August 20–December 11, 2021
After World War I, artists without formal training began showing their work in major museums, “crashing the gates” of the elite art world, as the newspapers of their day put it. Featuring more than fifty paintings, Gatecrashers will investigate how living self-taught artists overcame class-, race-, and gender-based obstacles to enter the inner sanctums of the mainstream art world, exhibiting their work widely and ultimately paving the way for later generations of self-taught artists. Benefiting from rebellions against academic artistic styles and an ongoing search for national character in American culture, painters John Kane, Horace Pippin, and Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses became the most widely recognized self-taught artists of the interwar period. Their work appears prominently in the exhibition and will be featured alongside lesser-known artists such as Pedro López Cervántez, Lawrence Lebduska, and Josephine Joy, who represent the breadth of the art world’s attraction to self-taught painters in the first half of the twentieth century. These artists’ paintings of American life in the cities and rural communities where they lived, as well as fantastical scenes derived from their imaginations, aligned with trends in contemporary realism and dramatically reshaped who could be an artist in the United States.
Exhibition catalogue available for purchase at the Museum Shop and at museumshop.high.org. Members receive 10% off Shop purchases.
Curatorial Exhibition Introduction:
Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America and Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe
Thursday, August 19, 6 p.m., Zoom
Join Katherine Jentleson as she introduces the High’s newest Folk and Self-Taught Art exhibitions, Gatecrashers and Really Free. Jentleson, the High’s Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art, will give an overview of both exhibitions and talk about her recently published catalogues. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about these two groundbreaking exhibitions on view at the High!
Visit High.org for details.