An Examination of a 2009 Guggenheim Museum Exhibition



The art of the east has influenced twentieth century American art to a remarkable degree, and yet this fact is often overlooked or only briefly acknowledged by art historians. In 2009 the Guggenheim Museum mounted an extraordinary exhibition entitled, “The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia: 1860 to 1989." We will examine these American artists and their works with the aid of the large and lavishly illustrated exhibition catalog, and will also consider the historical background, academic controversies, and cultural implications of this artistic fusion of east and west as we read essays from the text, published reviews, and additional materials to be provided by the instructor. Among the artists we will discuss are Morris Graves, Mark Tobey, John Cage, Brice Marsden, Isamu Noguchi, Robert Rauschenberg, Arthur Dow, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollack, Franz Klein, John LaFarge, James McNeill Whistler, and, of course, Frank Lloyd Wright—architect of the Guggenheim.