Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form

James A. Michener Art Museum

2015
$300,000

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Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), Bobbe Arnst, Vanity Fair, July 1, 1928. © Condé Nast.

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Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form, installation view, James A. Michener Art Museum, 2016. Photo by Dara N. King.

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Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), American Interior, 1934, oil on canvas, 32 ½ x 30 in. Photo courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery.

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Charles Sheeler, Barn Abstraction, 1946, tempera on paperboard, 21 1/2 x 28 3/8 inches, collection of Joseph P. Carroll and Dr. Roberta Carroll. Photo courtesy of Forum Gallery.

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Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form, installation view, James A. Michener Art Museum, 2016. Photo by Dara N. King.

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Worth, Evening Dress, 1924-27, ivory satin, silver metallic machine-made lace, mine-cut brilliants. Photo courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.

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Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form, installation view, James A. Michener Art Museum, 2016. Photo by Dara N. King.

The James A. Michener Art Museum will bring to light an untapped aspect of the Philadelphia region's artistic heritage with an exhibition of painter and photographer Charles Sheeler's little-known fashion photography created for Condé Nast between 1926 and 1931—a body of work that significantly informed the aesthetic vision of one of American modernism's founding figures. Trained in an impressionist approach to landscape painting, Sheeler experimented early in his career with compositions inspired by European modernism before developing a linear, hard-edged style now known as Precisionism. While working in this mode, he produced powerful images of the Machine Age: skyscrapers, factories, and locomotive engines. Through a collection of paintings, photographs, Sheeler's own textile designs, and mannequins styled in original fashions that replicate his photographic strategies, the exhibition and catalogue will enable visitors to make connections between Sheeler's photographic experimentations at Condé Nast and how the artist translated this work into the industrial paintings and photographs that established his career.


Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.