1940s

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.

In late summer 1940, as war spread across Europe and as the nation pulled itself out of the Great Depression, an anti-communist hysteria convulsed New York City. Targeting the city’s municipal colleges and public schools, the New York state legislature’s Rapp-Coudert investigation dragged hundreds of suspects before public and private tribunals to root out a perceived communist conspiracy to hijack the city’s teachers unions, subvert public education, and indoctrinate the nation’s youth.

Drawing on the vast archive of Rapp-Coudert records, Union College History Professor Andrew Feffer looks to provide the first full history of this witch-hunt, which lasted from August 1940 to March 1942.

He does so in the new book: "Bad Faith: Teachers, Liberalism, and the Origins of McCarthyism." Andrew Feffer is Professor of History and Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Film Studies at Union College.