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Controversial 1940s art exhibit to visit Norman museum

“Art Interrupted,” an exhibit of controversial mid-20th century modern art, is on view through June 9 at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
BY RICK ROGERS rrogers@opubco.com Published: February 24, 2013
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The newly reassembled version of this exhibition, titled “Art Interrupted,” features works from the permanent collections of 10 museums, private collectors and other public institutions.

Of the 117 works in the “Advancing American Art” exhibit, 107 are included in this exhibit.

The exhibit features works by such noted artists as Georgia O'Keeffe, Romare Bearden, Ben Shahn, Stuart Davis, Edward Hopper, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove and other important figures in the development of American modernism.

“This collection represents a cross section of great American modern art and it remains very timely because it anticipates the culture wars in the 1980s and '90s,” White said. “The freedom of expression that was central to this exhibition remains a major tenet of American democracy. There's a lot to glean from this exhibit because it's still a very important story.”

The exhibition's opening will be preceded by a symposium 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday. Speakers will address both the domestic controversy and the international implications of “Advancing American Art.”

The exhibition will provide a platform for discussing a variety of related issues of political, social and cultural significance. “Advancing American Art” will be the subject of the morning session, and the importance of international cultural diplomacy will be addressed in the afternoon.

Guest presenters include Dennis Harper, curator of collections and exhibitions; Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Landon Storrs, associate professor of history, University of Iowa; Mark A. White, chief curator, FJJMA; Ambassador Cynthia Schneider, distinguished professor in the practice of diplomacy, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service; and Richard T. Arndt, Advisory Council co-chair of Americans for UNESCO, and chair of the U.S. Steering Committee, Fulbright Association.

A full symposium program is available on the museum's website at www.ou.edu/fjjma.