Beatrice Cuming (1903–1975),
Beatrice Cuming (1903–1975), "The Architecture of Light," c. 1940s, oil on canvas, 29 x 39 in., Florence Griswold Museum (Old Lyme, Connecticut), purchase, 2021.7 

On View > Beatrice Cuming: Connecticut Precisionist
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
New London, Connecticut
through May 26, 2024

In New London, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum has organized a groundbreaking exhibition about Beatrice Cuming (1903–1975), an under-recognized female artist who celebrated this Connecticut city’s modernity in her depictions of it during the 1930s, ’40s, and early ’50s.

Born in Brooklyn, Cuming studied art in New York and Paris before moving to New London in 1934. At that time it was a thriving industrial port, humming with busy streets, docks, and railroads, and with workers swarming across its industrial and maritime sites.

In 1937, Cuming described these quotidian subjects as “obviously beautiful, powerful, dramatic, [and] exciting. They stir my imagination.” During the Great Depression, she participated in the WPA Federal Art Project, and in the 1940s she received important commissions from Standard Oil and General Dynamics Electric Boat. (The latter still builds submarines for the U.S. Navy in Groton, just across the Thames River from New London.)

Curator Tanya Pohrt has titled the exhibition “Beatrice Cuming: Connecticut Precisionist” to acknowledge the artist’s embrace of precisionism, an aesthetic mode that merged elements of European modernism with American subject matter, especially hard-edged scenes like factories and city streets.


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