In 1929, the Museum of Modern Art opened its doors, showing the
astonishing paintings of Picasso, Matisse, and other avant garde
artists. Young American artists quickly responded by experimenting
with impressionism, cubism, and abstraction.
In Monumental Dreams, author Caroline Seebohm tells the riveting
story of how Ann Norton (1905 1982) a child of the South who had
eschewed her Alabama roots to become a sculptor in New York City
joined this new guard. She studied with John Hovannes and Jose de
Creeft and was studio assistant to Alexander Archipenko. Her work
was well received, and by age 35, she had already participated in
group shows at MOMA and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Despite her burgeoning career, Norton found New York a difficult
place to live. In search of paying work, she moved to Florida,
where she became a teacher at the Norton Gallery and School of Art,
founded by retired Acme Steel president Ralph Hubbard Norton. The
two built a relationship based on love as well as common aesthetic
values, and after his death, she built her finest and lasting work.
Today, her monolithic sculptures in the spirit of Stonehenge, Henry
Moore, and Buddhist temple art can be admired in the Ann Norton
Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach, Florida."
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