Loretta Howard Gallery is pleased to present The Lure of Paris. Driven by the city’s rich artistic history and funded largely by the GI bill, American artists took root in Paris starting after 1945. As excerpted from the exhibition essay by Sol Ostrow:
In the 1950s, with the triumph of the New York School, the United States for the first time in history had produced visual art of international consequence. Yet, artists from the United States and from all over Europe continued to flock to Paris just as the center of the western art world was shifting to New York,. Funded by the GI Bill, those from the States came with the intent of studying at such schools as the Académie Julian, Académie de la Grande Chaumièr and L’ecole des Beaux Arts, or at the atelier of Jacques Villon or Fernand Leger’s Studio. Their reasons varied. Some saw it as an opportunity to be cosmopolitan or to satisfy their wanderlust; others may have imagined the Paris of Le Jazz Hot, café society, and the romance of the pre-war avant-garde, or the chance to see works by Vuillard, Bonnard, Matisse, etc., that they knew only from black and white reproductions. In most cases the women artists had accompanied their significant others, while like the generation before them, the Afro-American artists, sought to escape the racism that was endemic in the States.