aa1One of the things I wanted to do on this trip is visit more of the great museums London has on offer than I have in the past. Sure, I have visited many of the city’s great museums over the years, but I wanted to make a point to visit more and take in special exhibitions as well as permanent collection. First up was the America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.
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About America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s at the Royal Academy of Arts: “The art of 1930s America tells the story of a nation in flux. Artists responded to rapid social change and economic anxiety with some of the 20th century’s most powerful art – brought together now in this once-in-a-generation show. These 45 truly iconic works paint an electrifying portrait of this transformative period. These are works which have rarely been seen together, by artists ranging from Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper to Thomas Hart Benton, Philip Guston and more. Perhaps the most celebrated work of them all, Grant Wood’s iconic American Gothic (1930), has never left North American shores before.”

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OK, I know what you are thinking, why haul my cookies to London to see American art? Well, first, it just happened that this exhibition was on while I was here, and second, it is great collection of amazing art. It was a kick to see American Gothic (above right) outside of its home at Chicago’s Art Institute (another of my favorite places) on its first ever showing in Europe.

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aa2But as a huge fan Edward Hopper, it was great to see some of his great works up close as well – including Gas (right) which depicts a depression-era gas service station, on loan from New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).x

As funny as it may seem, seeing these great American works outside of the country brings a different perspective, but then again that could be just be my pretentious self speaking. But, seriously, this art in any context is amazing.
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