Cult of the Machine: Precisionism and American Art

September 16, 2018 to January 6, 2019 | Chilton II Gallery
Charles Demuth, Buildings, 1930–1931, tempera and plumbago on composition board, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase Fund, Deaccession Funds/City of Dallas (by exchange) in honor of Dr. Steven A. Nash, 1988.21"Skyscraper" Cocktail Shaker and Lid, c. 1928–1931, William Waldo Dodge, Jr. (Designer), Silver, Dallas Museum of Art, The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange, 2008.48.1.A-BCharles Sheeler, Suspended Power, 1939, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Edmund J. Kahn, 1985.143

Cult of the Machine examines American culture from the 1910s to the Second World War and reveals how the American love affair with new technology and mechanization shaped architecture, design, and the visual culture of the United States. This tour-de-force presentation includes key paintings by American Precisionists such as Charles Sheeler, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Charles Demuth, and iconic works by the masters of straight photography such as Paul Strand, Berenice Abbott, and Edward Steichen. Their creations were highly structured, geometric compositions with smooth surfaces and lucid forms that sought to mimic a streamlined, “machined” aesthetic, with themes ranging from the urban and industrial to the pastoral. Reconciling realist imagery with abstracted forms, Precisionism married the influence of avant-garde European art styles such as Purism, Cubism, and Futurism with American subject matter.

Cult of the Machine: Precisionism and American Art requires a $16 ticket with discounts for seniors, students, and military. DMA Members and children 11 and under are free.

Programs

Late Night Talk: Cult of the Machine: Precisionism and American Art

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DMA curator Sue Canterbury will talk about the new exhibition Cult of the Machine: Precisionism and American Art, which examines American culture from the 1910s to the Second World War and reveals how the American love affair with new technology and mechanization shaped architecture, design, and the visual culture of the United States. 

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Late Night Talk: Deco Cool

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Join architecture historian Kate Holliday for a talk about Art Deco design in the new exhibition Cult of the Machine: Precisionism and American Art. Holliday will discuss the defining characteristics of the Art Deco style and how it reflects American values in the early 20th century. 

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Exhibition Talk: Architecture in the Machine Age

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Join architecture historian Carol Willis for a talk about the skyscraper boom of the early 20th century and notable buildings featured in the new exhibition Cult of the Machine: Precisionism and American Art. 

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Gallery Talk: Machine Art

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Join UT Dallas photography professor Marilyn Waligore to explore the photographs on view in Cult of the Machine: Precisionism in American ArtTake a closer look at photographs by some of the leading artists of the early 20th century and find out why they were so interested in industrial subject matter. ​

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