Studies of Meaning in Art (pdf)


Under the editorial direction of board member Thornton Wilder (Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright) this three-book series titled Studies of Meaning in Art includes The Meaning of Unintelligibility in Modern Art (1934) by Edward E. Rothchild, Plastic Redirections in Twentieth-Century Painting (1934) by James Johnson Sweeney, and Seurat and the Evolution of La Grande Jatte (1935) by Daniel Catton Rich. These publications were significant not only for the scope and quality of their content under Wilder’s direction, but in the cases of both Sweeney and Catton Rich, these books represent important early work by two figures who went onto play influential roles in museum, curatorial, and art historical contexts.

Johnson Sweeney went on to be the first director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and Catton Rich later became director of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1938 to 1958. Seurat was Catton Rich’s first publication.