America’s Age of Self-awareness,
Developed and written by Aldis Browne
Until the mid-20th Century American artists were almost exclusively judged by comparisons to their European peers.
As the world experienced the profound realities of war—WWII in the 1940’s, the Korean conflict of the 50’s and the Vietnam War of the 60’s—America developed a voice of its own, and what a clarion voice it was.
The three decades between the genesis of Abstract Expression and the explosion of Pop Art established America’s art and artists as forces of unsurpassed dynamism.
As American art came to be recognized, widely exhibited, and frequently collected, small institutions began to proliferate across the Nation. No longer could long-established institutions in such art capitals as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, claim any monopoly.
Art centers, university art galleries, and small museums drew ever-increasing support, both public and private, and they, too, became integral to community, education, and connoisseurship.
Enjoying art was no longer the exclusive domain of major museums in the large metropolitan areas, nor of the elite, the academic, or the intellectual.
The Michelin Guide has long awarded stars as: * worthy of a visit, ** a detour, *** a trip. Similarly, America has become home to both institutions and works of art that are well worthy of such a visit, detour or trip. The works featured here reflect the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s – the beginning of America’s ‘age of self-discovery’.