Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism
New Exhibition Opening at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Dale Nichols, January, 1935, oil on canvas, courtesy the Williams College Museum of Art
Salt Lake City, UT – The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) is pleased to present Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism, a retrospective exhibition of paintings by American illustrator and painter Dale Nichols (1904-1995). The exhibition will be on view from September 28, 2012 to March 18, 2013 in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building at the University of Utah.
Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism comes to the UMFA from The Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art in David City, Nebraska, where it was originally organized by Amanda Mobley Guenther. The exhibition was re-imagined for the UMFA by Donna Poulton, curator of the art of Utah and the West, and will showcase more than twenty works spanning much of the artist’s long career.
Dale Nichols is regarded as one of the four major American Regionalist artists alongside Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton and John Steuart Curry. The work of these four men, created in the Midwest during the Great Depression, defined a period when artists turned to nature and everyday scenes to create a uniquely American style of art.
Raised on a rural farm in Nebraska, Nichols spent most of his career creating stylized paintings of familiar landscapes and scenes from his youth: red barns, deep snow, and farmers hard at work. Many of Nichols’ works on view in Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism honor the agrarian ideal, and provided an image of hope for a struggling nation.
Nichols received art instruction at the Arts Institute of Chicago and gained early recognition for his magazine cover illustrations in House and Garden and The Saturday Evening Post. During the 1920s and 1930s, Nichols worked as a professor and became the Carnegie Professor in Art at the University of Illinois. In the 1940s he indulged his wanderlust by traveling repeatedly to Alaska and spending extended periods of time in Guatemala and Mexico. Visitors to Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism will have the opportunity to experience paintings from each of these periods.
“Nichols' stylized paintings of agrarian themes capture a mood and time that is neither sentimental nor nostalgic,” says Donna Poulton, UMFA curator of the art of Utah and the West. “He portrays the real work of farmers and their environment in twentieth century America.”
Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism is generously sponsored by the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation; the Ray, Quinney & Nebeker Foundation; and the UMFA Special Exhibitions Council.For more information about this exhibition and others coming to the UMFA this fall, visit www.umfa.utah.edu.