The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College presents “Edward Hopper and Guy Pène du Bois: Painting the Real,” an original, loan-based exhibition on view December 17, 2022, through March 26, 2023, in the Museum’s Dorothy Jenkins and Harper Family Galleries. Developed in collaboration with 511 Projects in New York, this exhibition of more than 60 works is the first of its kind to examine these two American masters side by side along with their interpretations of modern life in the early twentieth century.
Lifelong friends since their days at the New York School of Art, Edward Hopper (1882-1967) and Guy Pène du Bois (1884-1958) devoted their artistic practices to depicting the evolving modern worlds around them. Both artists were keen observers of American lives, both at home and abroad: Pène du Bois equally attentive to urban sophisticates in Paris and New York as to the lives of everyday Americans, and Hopper drawn to the eerie stillness of coastal landscapes and solemn interiority of his figures. Each took an individualized approach to painting life as it was.
“Although Hopper and Pène du Bois are both known for their succinct and fascinating depictions of people, a closer, more contextual reading of their artworks reveals their deep commitment to painting the world around them,” Mara Miller of 511 Projects, who co-curated the exhibition, said. “We have tried to let viewers see how relevant their works were to the century in which they lived but now how relevant they may be to the century in which we live and make art.”
Featuring paintings and works on paper from the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum, the Terra Art Foundation, among other leading national institutions and private collections, this large-scale exhibition invites museum visitors to revisit the American twentieth century through each artist’s unique lens of Realism in a new and modernist context.
“Creating an exhibition featuring the works of Hopper and Pène du Bois has long been a dream for the museum, and we are thrilled finally to unveil this exceptional exhibition, four years in the making, to our community,” Dr. H. Alexander Rich, executive director and chief curator of the Polk Museum of Art, said. “Hopper and Pène du Bois were among the most respected names in American art of the last century, and, while Hopper remains far better known to the public today, our exhibition brings both artists importantly to the fore, looking at their work, lives, and careers in tandem.”
About the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College
The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is a not-for-profit, academic and community museum that seeks to enhance lives through inspirational and engaging art experiences for all. It is the largest and only nationally accredited visual arts organization in Polk County and the only Smithsonian Affiliate art museum in Central Florida.
The Museum is currently embarking on a $6 million expansion and renovation project, adding more than 12,000 sq. ft. of education and exhibition space, including six new galleries, as well as multi-functional classroom and event spaces. The expansion and renovation is expected to begin in 2023, with project completion in Spring 2024.
The Museum’s hours are Tuesdays–Saturdays 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday 1 pm to 5 pm, and closed Mondays and major holidays. The facility is handicap accessible and special needs assistance is available. Admission is free, thanks to our Strategic Partner, the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation.
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