration of Rural America

Blair Murrah has assembled a superb exhibition of over 50 original prints that portray rural America with honesty and reverence, and evoke the spirit of rugged individualism that characterizes this country--in both its landscape and its people. Included are works by Thomas Hart Benton, John Bloom, John Edward Costigan, John Steuart Curry, Adolf A. Dehn, Mabel Dwight, Allen Lewis, Luigi Lucioni, Jackson Lee Nesbitt, Grant Wood, John Stockton de Martelly, Coy Avon Seward, and Martin Peterson.

The most important movement in American art during the late 20s and 30s was the American Scene movement. Part of this movement was known as "Regionalism" and was associated largely with the work of Grant Wood, John Steuart Curry and Thomas Hart Benton.

But the term "Regionalism" has always been inaccurate and has created a great deal of confusion. Critics never succeeded in finding truly Regionalist art in America during the first half of this century. They saw plenty of localized subject matter, but they never discovered styles typical of particular sections of the country. Even Thomas Hart Benton sought an all-encompassing image of America rather than a style or range of subject matter restricted to a particular region. Nevertheless, the term has stuck and has become identified with the art of rural and country views, apolitical in content, and often nostalgic in spirit.

Included in the exhibition are not only work by the three best known Regionalists, Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and John Steuart Curry, but also by a selection of other artists who have worked with American rural subjects. Classic images are included such as Prize Stallion, by Curry, Nebraska Evening, and Photographing the Bull, by Benton, In the Spring by Grant Wood, Farm Yard by Adolf Dehn, and Fall Plowing by John Costigan.

Through this superb selection of original prints, your audiences can catch a glimpse of an America that is too often obscured by present-day economic and social upheavals --one that shows compassion and concern for the land, and one that is classically beautiful and reassuring.