Huntsville, Ala – The Huntsville Museum of Art, with major support from corporate sponsors Davidson Technologies and PNC, is pleased to present An American Romantic: The Art of Luigi Lucioni, opening July 10 and on view through September 25.
An American Romantic will present approximately 50 oil paintings and etchings by Italian-born painter Luigi Lucioni (1900-1988), recognized today as one of the finest American Scene artists of the mid-20th century. The works are borrowed from private and public institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Telfair Museum in Savannah, and the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester. It will be presented along with the exhibition Homeland: Photographs by Barry M. Goldwater, providing TWO VIEWS OF HOME.
“It’s important for PNC to collaborate with organizations like the Huntsville Museum of Art and Davidson Technologies to support impactful arts programming in the region,” said PNC Regional President Brian Bucher. “Public-private partnership and support for a vibrant cultural scene can help drive regional economic growth, while also enriching the lives of individuals and families in Alabama.”
Lucioni came to the U.S. in 1911 with his family, studying at Cooper Union Art School and the National Academy of Design. In 1930, his most important patron, Electra Havemeyer Webb, commissioned him to paint a Vermont landscape for her daughter’s wedding and invited him to stay at the family’s summer estate in Shelburne. In 1932, he and his two sisters moved to Manchester Center, where he resided until his passing in 1988.
The state’s verdant mountainous terrain had such a profound effect on him that he later exclaimed: “I was reborn in this majestic setting, and I fell in love with Vermont.”
In 1932, Lucioni received significant recognition when The Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased Pears with Pewter, making him the first and youngest contemporary American artist to have a painting acquired by The Met.
“Having established the single largest collection of works by Lucioni during my tenure at the Southern Vermont Arts Center,” said Christopher J. Madkour, the Huntsville Museum of Art’s Executive Director, “I’m especially looking forward to now sharing his tremendous talent and art with the South and residents of The Tennessee Valley.”
Regionalism, also known as American Scene painting, was an art movement popular in America from the 1920s through the early 1950s. The movement encompassed artists who shunned city life and technological advances in favor of depicting scenes of the American countryside and rural life. During The Great Depression, Regionalist art was widely appreciated for those reassuring images.
Over the course of his long career, Lucioni produced countless paintings and etchings depicting the rolling landscape of his adopted home. Like many of his fellow Regionalist artists such as Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry, his work was marketed through Associated American Artists in New York.
The Museum will host an exclusive MEMBERS’ PREVIEW PARTY Saturday, July 9, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Author and Lucioni expert Stuart P. Embury will offer insights into the artist’s work. Barry Goldwater’s daughter Joanne will share personal anecdotes about her father’s love for photographing the land and people of Arizona. Following the presentation, attendees will enjoy a reception from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on the gallery level. Tickets for members are $30 and $50 for nonmembers. Those interested may call the Museum at 256-535-4350 ext. 208.
This exhibition is organized by the Huntsville Museum of Art. Exhibition sponsors include Sally and Robert Arthur, Alice Cheney, Jane and Pete Childs, Marty Childs, Betsy and Peter Lowe, Christopher J. Madkour, Bill McMillen, Rose Napolitano, Mrs. Linda Oskam, Signa Read, Barbara Riley, Elisabeth Sturges, and Ruth Yates.
Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m. The Museum is also open Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. The Museum is closed on Mondays and some major holidays. General admission is FREE for members and children 5 and under; $10 for adult nonmembers; $8 for military, teachers, and seniors with a valid ID; $5 for children ages 6 and up and students; and $7 per person for groups of 10 or more. For more information, visit www.hsvmuseum.org or call 256-535-4350.