Exhibition set to open May 7, 2021
Asheville, N.C.—Old World/New Soil: Foreign-Born American Artists from the Asheville Art Museum Collection features ceramics, glass, paintings, sculptures, fiber art, and more. This exhibition coincides with Our Strength Is Our People: The Humanist Photographs of Lewis Hine. Both exhibitions will be on view in the Asheville Art Museum’s Appleby Foundation Exhibition Hall May 7 through August 2, 2021.
Inspired by the book Immigrant Gifts to American Life: Some Experiments in Appreciation of the Contributions of Our Foreign-Born Citizens to American Culture written in 1932 by Allen H. Eaton, a contemporary of Lewis Hine, the exhibition Old World/New Soil calls attention to the collection of works the Museum has acquired from artists who came to the United States either at their own prompting or out of necessity. Just as they adopted America as their new home, we have in turn embraced them, their creative output, and their artwork.
“This exhibition proudly displays artwork by those that chose the United States as their home but were not born here, in an American art museum,” says Whitney Richardson, associate curator. “I hope Old World/New Soil encourages visitors to not only see this country through the eyes of these artists, but also to appreciate the creativity they brought to us and shared. Many artists in this exhibition went on to teach in the US and influenced the next generation of Americans.”
Artists featured include Betty Waldo Parish (Cologne, Germany 1910–1986 New York, NY), Christian Burchard (Hamburg, Germany 1955–Present Ashland, Oregon), Hiroshi Sueyoshi (Tokyo, Japan 1946–Present Wilmington, NC), Hubert Walters (Jamaica 1931–2008 Troutman, NC), Isac Friedlander (Mitau, Latvia 1890–1968 New York, NY), José Chardiet (Havana, Cuba 1955–Present Royal Oak, MI), José De Creeft (Guadalajara, Spain 1884–1982 New York, NY), Lore Kadden Lindenfeld (Wuppertal, Germany 1921–Princeton, NJ 2010; Black Mountain College student 1945–1948), René Pinchuk (Zurich, Switzerland 1929–Present Detroit, MI; Black Mountain College student 1946), and more. Old World/New Soil: Foreign-Born American Artists from the Asheville Art Museum Collection is curated by Associate Curator Whitney Richardson.
The complementary exhibition, Our Strength Is Our People: The Humanist Photographs of Lewis Hine, is a moving exhibition of 65 rare vintage or early prints surveying Lewis Hine’s life’s work documenting the travails and triumphs of immigration and labor. It culminates in his magnificent, oversized photographs of the construction of the Empire State Building in 1931.