Society for sanity in art


Founded in Chicago by Josephine Hancock Logan in 1936, the Society for Sanity in Art was opposed to all forms of modernism, including abstract expressionism, surrealism, and many other changes going on in the world at that time. Branches of the group established themselves all around the country. Haig Patigian, a San Francisco sculptor and member of that city???s Bohemian Club, was an influential supporter of the Society and served as its president in the 1940s. Other artists associated with the group, or recipients of its awards were: William Winthrop Ward (1901-1985); Florence Louise Bryant (1890-1968); Henry (Percy) Gray (1869-1952); Rudolph F. Ingerle (1879-1950); Frank Montague Moore (1877-1967); Thomas Hill (1829-1908); Frank C. Peyraud (1858-1948); Theodore Wores (1859-1939); and Chauncey Foster Ryder (1868-1949). Margaret Fitzhugh Browne founded the local chapter of the Society for Sanity in Art in Boston. Some current societies of artists had their origins with the Society for Sanity in Art. California painter Sam Hyde Harris (1889-1977) during the 1940s was strongly aligned with a group of artists who disparaged aspects of the modern art movement, and they formed a chapter of the organization, later to be renamed Artists of the Southwest. In 1939, a western branch of the Society for Sanity in Art changed its name to the Society of Artists, and later to the Society of Western Artists (SWA), which was eventually to become the largest representational art society west of the Mississippi. (LPD)

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