‘New York, New York!’ Hyde exhibit explores 20th century Big Apple (with photo gallery)

This summer, the Hyde Collection is celebrating New York City and remembering the tragedy of 9/11 wi

This summer, the Hyde Collection is celebrating New York City and remembering the tragedy of 9/11 with “Summer & The City,” a series of lectures, exhibits, performances and community events all with a New York theme.

Through Sept. 18, the Glens Falls art museum is showing “New York, New York! The 20th Century,” a traveling exhibit from the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Fla.

In the exhibit, 62 works — including oil paintings, photographs, drawings, watercolors and etchings — depict various aspects of this iconic American city and human interaction with it.

The Hyde’s executive director, David Setford, was familiar with the works in the exhibit, as he was the Norton’s curator for a decade.

‘New York, New York! The 20th Century’

WHERE: The Hyde Collection, 161 Warren St., Glens Falls

WHEN: Through Sept. 18, Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.

HOW MUCH: $12 adults; $8 seniors and students; children under 14 free

MORE INFO: 762-1761, www.hydecollection.org

“When we were offered the show by the Norton a couple of years ago, I was very excited, because I know that the quality is so high,” he said.

The Norton and Hyde families were contemporaries who both collected art in New York at the same time. “They both cut their teeth in terms of collecting with American paintings,” Setford said.

Most of the art that the Nortons purchased depicted Manhattan, which was odd because the family was from Chicago. “It’s a very wonderful slant to compare the two collectors in a sense, and the different products made by different artists,” he said.

Five themes

This show has five themes: “On the Waterfront,” “Avenues and Streets,” “Tall Buildings,” “Parks and Recreation” and “On the Town.”

“It all kind of weaves together into this sort of tapestry of New York City as a subject of art,” said Erin Coe, the Hyde’s deputy director of curatorial affairs and programming.

“The works all speak to an aspect of New York City that is actually very accessible and instantly recognizable,” she said.

There are works showing New York’s famous skyline, views of its notable buildings and styles of architecture, depictions of the city’s parks, and images of people going out at night to have fun. New York became a magnet for artists in the 20th century, and it is no surprise that the city became the subject of so many of their works. Woven together, the five themes show how the city has changed over the past 100 years, and they also demonstrate how art evolved.

“The interaction between the physical changes in Manhattan and the development in artistic styles is interesting to look at,” Setford said.

Big names included

The earliest work in the show is Childe Hassam’s “A New York Blizzard” from 1889, while the latest is “42nd Street Times Square, Manhattan” from Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao’s 2005 series “Habitat 7.” The styles are many, including American Impressionism, Cubist, the Ashcan School. There is photography and sculpture. “There is a wide range of media and wide range of thought processes going on here, which is really entertaining,” Setford said.

There are plenty of big names, too. George Bellows, Stuart Davis, Andreas Feininger, Edward Hopper, George Luks, John Marin, Reginald Marsh and Paul Strand, to name a few.

Audio tour

For the first time, the museum is introducing an audio tour, narrated by Setford and Coe, to guide visitors through the exhibit. They can dial in on their cellphones and hear museum staff talk about the various works of art. There are also docent-led tours Thursdays through Sundays.

The Hyde also hopes to enhance the visitors’ experiences with multimedia and other exhibit-related events.

“We really added a lot of content and context to this exhibition that is going to make it more engaging, more enriching for visitors and more multifaceted,” Coe said.

Most notable is a seven-minute avant-garde film titled “Manhatta,” created by Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler in 1921. The film was recently digitally restored and will run on a continuous loop.

“It really ties this all together,” Setford said of the film, which shows in moving pictures some of the still images depicted by the artists and photographers in the exhibit.

“We think that being that busy and that frantic is a really contemporary thing,” he said. “But way back in 1922, they were that busy and that frantic. You can watch the film and see it.”

Remembering 9/11

Other events include a lecture on the Brooklyn Bridge by John Manbeck on July 24; on Aug. 18, Setford will speak about artist George Bellows.

On Sept. 11, in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Jim MacMillan, whose photo, “First Light, 09/12/01,” is in the exhibit, will be at the museum to talk about his photographs from his “Attack on New York” series.

“It’s one of his most striking images that he took in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks,” said Coe of “First Light.” “It emphasizes the enormity of the destruction.”

In honor of those who died in the attacks, museum admission is free on Sept. 11. First responders and their families will be admitted for free from Sept. 10 to 17.

“New York City is an icon, and this show deals in a very thoughtful way and a meaningful way with the iconography that comprises this metropolis, this great city, this urban center,” Coe said.

Categories: Life and Arts

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