Thomas Hart Benton, “Tobacco Sorters,” circa 1942-1944, tempera on board, 30 1/8 x 36 in. © Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Every fine art connoisseur knows that an artist’s location, home, or region has a profound effect on their art. This exhibition of more than 200 works explores American icons of the mid-20th century and how location means everything.

“Cross Country: The Power of Place in American Art, 1915-1950” is a fascinating exhibition on view at Atlanta, Georgia’s High Museum of Art through May 7. As the show title suggests, the museum has brought together a stunning array of American artworks from the first half of the 20th century to highlight the influence that different places had on artists’ creative voices.

Ansel Adams, “Teton Range and Snake River (Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 1942),” 1942, printed 1974, gelatin silver print, 15 11/16 x 19 9/16 in. © High Museum of Art
Ansel Adams, “Teton Range and Snake River (Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 1942),” 1942, printed 1974, gelatin silver print, 15 11/16 x 19 9/16 in. © High Museum of Art

Featuring over 200 artworks and more than 70 from the High Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, photographs, murals, drawings, and much more. Among the represented artists are N.C. Wyeth, Georgia O’Keeffe, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Jacob Lawrence, Grandma Moses, Hale Woodruff, Bill Traylor, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Alfred Stieglitz, and Peter Sekaer.

Maynard Dixon, “Red Butte with Mountain Men,” 1935, oil on canvas, 95 x 213 in. © Booth Western Art Museum
Maynard Dixon, “Red Butte with Mountain Men,” 1935, oil on canvas, 95 x 213 in. © Booth Western Art Museum
Andrew Wyeth, “The Stone Fence,” 1946, tempera on panel, 25 x 18 5/8 in. Private Collection
Andrew Wyeth, “The Stone Fence,” 1946, tempera on panel, 25 x 18 5/8 in. Private Collection
Grant Wood, “Appraisal,” 1932, oil on composition board, © Dubuque Museum of Art
Grant Wood, “Appraisal,” 1932, oil on composition board, © Dubuque Museum of Art

Via the museum, “While the 20th-century city was a significant magnet for modern artists, many sought respite and even refuge in quieter, rural areas. ‘Cross Country’ brings together works by more than 80 artists to explore the impact of the American countryside on their artistic practice and how they adapted the modernist style to express their sense of place.

Roger Medearis, “Godly Susan,” 1942, egg tempera on board, 27 5/8 x 23-5/8 in. © Smithsonian American Art Museum
Roger Medearis, “Godly Susan,” 1942, egg tempera on board, 27 5/8 x 23-5/8 in. © Smithsonian American Art Museum

“The exhibition is organized geographically, according to the region depicted in the artworks. Each section incorporates photography and works by self-taught artists to further underscore the diversity of artistic production in the early 20th century.”

To learn more, visit the High Museum of Art.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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