In Utah, modernism was welcomed with open arms by only a belated minority. Three decades after New York’s Armory Show — when the various isms of modern art developed in Europe were revealed to the American public — artists in the state of Utah were still struggling with skeptical peers and a bewildered if not belligerent public — a public that often chose not simply to ignore the new isms, as they might with artistic trends today; they attacked, or at the very least, mocked them. Modern artists, to much of the Utah public, were considered incompetent or deranged, seen as hucksters and commies.
Mrs. Wallen could not understand why more Americans did not own fine art. “In Sweden,” she said, “a family of modest means will save for years to purchase a good painting or an exquisite piece of furniture.” (Salt Lake Telegram, 15 May, 1950, p. 16) Vera (if we’re […]
Gail Martin had one of the better retorts to the modern art skeptics of his day: “Strange is it not, that the man who demands the latest models in motor cars, who would not be found dead in a 1929 Ford, that the women, who wears only the […]
Though they might be lazy or imprecise, we’ll use them, if only because they are the categories Utah’s mid-century art community used: the modernists and the conservatives — two camps, engaged after the conclusion of the Second World War in a battle for what little attention, prestige or […]
Maybe it seemed to come to him in a flash of divine inspiration. Or maybe it was simply a mundanely obvious solution to the task at hand. When Anthony Velonis joined the Work Progress Administration’s poster division during the Great Depression, he became one of scores of artists making […]
Artists of Utah is excited to announce the launch of a new program, Before Now. In more than one sense, it’s an old program. What we are gathering together under the rubric “Before Now” has existed in various preliminary forms throughout our twenty-year history: most prominently in the […]