John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art 2018, Part 6: Modernism, Race, and George Bellows at the National Gallery of Art
Charles Brock, associate curator, department of American and British paintings, National Gallery of Art. When Both Members of This Club by George Bellows was placed on view at the National Gallery of Art in January 1945 at the behest of Gallery benefactor Chester Dale, it became the first significant work by an American modernist painter to be featured in the permanent collection. Speaking at the second annual John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art, held on March 23, 2018, at the National Gallery of Art, Charles Brock discusses how this unsettling depiction of a violent interracial boxing match was acquired when there was little American or modern painting of any kind at the Gallery and established an important precedent for later efforts to better represent the diverse achievements of American modernism. The John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art is made possible by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.