Modern America can be understood through the rich visual cultures that emerged from two co-existing perspectives. In the 1950s and 1960s many Americans yearned for a simpler time and looked to the ideals and traditions of the American West, following the hardships of World War II. At the same time others gazed toward a future buoyed by technology and economic growth. Drawn from the museum’s holdings, this installation positions Hollywood icon George Montgomery’s own hand-crafted furniture and bronze sculptures with his collection of traditional Western paintings by such masters as Sydney Laurence, Frank Tenney Johnson, and Joseph Henry Sharp, alongside modernist design by Albert Frey and abstract art as seen in paintings by Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg. The confluence of historical and modern styles reflects a postwar spirit filled with both nostalgia and optimism.
This exhibition is organized by Palm Springs Art Museum.