From the exhibition catalogue:
Great Periods of art had great collectors. These wee collectors of the art of their time and their place. Without an understanding and a close participation with the art of its time and of its place on the part of a people, it ceases to have importance and begins to drift away into a remote world of its own.
In great periods it was not necessary for artists to burrow in the Bohemias of the times; art and the people were one.
With the coming of the machine, art became divorced from its audience. The crafts, which are the understructure of art, lost their importance, the pace of life became hurried, and the separation was nearly complete. Americans in particular, turned to the exotic arts and to those of the past where this separation had not been so pronounced.
If the art of our time and our place should some day belong to the “timeless art,” the living art of great periods, it will be in large measure due to its users, to those who have participated in its growth, such as the individuals who have so generously loaned works to this exhibition.
This show is part of the series A Year of American Art.
Sponsors The Renaissance Society wishes to express its appreciation to the following patrons: Mrs. Ethelred Abbot, Miss Florence Dibell Bartlett, Mr.and Mrs. Walter S. Brewster, Mrs. Frederic Ives Carpenter, Mrs. John Alden Carpenter, Mr. William D. Darrow, Mr. Otto C. Doering, Mrs. Thurlow G. Essington, Mrs. Wentworth G. Field. Mrs. Alexander Greene, Mr. Alfred E. Hamill, Mrs. Edwin O. Jordan, Mrs. Wilbur G. Katz, Mrs. Frank R. Lillie, Mrs. William A. Nitze, Mrs. Phillip Miller, Mrs. Edward L. Ryerson, Mrs. Charles H. Swift, Mr. Harold H. Swift, and Mrs. Charles H. Worcester.