Kenneth Stubbs
(American artist, 1907-1967)

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Society of Washington Artists Will Open 53d Annual Exhibition at Corcoran Today

The District's veteran art organization, The Society of Washington Artists, opens its fifty-third annual exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery this afternoon. Not only is this show an improvement over its immediate predecessor, but those who have followed these annuals for a number of years consider it one of the best within their recollection.

While the stringent policy doubtless caused some heartaches, the display was wisely kept down to a comfortable size in relation to the space offered, so that each work shown appears to good advantage. The jury of selection culled a little over 50 paintings from about 250 entries, and chose a couple of dozen sculptures to add to the assemblage. The result is a well-balanced group, conservative in the main, but certainly not lacking in talent and variety. Some comments in serious vein are offered, but the general aspect is cheerful. It is a show that does not aim to set the world on fire, but it may help to warm it a little.

The majority of entries are from the District, but there are several from the neighboring vicinity and from members of the society now living elsewhere. A certain flexibility is indicated by the presence of new names among the exhibitors.

Fewer Portraits on Display

The painting is for the most part objective and there is about the usual proportion of landscapes, still lifes and figure compositions. There seem to be fewer portraits than heretofore. There are relatively few show pieces and the little things obviously had as good a chance as the big ones.

Centered on one wall of the gallery is a painting by Sergt. Oke Nordgren, a member now in service, which attracts attention not because of the circumstances surrounding its creation, but because it is good. Entitled "Barrack Still Life," the work sent in from a military post is a well integrated and skillful composition that indicates how one artist turned soldier has made use of familiar subject matter and his brief leisure time.

As in some of the landscapes and flower compositions, a spring note is introduced in three circus paintings--Rowland Lyon's "Big Buffoonery," and two unusually good larger canvases by Sarah Baker and Paul Leland Thompson. There are a number of able still lifes, including Frances Foote's charming "Voughiogeny" and Lois M. Jones' "Still Life With Lobsters." Landscapes range from a typically tranquil work by the late Edgar Nye to Dagmar Wilson's warm "Virginia Spring." There are formal paintings, such as Andrea Zerega's "Portrait of Milon in Black" and Walter Tony Carnelli's "Nude." Two contrasting works, Charles Dunn's striking "Let Him Come Down from the Cross" and Alice Acheson's "Bread," a sketchy portrayal of an American soldier surrounded by hungry civilians, offer direct and effective comment on the war. There are such sensitive works as Kenneth Stubbs' "Chess Player," William Calfee's "Dark Bird," a portrait head by Mary Jane Corr (a remarkable advance over last year's entry), Pietro Lazzari's "Georgia Girl," and the slight, but individual "Fire Escape" by Hugh Collins. There are numerous others that contribute to a high average. Among the sculptures, work by Russell Houston and Ann Wolfe is perhaps outstanding.

[... paragraphs on another exhibition omitted ...]

Jane Watson, Washington Post, March 5, 1944, page S4