Life in the Art World: Life Magazine and Modern American Art


Thursday, October 24, 2019 6:30PM


Life in the Art World: Life Magazine and Modern American Art


This is the fourth and final program in the Mid-Century Master lecture series.


LIFE magazine was a champion of American modernism, actively promoting the work of a wide range of twentieth-century artists and architects, including Thomas Hart Benton, Georgia O'Keeffe, Stuart Davis, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Lloyd Wright. This lecture will place Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photography in the context of both LIFE's commissions and weekly coverage of American art. Looking at the magazine's varied collaborations with artists, architects, curators, and critics, Dr. Renn will show how Life magazine shaped both the public and the critical reception of modern art and architecture in the United States.


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ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Melissa Renn is Collections Manager, HBS Art and Artifacts Collection, Harvard Business School. Dr. Renn has published on American art from the 18th to the 20th century, with a specialty in American modernism. She is co-author, with Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., of American Paintings at Harvard, Volume One: Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels by Artists Born Before 1826 (2014).

Dr. Renn has published widely on LIFE magazine, including, “Life’s Pioneer Painters: Dorothy Seiberling and American Art in Life Magazine, 1949-1968,” in Rachel Esner and Sandra Kisters, eds., The Mediatization of the Artist (2018); “‘An Enduring Record’: Peter Hurd’s Art for Life Magazine," in Kirsten M. Jensen, ed., Magical and Real: Henriette Wyeth and Peter Hurd, A Retrospective (2018); “Life in Color: Life Magazine and the Color Reproduction of Works of Art,” in Regina Lee Blaszczyk and Uwe Spiekermann, eds., Bright Modernity: Color, Commerce, and Consumer Culture (2017); and “‘The Famous Iwo Flag-Raising’: Iwo Jima Revisited,” in History of Photography (2015). She is the co-author, with Adair Margo, of Tom Lea, Life Magazine, and World War II (2016).



Life in the Art World: Life Magazine and Modern American Art


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