Two Americans in Paris: Stuart Davis and Grant Wood


From the mid-nineteenth century until WWII, American artists flocked to Paris in pursuit of inspiration and professional credibility.   Widely regarded as the cultural capital of the world, the French metropolis provided fertile ground for inspiration by enabling aspiring artists to study the Old Masters on display at the Louvre and experiment with contemporary artistic trends.

The exhibition Two Americans in Paris focuses on the experiences and subsequent careers of two such artists--Grant Wood and Stuart Davis. Both studied in Paris during the 1920s and eventually enjoyed considerable reputations for depicting scenes of American life. But while Wood adopted the more retardaire impressionist style of painting during his travels and famously rejected abstraction upon his return to the United States, Davis responded to the artistic innovations of French modernism. Deeply affected the art of Matisse and Fernand Léger, Davis developed a unique style of art that reconciled the aesthetic concerns of avant-garde artists with his desire to capture the vitality of American urban life and culture.

Curated by Dr. Rima Girnius, the exhibition will feature paintings and works of paper from the Figge’s Grant Wood Archive as well as a selection of Stuart Davis lithographs from a private collection.

This exhibiton will be on view July 12, 2014 through November 2, 2014

Sponsored by Don and Connie Decker and Robert W. Baird     

Grant Wood, The Luxembourg Gardens, 1923, oil on masonite, 2001.12