JON CORBINO.  American, 1905/1964 - Bull at Topsfield Fair, 1937 - Oil on canvas Courtesy of the Mint Museum  - Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Morris Speizman

Charlotte, NC - American Scene: Selections from the Permanent Collection of American Art features works from American masters from the first half of the twentieth century such as Charles Burchfield, Bernice Abbott, Thomas Hart Benton and Norman Rockwell. Minnie Deschamps, Eugene Thomason, Jon Corbino, and many other regional artists will also be on view. All media that defined early, modern American art will be represented: paintings, prints, photographs and unique works on paper. On view through 9 November, 2008 at The Mint Museum.

American Scene: Selections from the Permanent Collection of American Art explores many areas that defined the American Scene Era: Social Realism, Regionalism and works created under federal programs such as the WPA. This will be the first exhibition focusing on this genre drawn from The Mint Museum's permanent collection of American Art in more than 15 years.

Jon Corbino, born in Sicily 37 years ago, was brought to the U.S. as a child of eight, reared in Manhattan's lower East Side. What Painter Corbino learned of the Renaissance and Romantic painters of Europe, to whom he is often compared, he got entirely from U.S. museums and reproductions. He worked his way through Manhattan's Art Students League and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts taking jobs as a dishwasher, cook and soda jerker, kept on painting in his own way, modeled his methods not on the French Impressionists or the U.S. Realists, but upon Delacroix and Tintoretto.

New Deal Art During the Great Depression

EUGENE THOMASON.  American, 1895-1972 Boy with Chrysanthemums, circa 1936-1937 Oil on canvas Gift of A. Everett and Jeanette Cross James On May 6, 1935, the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) was created to help provide economic relief to the citizens of the United States who were suffering through the Great Depression. The artistic community had already become inspired during the 1920s and '30s by the revitalization of the Italian Renaissance fresco style by the inspired creations of Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueriros. Certain visionary U.S. politicians decided to combine the creativity of the new art movements with the values of the American people. The Federal Art Project was one of the divisions of the W.P.A. created under Federal Project One. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had made several attempts prior to the F.A.P. to provide employment for artists on relief, namely the Public Works of Art Project (P.W.A.P.) which operated from 1933 to 1934 and the Treasury Department Section of Painting and Sculpture which was created in 1934 after the demise of the P.W.A.P. However, it was the F.A.P. which provided the widest reach, creating over 5,000 jobs for artists and producing over 225,000 works of art for the American people.

It is this legacy of the thousands of workers who labored at their craft for little money but great pride which we have to inspire us today. Although many of these works of art have been destroyed or stolen, those that remain must be preserved. They stand as a reminder of a time in our country’s history when dreams were not allowed to be destroyed by economic disaster.

For more information on the works in this exhibition, go to the Mint Wiki at and select the link to the exhibition. The Mint Wiki is a service of The Mint Museums Library.  Organized by: The Mint Museum

The Mint Museum of Art is located at 2730 Randolph Road in Charlotte. Hours are Tuesday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. Admission is FREE at the Mint Museum of Art from 5 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays.

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Pause For Thought

St. Francis on Work

"He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist."