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22nd Annual American Art Conference- The New: Modern, Modernity, Modernism

Initiatives in Art and Culture

Friday, May 19, 2017 at 8:30 AM - Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 8:00 PM (EDT)

22nd Annual American Art Conference- The New: Modern,...

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Full price
All conference activities;
May 20, 2017 $350.00 $20.24
Student ticket
All conference activities are included. Must show proof of full-time student status.
May 20, 2017 $100.00 $6.49
Educator and Museum Professionals   more info May 20, 2017 $160.00 $9.79
One day rate May 20, 2017 $200.00 $11.99
Early-bird rate Mar 20, 2017 $250.00 $14.74

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Event Details


The New: Modern, modernity, Modernism

 22nd Annual American Art Conference 

Friday, May 19 – Saturday, May 20, 2017



Register online: https: // or call 646-485-1952

Special early-bird rate: $250 (in lieu of $350) 

Museum professionals and educators’ rate (with ID): $160

Student rate (with ID): $100



Modern, modernity, Modernism: the significance of these terms change as society, language and perception change. What was modern in 1824 is staid in 1862, as demonstrated the comparison of Cotopaxi by Frederic Edwin Church (a student of Cole's) to James Abbott McNeil Whistler's tonal Symphony in White, No 1: The White Girl both painted the same year. Although recognized as fresh for their era, these works too seem dated and conventional to the 1950's trained eye, and the radical movements of the mid- 20th century now seem as staid and conventional when juxtaposed with expressions of early 21st-century art. 

 In Initiatives in Art and Culture's 22nd Annual American Art Conference, we consider what was viewed as "modern" in a given time defined as "of or relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past." We explore what stunned people or was considered revolutionary, fully aware that some of the artists and works are or were underappreciated. We will consider the idea of modernity, a term Charles Baudelaire is credited with coining in his 1864 essay "The Painter of Modern Life." Central aspects of modernity are the artist's responsibility to capture the experience of life in an urban metropolis, openness to the novelty of the future, and "a questioning or rejection of tradition." Modernism generally refers to a specific movement characterized by a tendency to abstraction seeking to better represent a new, more industrialized world. 

 This consideration begins with Thomas Cole and his revolutionary approach to depicting the grandeur and rugged natural beauty of the American wilderness propelled by his belief in conservation and fear of environmental damage to the wilderness. A century later the work of  the Precisionists, and the Constructivists, are explorations of abstraction, as ironically, are the synthesized landscapes of  Regionalists. Innovative approaches do not stop with composition, approach, and subject matter. They are evident in framing, in new techniques and approaches to the reversible conservation of art, and in the new technologies resulting in the creation of 3D models and of using different CAD tools that allow artists explore reality with new and expanded dimensionality, previously inconceivable.


Among those who have agreed to participate are (as of February 8, 2017):


William C. Agee, Evelyn Kranes Kossak Professor Emeritus of Art History, Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY)

Amanda Burdan, ‎Associate Curator, Brandywine River Museum

Randall R. Griffey, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tommy LiPuma, legendary collector of Modernist works

David Mandel, President, Heydenryk Frames

Barbara Novak, Helen Goodhart Altschul Professor of Art History Emerita, Barnard College and Columbia University

Lou Salerno, Owner and President, Questroyal Fine Art and Blakelock authority

Hannah Sigur, Author, Influence of Japanese Art on Design (2008) and professor in the Art History department, University of California, Davis

Suzanne Smeaton, frame consultant and historian

Catherine Whitney, Chief Curator and Curator of American Art, Philbrook Museum of Art

Karen Wilkin, A New York-based curator and critic specializing in 20th-century modernism


 Captions from Top to Bottom:

Alexandre Hogue, Studio Corner-Taos, 1927, Oil on canvas mounted on panel, 29" x 27", Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Thomas Cole, Falls of the Kaaterskill, oil on canvas, 1826, 43 x 36 in., The Westervelt-Warner Museum of American Art, Tuscaloosa, AL; Henry Kirke Brown, La Grazia, modeled ca. 1844, cast ca. 1850, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Henry Kirke Bush-Brown;  Marsden HartleyCanuck Yankee Lumberjack at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 1940–41, oil on Masonite-type hardboard, 40 1/8 × 30 in., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution; James Abbott McNeil, Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl, 1862 oil on canvas, 7′ 0″ x 3′ 7″ National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.  



Notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to Initiatives in Art and Culture at 333 East

57th Street, Suite 13B New York, New York 10022 or via email prior to

April 21, 2017


Program subject to change

Have questions about 22nd Annual American Art Conference- The New: Modern, Modernity, Modernism? Contact Initiatives in Art and Culture

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When & Where

New York, NY

Friday, May 19, 2017 at 8:30 AM - Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 8:00 PM (EDT)

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Initiatives in Art and Culture

Initiatives in Arts and Culture (IAC) is an organization committed to educating diverse audiences in the fine, decorative, and visual arts. IAC's primary activities are conferences, publications, and exhibitions. These take an interdisciplinary approach, considering issues related to fabrication, connoisseurship, cultural patrimony, cultural preservation, and the future of culture. Particular areas of emphasis include American painting, the history of frames, the Arts and Crafts movement, the influence of Asian cultures on American fine and decorative art, and the history and future of fashion and materials. IAC’s projects have been supported by a wide array of individual, corporate and foundation funders.

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