WFMA exhibition a chance to explore post WWI changes in America

From Boom to Bust brings perspective to upheaval in America a century ago

WFMA exhibition a chance to explore post WWI changes in America

The Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas is offering a chance to explore the many cultural changes that occurred in America 100 years ago following World War I with the exhibition From Boom to Bust: Modernism, Regionalism, & Social Realism (1920-1940).

The exhibition opens on Oct. 20 with a reception from 5-7 p.m. and a gallery talk at 5:30 p.m.

From Boom to Bust brings into conversation a diverse array of American artists, authors, and cinematographers from the economic and cultural boom time of post-World War I America through the devastating bust of the Great Depression. These interwar years fostered an incredibly rich period of artistic production both at home and abroad, inspiring many American artists and writers to rethink the way they saw and depicted the world around them.

“World events, especially war and economic upheaval, always have a great impact on people’s lives,” WFMA Curator of Exhibitions and Collections Danny Bills said. “Artists and creatives, such as cinematographers and writers, have the tools to illustrate and capture the emotions and conditions of the times. These selections from the permanent collection illustrate what the world went through, the good and the bad.”

The exhibition, which invites patrons to explore the cross-fertilization of the arts, features over two dozen artworks from the WFMA’s Permanent Collection alongside the groundbreaking films Manhatta (1921) and The Plow that Broke the Plains (1936). Also included are representative books from the period by authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude

Art by Blance McVeigh showing a 1920s America

Joseph Pennell art depicts boats in 1920s

Stein, and John Steinbeck, as well as books illustrated by some of the artists represented on the walls.

 “For over fifty years, the WFMA has consistently played a vital role in furthering the visual arts in Wichita Falls and our campus community,” said co-curator Todd Giles, associate professor of English. “It’s a pleasure and a privilege working with Danny and the museum staff to bring so many important American artists from the WFMA Permanent Collection together into an engaging interdisciplinary dialogue exploring the arts and culture of early 20th-century America.”

The curators of From Boom to Bust have delved into the WFMA’s collection vault to present representative works on paper from some of the most important artists America has ever produced: Modernists John Marin and Charles Sheeler; Social Realists Edward Hopper and John Sloan; and Regionalists Thomas Hart Benton and Jerry Bywaters.

“I always enjoy curatorial collaborations with Dr. Giles, who has a real passion for the arts,” Bills said. “The educational connections he makes through the art adds another perspective to the exhibit that all audiences can enjoy.”

About the WFMA at MSU Texas: Follow the WFMA online for information about exhibition and educational programs. Visit in person at 2 Eureka Circle, Wichita Falls, TX, 76308. Call the museum at 940-397-8500 for more information.