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The Ashcan School and The Eight: “Creating a National Art”

September 23, 2022–February 19, 2023
Bradley Family Gallery
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Exhibitions are included with Museum admission and are free for Members.

Recognized as the first American modern art movement, the Ashcan School and The Eight captured everyday life at the beginning of the 20th century, a moment of increasing industrialization and great cultural change. Rejecting what traditional art institutions considered appropriate, these artists embraced a loose painterly style to portray factories and immigrants, congested urban streets and bawdy entertainments. Some praised the artists as “creating a national art” while others dismissed them as painters of rubbish or “ashcans.”

The Ashcan School and The Eight: “Creating a National Art” re-examines these artists and the social issues they depicted, drawing parallels to those still relevant today. The Milwaukee Art Museum has one of the largest collections of works by the Ashcan School and The Eight in the United States, and the exhibition is drawn from this significant collection. Prints, drawings, paintings, and pastels by artists including Robert Henri, George Bellows, and John Sloan are featured, revealing the full range of the group’s subjects and artistic practices.


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Supporting Sponsors: Genie and David Meissner and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Donald and Barbara Abert Fund Milwaukee Art Museum’s American Arts Society in honor of George A. Evans, Jr. Wyeth Foundation for American Art
Contributing Sponsors: Kay and Ken Hamel in memory of Kevin Fahey Terra Foundation for American Art
The Milwaukee Art Museum extends its sincere thanks to the 2022 Visionaries:Donna and Donald BaumgartnerMurph BurkeJoel and Caran QuadracciSue and Bud SeligJeff and Gail Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation
Image:
  • George Benjamin Luks, Bleecker and Carmine Streets, New York, ca. 1905. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald B. Abert and Mrs. Barbara Abert Tooman, M1976.14. Photo by John R. Glembin
  • Robert Henri, Dutch Joe (Jopie van Slooten), 1910. Gift of the Samuel O. Buckner Collection, M1919.9. Photo by John R. Glembin
  • John Sloan, Isadora Duncan, 1911. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald B. Abert, M1969.27. Photo by P. Richard Eells. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Robert Henri, Chinese Lady, 1914. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald B. Abert, M1965.61. Photo by John R. Glembin
  • Maurice Prendergast (American, 1858–1924,) Picnic by the Sea, 1913–15. Oil on canvas. Gift of the Donald B. Abert Family in his memory, by exchange, M1986.49. Photo by Efraim Lev-er