Saturday, February 23, 2013

1922 art scene

The following account presents a snapshot of the art scene in Kansas City. It names artists from other states who took part. Some of these artists were members of the Kansas City Society of Artists, which was organized in 1921. Those whose names showed up on the Lighton studio roster have been highlighted in blue. Where possible links have been added to the artists.

    A satisfactory crowd attended last night's preview of the Kansas City Art Institute's Midwestern Artists' exhibition inspite of miserable weather.  
     Many hundreds more doubtless will see the exhibition this month, because it is by all odds the best, and the biggest similar show in the history of the institute. 
     The Kansas City Society of Artists, the trustees and the faculty of the institute were among those who assisted at the opening reception.
    This year, besides the usual entries from Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma, there is representative work from Nebraska and Colorado, both of which states share in the prizes.
    A Kansas Citian, Ruth Harris Bohan, is gold medalist, and these are the winners of the other prizes. Painting--Gold medal, Ruth Harris Bohan, Kansas City; silver medal, Fern I. Coppedge, Philadelphia; bronze medal, Le-Roy McMorris, Kansas City; purchase prize, William Bauer, Webster Groves; purchase prize, Nan Sheets, Oklahoma City; purchase prize, F. Drexel Smith, Colorado Springs; honor mention, Mary A. McColl, St. Louis; Oscar Taggert.
    Water Color--Gold metal, Gustav F. Goetsch, Kirkwood, Mo.; silver medal, Ilah Marian Kibbey, Kansas City; bronze medal, Mildred Bailey Carpenter, Webster Groves, Mo.; honor mention, Arthur Van Arsdale, Edmond, Okla.; Norman Tolson, Kansas City, and Augusta H. Knight, Omaha.
    Graphic Arts--Gold medal, Troy Kinney, New York; silver medal, Paul S. Laune, Lincoln, Neb.; bronze medal, Joseph Fleck, Kansas City; purchase prize, Charles A. Wilimovsky, for Black and White; honor mention, C.A. Seward, Wichita, Kas., and Charles A. Wilimovsky, Chicago.
    Sculpture--Gold medal, Frederick C. Hibbard, Chicago; silver medal, Dr. Emmett J. Craig, Kansas City; bronze medal, Nancy Coonsman Hahn, St. Louis; honor mention, Felix S. Cabelio, Colorado Springs, and W.W. Rosenbauer, Kansas City.

                 CROWDED WITH 300 SELECTIONS
    Of the 780 things offered, the three judges chose three hundred for display, which means that every possible inch of display space in the building is being utilized, and that, although every effort has been made to give adequate position to the chosen three hundred, crowding was necessary.
    Artists to the number of 288 are represented.
    The judges, whose work was done a week ago, were Russell A. Plimpton, director of the Minneapolis Art Institute; Frank V. Dudley and Oliver Dennett Grover, both Chicago artists.
    The realist school has the swing of things, which is, of course, to be expected. The visible beauty of the things about us influences nearly all of the artists more than does the meaning behind those things;. In a number of instances the degree of sophistication attained is astonishing, however.

    "If we compare this achievement with that of any other region as young in years, all history will fail to provide a similiar example of such rapid progress in the field of aesthetic development." declared H. M. Kurtzworth, director of the institute, and the exhibition bears him out handsomely.
     Doubtless the judges, in awarding Mrs. Bohan the gold medal, were influenced by the fact that her "Childhood," although conventional in most of its aspects, is singularly poetic, and points in a quiet but unmistakable way the trust and mystery of childhood. There is not one particle of affection in the work, and restraint has brought it remarkable balance.
     Fern I. Coopedge, now of Philadelphia (present residence outside the states represented does not bar competition), receives the silver medal for her "Winter Morning," which shines through a lacework of bare and expressive branches.
    LeRoy D. McMorris of Kansas City has been awarded the bronze medal for a New Mexican landscape that is a turning point in his most interesting career. It seems to be New Mexico as he feels it rather than as he sees it.
    The three purchase prizes also are interesting, and the canvases of F. Drexel Smith and William Bauer especially so. The first is a Colorado foothills scene called "Melting Snow, " appropriately to the weather, an unusual number of chilling things are being shown, and the second, another windy study with the winterish light particularly well handled.
    Besides the oils there are water colors, the graphic arts, and sculpture for consideration. Their examples are fewer in number, but not necessarily less interesting. Some of the etchings, particularly the gold medal work of Troy Kinney, which shows two dancers in the midst of a fantastic whirl, have especial merit.
    Paul S. Laune, of Lincoln, Neb., winner of the silver medal in the graphic arts class, took his prize with a strong nude done in a new medium.

    Outside the prizes winners are several canvases that probably will start many arguments. One is the "After the Storm," of Edith Mahier, a pupil of Oscar Brousse Jacobson of the University of Oklahoma. She follows the expressionist path of her teacher, but not slavishly, and her canvas, not only expresses what she meant it to, but is full of rhythm and vitality and has considerable originality.
    Another is a fantastic pile of buildings in modern style by W. J. Potter, who also is represented by a more restrained conception of two French houses. Birger Sandzen, now in Europe, sent nothing, but Anton Pearson, of Lindsborg, Kas., a pupil, is represented by "Cathedral Spires," which is very much after the manner of the Swedish-American master.
    Many Kansas Citians are represented, and the Art Institute faculty has not by any means been slighted. And from the practical side, the show should benefit the exhibitors, for much of the material is likely to arouse acquisitive instincts in the beholders.

Ilah M Kibbey link,, Ruth Harris Bohan,,, Edith Mahier links,!85940!0#focus and Sheets link, William Bauer link,,  F. Drexel Smith link,, Gustav F. Goetsch link,,  Mildred Bailey Carpenter link, Van Arsdale link,, Norman Tolson link, H. Knight link,, Troy Kinney link,, Paul S. Laune link,, Joseph Fleck link,, Charles A. Wilimovsky link,, Frederick C. Hibbard link,, Nancy Coonsman Hahn link,, Frank V. Dudley link,, Oliver Dennett Grover link,, Oscar Brousse Jacobson link,, W. J. Potter link,, Anton Pearson link,, accessed Feb 11, 2012)

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