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Auburn in Lee County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Advancing American Art Collection

 
 
Advancing American Art Collection Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Darren Jefferson Clay, October 16, 2021
1. Advancing American Art Collection Marker
Inscription.  Auburn University's acquisition of paintings from the auction featured works by major artists of the day, including Arthur Dove, Lyonel Feininger, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Ben Shahn, together with significant examples by emerging artists. It became the cornerstone of a formative university art collection. More broadly, the collection acknowledges the value of public debate on art and the government's role in art patronage, topics that continue to challenge American discourse. For nearly 60 years, the collection was without a permanent location for public viewing. In 2003, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art opened, and Advancing American Art joined other works of art in a broad collection spanning more than three centuries. As a vital part of Auburn University and the greater community, the museum is entrusted by the citizens of Alabama to preserve, enhance, research, and interpret this collection.

In 1946, at the beginning of the Cold War, the U.S. Department of State assembled a group of modernist paintings by American artists to be exhibited throughout Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The purpose of
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this diplomatic initiative, called Advancing American Art, was to demonstrate the ascendancy of contemporary American art while promoting the freedom of expression that a democracy allows. Within a year of the first exhibition, the project was abruptly halted due to partisan criticism for using taxpayers' money to purchase the art, and some negative reactions among the public and media. Opponents took issue with the mostly abstract or expressionistic styles used to portray American life, along with the leftist views of some of the artists. Following the collection's return from abroad, it was auctioned off as surplus property, together with a related group of watercolors. Auburn University, then known as Alabama Polytechnic Institute, acquired 36 of the 117 paintings in the sale.
 
Erected 2018 by the Auburn Heritage Association.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicWar, Cold.
 
Location. 32° 35.312′ N, 85° 29.042′ W. Marker is in Auburn, Alabama, in Lee County. Marker is on Woodfield Drive, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 105 Woodfield Dr, Auburn AL 36830, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Cullars Rotation / The Alvis Field and Cotton Rust (about 400 feet
Advancing American Art Collection Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Darren Jefferson Clay, October 16, 2021
2. Advancing American Art Collection Marker
away, measured in a direct line); The Old Rotation (approx. 0.4 miles away); Founders' Oak (approx. half a mile away); Auburn University and the Alabama Farmers Federation (approx. 0.6 miles away); Pine Hill Cemetery (approx. 0.9 miles away); Desegregation at Auburn (approx. one mile away); Auburn University (approx. 1.1 miles away); Auburn WWI Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Auburn.
 
Advancing American Art Collection Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Darren Jefferson Clay, October 16, 2021
3. Advancing American Art Collection Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 16, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. This page has been viewed 256 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 16, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 3, 2024