Announcement: Exhibitions at the Hillstrom Museum of Art feature works by Stuart Davis, Ralston Crawford, Oscar Bluemner, and George Ault


The Hillstrom Museum of Art presents concurrent exhibits on view from September 19 through November 6, 2022.  These include another of the Museum’s FOCUS IN/ON projects, considering George Ault’s 1921 drawing Lower Broadway (George Ault’s Lower Broadway and His Traumatic Career), plus a trio of focused exhibits from the Vilcek Foundation in New York: Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs, Oscar Bluemner’s Sonnet Series, and Stuart Davis in Black and White.  

The Museum’s FOCUS IN/ON projects feature a single work from the Hillstrom Collection that is analyzed in depth in collaboration with a colleague from across the Gustavus Adolphus College curriculum.

American artist George Ault (1891-1948) is often associated with Precisionism, a form of art characterized by industrial or architectural subjects indicated with abstracted forms with crisp contours.  Ault’s 1921 drawing Lower Broadway, is considered in an exhibition essay co-written by Marie Walker, Professor and Chair of Psychological Science, and Donald Myers, Director of the Hillstrom Museum of Art and Instructor of Art and Art History.  The FOCUS IN/ON project explores artist Ault, his work, and the chronic mental health issues that plagued him throughout his career.  Ault suffered numerous mental traumas, including the loss of all three of his brothers and a sister-in-law to suicide, and Ault’s own sudden death was also ruled a suicide.

An illustrated brochure includes the FOCUS IN/ON essay by Walker and Myers and is available free of charge at the Museum.  A pdf version of the brochure will be available on the Museum website at

FOCUS IN/ON: George Ault’s Lower Broadway and His Traumatic Career is on view during the 2022 Nobel Conference of Gustavus Adolphus College, titled Mental Health (In)Equity and Young People, held September 28-29, 2022.  Professor Walker is faculty co-chair of this year’s Conference.

Concurrent with the FOCUS IN/ON exhibit is the trio of exhibits organized by the Vilcek Foundation in New York City, featuring the works of three American Modernists, a primary focus of the Foundation’s art collection.

The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia.  The Foundation seeks to raise awareness of immigrant contributions in the United States and to foster appreciation of the arts and sciences.  The Foundation also uses its art collection as an expression of its commitment to diverse perspectives, principally through art exhibitions.

Two of the three artists featured in these Vilcek exhibits were immigrants to the United States. Ralston Crawford (1906-1978), born in St. Catherines, Ontario, is known for his abstracted images of urban life and industry, and is associated with Precisionism, a style that features sharply defined, precise, geometrical forms.  The works on view relate to the confluence of two series by the artists, his images of torn signs and his images related to his experience of Holy Week in Seville, Spain.

Oscar Bluemner (1867-1938), also an immigrant, born in Prenzlau, Germany, is recognized for his Modernist approach that drew from German Expressionism and from Cubism. Drawings on view were made as sketches for a group of 12 planned paintings featuring stylized landscape and cityscape imagery that were to be coupled with 12 sonnets by poet and sculptor Eirene Mungo-Park.

Stuart Davis (1892-1964) was born in Philadelphia. Despite early training in the realist traditions of the Ashcan School, he became a major proponent of Modernism as well as Cubism, and was known for his proto-Pop images. The trio of Davis works on view consider his long- standing fascination with mirror reflections and views through car windows.

Regular Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and weekends, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.  All exhibitions and related programming are free and open to the public.

Further information can be found at

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