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Two New York City-themed exhibitions open this weekend at The Katonah Museum of Art
LeUyen Pham, Barnum’s elephants crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, from the book Twenty-One Elephants (text by Phil Bildner; Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2004). Watercolor, 9 ½ x 20 7/8 inches. Courtesy of Phil Bildner and Kevin Lewis.
KATONAH, N.Y.- Empire City, Gotham, The Big Apple — whatever you call it, there’s no doubt that New York City has impacted millions of hearts, minds, and imaginations throughout history. This fall, the Katonah Museum of Art shows works of art inspired by New York City in New York, New York! The 20th-Century. Organized by the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, FL, the exhibition features over 50 works from the Norton collection, including paintings, photographs, sculptures, and works on paper, which capture the essence of New York throughout the 20th century. Also opening is Storied City: New York in Picture Book Art, curated by historian and critic Leonard Marcus. Both exhibitions are on-view from October 2 through December 31, 2011. The Katonah Museum of Art is located at 134 Jay Street (Route 22) in Katonah, NY.

Including works by Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Stuart Davis, Andreas Feininger, William Gropper, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, John Marin, Reginald Marsh, and Edward Steichen, among others, New York, New York! The 20th Century celebrates the city as muse to photographers, painters, and sculptors, encompassing the varied cultures and lifestyles of its inhabitants. Looking back on a century of tumultuous change, this exhibition is divided into five themes:

*On the Waterfront: The docks of the Hudson and East Rivers have seen the arrival of industry and immigrants, marking the beginning of a new life for millions of people. The bridges that connect Manhattan to Brooklyn and Queens are emblematic of the five boroughs’ consolidation in 1898 into what we know now as New York City.

*Avenues and Streets: Fifth Avenue evokes style and society, while power and money are the hallmarks of Wall Street. Sidewalks, storefronts, and public spaces reflect the vibrant character of the city’s hundreds of distinct neighborhoods.

In the Park: Artists have long found inspiration in the abundance of life found within the city’s parks. Whether picnicking in the grass or people-watching on a bench, the modern day flâneur can enjoy nature’s wonders away from the hustle and bustle of crowded urban streets.

*On the Town: Teeming with culture and entertainment, New York is a place where there’s always something happening no matter what the hour. The kinetic energy of gallery openings, concerts, and restaurants are the pulse of the “city that never sleeps.”

*Tall Buildings: A view of the top of the Empire State Building above a sea of clouds is the unofficial “welcome” to the city for air travelers. New York’s inimitable skyline, which was considered daring in the early twentieth century, made way for today’s aesthetic and environmental progress in architecture.

“This is such a rich exhibition on so many levels,” says Nancy Wallach, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Museum. “Spanning 100 years of art and history, it captures the vibrancy, power, and beauty of one of the greatest cities of the world through the eyes of some of the most iconic American artists of the 20th century.”

In the Project Gallery and the Learning Center
Storied City: New York in Picture Book Art, October 2 – December 31. New York has long held special appeal for the illustrators and writers of children’s books—both as a place to live and as a setting for their stories and art. Storied City, showcasing original art from more than thirty-five picture books, examines the city’s iconic landmarks, neighborhoods, parks, and modes of transportation. The featured illustrators include seven Caldecott Medal winners (Richard Egielski, Mordicai Gerstein, Jerry Pinkney, Brian Selznick, Marc Simont, David Small, and David Wiesner); several artists long associated with The New Yorker magazine (Maira Kalman, James McMullan, Roxie Munro, Edward Sorel), and many other leading illustrators from the children’s book world.

In The Sculpture Garden and South Lawn
Joseph Wheelwright: Tree Figures, June 5, 2011 – May 2012, New England artist Joseph Wheelwright’s haunting tree figures invite a dialogue between the natural and the manmade. Ranging up to 27 feet tall, these fantastic, anthropomorphic sculptures were created from trees on Wheelwright’s land in Vermont. Turned upside down, bifurcated trunks become legs, and roots are transformed into heads and arms.

Katonah Museum | Empire City | Gotham | The Big Apple |




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October 2, 2011

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