The Great Search: Art in a Time of Change, 1928–1945

The Great Search: Art in a Time of Change, 1928–1945 surveys the period from the beginning of the Great Depression to the end of World War II to demonstrate how pluralism was a hallmark of the modern American art world.  Its title references American Art Now, the World’s Fair exhibition held in New York City in 1939.  Organizer Holger Cahill, then national director of the Federal Art Project, spoke in his address of the modern artist’s “search that takes many paths”—a yearning desire to seek out new and enduring forms that would aid democracy.  One of The Westmoreland’s best-known and loved paintings, Ernest Fiene’s Night Shift, Aliquippa (1936), was included in this pivotal presentation.  Drawn primarily from The Westmoreland’s collection, amplified by key loans from public and private collections, the exhibition will provide fresh insight into the individuals, experiences, and both new and traditional aesthetics that define American modern art.

This exhibition is organized by Jeremiah William McCarthy, Chief Curator, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art.

This multi-year, multi-institutional exhibition partnership formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art is made possible by the Art Bridges Cohort Program.