National Gallery of Art, East Building – Until January 2, 2011.

American Modernism: The Shein Collection presents 20 masterpieces by Patrick Henry Bruce, Stuart Davis, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marcel Duchamp, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Man Ray, Charles Sheeler, and other renowned artists. The collection demonstrates the importance of the early American modernists in the development of the avant-garde in the United States and Europe during the 20th century.

Distinguished by its rigorous focus on leading artists from the first generation of American modernists as well as the extraordinarily high quality of the paintings, sculptures, and drawings it contains, the Shein Collection is one of the nation’s foremost private collections of early American modernist works.

Among the works on display are exceedingly rare objects such as Painting (Still Life) (c. 1919), by Patrick Henry Bruce, one of only 25 extant paintings from Bruce’s brilliant late still-life series; Charles Demuth’s iconic precisionist painting of American industry, End of the Parade, Coatesville, Pa. (1920); Marsden Hartley’s Pre-War Pageant (1913), a singular precursor to his famous German officer series; Man Ray’s precocious canvas, Legend (1916); a machine image by Morton Livingston Schamberg, Painting VI (1916), executed shortly before the artist’s tragic early death at age 37 in 1918; and a recently discovered, large-scale pair of cast-concrete works by the sculptor John Storrs, Auto Tower, Industrial Forms (c. 1922).

The trio of artists most consistently championed by the photographer Alfred Stieglitz—Arthur Dove, John Marin, and Georgia O’Keeffe—is also represented, respectively, by their classic masterpieces Sunrise I (1936), Sunset (1922), and Dark Iris No. 2 (1927). In addition, helping to bridge the history of this generation of American artists before and after World War II are the late masterworks The Written Sea (1952) by Marin, Composition around White (1959) by Charles Sheeler, Unfinished Business (1962) by Stuart Davis, and Marcel Duchamp’s 1964 version of Fresh Widow. Completing the collection are important paintings and drawings by Arthur B. Davies, Edwin Dickinson, Preston Dickinson, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Alfred Maurer, Joseph Stella, and Max Weber.

Gallery Hours