Sunday, December 04, 2011

Walt Kuhn's Show Folk

 I just visited the Brooklyn Museum's current show, Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties and was struck by one of the paintings on display, Dressing Room by Walt Kuhn (see below) so I did some research and here is what I found. Walt Kuhn (1877–1949) was an American painter and an organizer of the Armory Show in 1913, which was the first ever modern art show. According to art blog, Tartuffe's Folly, he's best known for his poignant and slightly eerie portraits of circus and vaudeville performers, reminiscent of the commedia dell'arte actor portraits once popularized by the French masters. The magic and intrigue of the circus fueled his imagination and directed his career. In his later years, he would obsessively attend such performances night after night. These portraits of circus and vaudeville entertainers are some of the most memorable works of early American Modernism. 

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