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Gallery East will exhibit 'populist' American art

Art for the Masses, an exhibit of prints by Associated American Artists, will be on view at USU-CEU Gallery East from Sept. 7 through 30. The exhibition features 24 prints by AAA artists created between 1934 and 1958.

The Associated American Artists was founded in 1934 by Reeves Lewenthal as a gallery and art enterprise. Lewenthal opened a gallery in New York City to market and sell art to the middle classes in the form of prints and later as home furnishings. When he opened his gallery, he met with notable America artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood to produce editions of lithographs which he would sell to middle-class buyers at $5 a piece and $2 per frame; the artists would receive $200 for their editions. The idea was to combine quality and affordability for profit.

Lewenthal saw the populist appeal of these prints and marketed them as educational resources, as a patriotic choice, and as "art for the people" rather than "art for the wealthy."

This collection of 24 prints is on loan for exhibition from Utah State University's Special Collections & Archives. Noel Carmack, Gallery East director, says he feels fortunate to have art of such caliber at Gallery East: An opening reception will be held on September 10, from 7-9 PM. The gallery is free and open to the public during the academic year.

Gallery East's Fall 2010 hours are: Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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