"Max Weber and the Figure" at Philbrook

Nov 8, 2012

On this edition of our show, we speak with Catherine Whitney, who's been the Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa for the past couple of years now. Whitney tells us about a remarkable show that just recently opened at Philbrook called "Models & Muses: Max Weber and the Figure." (It's on view at the museum through February 3rd, 2013.) Max Weber is a name known fairly well by art buffs near and far, but the work of this early-to-middle-20th-century American modernist is less familiar than that of many of his contemporaries (who included everyone from Picasso and Henri Rousseau to Alfred Stieglitz and de Kooning). This fine exhibit --- locally, at least --- will surely change that. As we read of this show at the Philbrook website: "This exhibition, originated by Philbrook, will trace Weber's stylistic evolutions as an artist through the medium of figure painting, exploring how the model helped him to negotiate tradition and innovation in his studies and teachings. Furthermore, the exhibition will examine if the figure as muse offered Weber a sort of academic solace or place of refuge during periods of critical disfavor and great social upheaval in America. Bringing together works from public and private collections, as well as from the Estate of Max Weber, the exhibition will spotlight how this immigrant artist, greatly inspired by French modernism, established a solid and inventive voice through figure painting, ultimately becoming an important teacher and insurgent artist during a period around the World Wars."