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Montgomery Meets Modernism: Two Americas

July 30th, 2016 – June 18th, 2018
Palm Springs Art Museum, Denney Western American Art Wing
Exhibitions

Modern America can be understood through the rich visual cultures that emerged from two co-existing perspectives. In the 1950s and 1960s many Americans yearned for a simpler time and looked to the ideals and traditions of the American West, following the hardships of World War II. At the same time others gazed toward a future buoyed by technology and economic growth.

Installation of Exhibition in George Montgomery Gallery, Denney Western American Art Wing
Stanton MacDonald-Wright, L'Inquietude, 1956-1965, oil on canvas, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Alan Leslie, © Stanton MacDonald-Wright Estate
Installation of Exhibition in George Montgomery Gallery, Denney Western American Art Wing
Navajo, Early Ganado Rug, ca. 1900, handspun natural wool and synthetic dyes, gift of the George Montgomery Trust
Acoma, Polychrome Jar, c. 1900, polychrome ceramic, collection of Palm Springs Art Museum
George Montgomery, Cassidy and Sundance Headin' Fer Mexico, 1975, bronze, gift of the George Montgomery Trust
Installation of Exhibition in George Montgomery Gallery, Denney Western American Art Wing
Joseph Henry Sharp, Chief Flat Iron - Sioux, ca. 1903, oil on board, gift of the George Montgomery Trust
Paul McCobb, Shovel Chair, 1953, wrought iron and birch, gift of William G. Butler
Helen Lundeberg, Planet Rising, 1967 acrylic on canvas, Gift of the Artist© The Feitelson/Lundeberg Art Foundation
Lorser Feitelson, Untitled [Magical Space Forms], 1964, oil and enamel on canvas, gift of the Estate of Gladys M. Rubinstein © The Feitelson/Lundeberg Art Foundation
George Montgomery stands next to his oak and wrought iron Suspension Dining Table that he designed around 1960 for his home in West Hollywood, California.
Julius Shulman Frey House I (with additions), Palm Springs, California, 1953, color digital lightjet print, museum purchase © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10).

Modern America can be understood through the rich visual cultures that emerged from two co-existing perspectives. In the 1950s and 1960s many Americans yearned for a simpler time and looked to the ideals and traditions of the American West, following the hardships of World War II. At the same time others gazed toward a future buoyed by technology and economic growth. Drawn from the museum’s holdings, this installation positions Hollywood icon George Montgomery’s own hand-crafted furniture and bronze sculptures with his collection of traditional Western paintings by such masters as Sydney Laurence, Frank Tenney Johnson, and Joseph Henry Sharp, alongside modernist design by Albert Frey and abstract art as seen in paintings by Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg. The confluence of historical and modern styles reflects a postwar spirit filled with both nostalgia and optimism. 

This exhibition is organized by Palm Springs Art Museum.

 

Image:

Left: Julius Shulman Frey House I (with additions), Palm Springs, California, 1953, color digital lightjet print, museum purchase © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10).

Right: George Montgomery stands next to his oak and wrought iron Suspension Dining Table that he designed around 1960 for his home in West Hollywood, California.