1930s

George L. K. Morris and Suzy Frelinghuysen, prolific abstract artists since the late 1930s, were leaders of the national and international art scene. Collectors and intellectuals, they created a Berkshire home that reflected their aesthetic worlds.

Upon her death in 1988, Suzy Frelinghuysen left instructions that the House & Studio and art collection be used for an educational purpose the House & Studio opened for visitation in 1998.

This summer, the Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio presents an exhibition entitled “American Abstract Artists: A Collection: Unseen Works.”

Tomorrow at 3pm, Carol Troyen, Curator Emerita of American Paintings at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will present a lecture entitled “Protests and Patronage: Morris, Frelinghuysen, and the Promotion of Abstract Arts in the 1930s.”

We are joined by Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio Director Kinney Frelinghuysen.

 

The Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, NY is presenting the exhibition Circus Circus through October 16th featuring paintings of the American circus by artists from the 1920s and 1930s alongside circus-themed marketing materials used by the Beech-Nut Packaging Company in the 1930s.

 

The circus coming to town was a highly anticipated event in small towns across America, and many artists in the twenties and thirties painted the spectacle of the parade as the circus arrived, and the excitement under the big top. The exhibition includes paintings by Jon Corbino, Ogden Pleissner and Everett Shinn.

 

Images of circus cars, animals and acrobats were also used to market food products during the 1930s. The Beech-Nut Packing Company was one of the companies to use the excitement and nostalgia of the circus to sell its products. They created magazine ads with clowns and circus animals to sell their gum.

 

This circus-themed marketing campaign culminated in the creation of Beech-Nut miniature circuses that traveled across the country in busses, and a miniature circus was displayed in their pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

To tell us more about the exhibit we welcome Art Historian Karal Ann Marling and Museum Director and Curator Diane Forsberg.

  Prohibition has long been portrayed as a “noble experiment” that failed, a newsreel story of glamorous gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies. In The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State, Lisa McGirr dismantles this cherished myth to reveal a much more significant history.

Prohibition was the seedbed for a pivotal expansion of the federal government, the genesis of our contemporary penal state and shows how the war on alcohol was waged disproportionately in African American, immigrant, and poor white communities. Alongside Jim Crow and other discriminatory laws, Prohibition brought coercion into everyday life and even into private homes. Its targets coalesced into an electoral base of urban, working-class voters that propelled FDR to the White House.