From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from The Vilcek Foundation Collection
Marsden Hartley, Berlin Series No. 1, 1913.
Oil on canvas board, H- 18 x W- 15 in. (45.7 x 38.1 cm). The Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection © The Vilcek Foundation

American art experienced radical change a century ago. A group of innovative, highly-individualistic artists broke with tradition to define a new art for the United States, an art expressing the energy, vitality, and singular identity of modern America. The artists who led that change are highlighted here through more than 60 masterworks from the 1910s to the 1960s by America’s first generation of abstract artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, and a dozen others.

The exhibition is organized into themes reflecting multiple pathways to Modernism. In “Nature” are images by artists, particularly those gathered around Alfred Stieglitz, who expressed an interest in the spiritual power of the natural world. “Town & Country” brings together views of the New York skyline and other structures of modern life, including bridges and the suburbs. “Cubism” shows how artists adapted the ideas and aesthetic of the European avant-garde to American subjects. “The Southwest” highlights artists who looked to regional scenes for distinctly American imagery. New Mexico in particular served as a spiritual and creative oasis for modern artists.

A century later, this art continues to inspire collectors Dr. Jan and Marica Vilcek. Emigrating from the former Czechoslovakia in the mid-1960s, they have established a foundation to raise awareness of foreign-born innovators in the arts and sciences who have made significant contributions to American society. They have made their collection accessible for the first time through this traveling exhibition, organized by the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma in cooperation with The Vilcek Foundation. We have supplemented the Vilcek Foundation Collection with additional paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe to further relate O’Keeffe to the work of her fellow modernists.

A selection of Masterworks from The Vilcek Foundation Collection

Max Weber (1881-1961), Still Life with Bananas
1909. Oil on canvas. Collection of Jan T. and Marica Vilcek, Promised Gift to The Vilcek Foundation
Andrew Dasburg (1887-1979), Ledoux Street
Taos, New Mexico (Harwood), c. 1922. Oil on paper board Collection of Jan T. and Marica Vilcek, Promised Gift to The Vilcek Foun
Howard Cook (1901-1980) Complex City, c. 1956.
Oil on canvas. Collection of Jan T. and Marica Vilcek. Promised Gift to The Vilcek Foundation
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), Lake George- Autumn, 1922.
Oil on canvas. Collection of Jan T. and Marica Vilcek, Promised Gift to The Vilcek Foundation
Stanton Macdonald-Wright (1890- 1973), Gestation #3, 1963
Oil on plywood Collection of Jan T. and Marica Vilcek, Promised Gift to The Vilcek Foundation Photograph courtesy of the Estate of Stanton Macdonald-Wright