Yale University Art Gallery: It Was a New Century: Reflections on Modern America
Standout works by turn-of-the-twentieth-century American artists capture the energy and spirit of a nation in flux
It Was a New Century: Reflections on Modern America presents a fresh view of the dawn of the modern age through nearly 60 late 19th- and early 20th-century American paintings, prints, drawings, and watercolors on loan to the Yale University Art Gallery from a private collection. The new century saw the acceleration of America’s already dizzying transformation into an industrial power, which had defining effects on the nation’s art and culture. Technological innovations improved the quality of life for many—even as American cities grew larger, denser, and tougher—and artists embraced both the glamour and grittiness of urban life as a quintessentially modern subject. Opening with the bustling street and colorful flags of Childe Hassam’s Avenue of the Allies (1918), the exhibition is organized thematically, addressing the leading artistic ideas of the day as well as the underlying preoccupations that drove them.