A Philadelphia native and Doylestown resident of the Worthington House between 1910-1926, Charles Sheeler (1883-1965) is recognized as one of the founding figures of American modernism for his pioneering work as both a painter and a photographer, with a particular penchant for industrial subjects. This exhibit will begin with an exploration of Sheeler's early period of experimentation: photographs of the Worthington House and modern sculpture, early portraits, and his 1920 film collaboration with Paul Strand, "Manhatta." The core of "Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form," however, are the 85 portraits and fashion photographs on loan from the Condé Nast archives in New York. These photographs embody all the glamour of the Jazz Age-beautiful starlets in fantastic gowns and fabulous jewels, models wearing the latest in couture designs, Ziegfeld Follies dancers, and stage actors featured in the latest Broadway sensation. A number of these photographs will be included in staged, multi-media vignettes incorporating period costumes, additional photographs, and paintings on loan from The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Yale University Art Gallery, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Gaston Lachaise Foundation, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Additionally, visitors will see for the first time Sheeler's own textile designs, which he produced in the early 1930s. These will be accompanied by a photograph Sheeler took of his dealer, Edith Halpert, wearing a dress made from his textiles, standing between two of his recent industrial paintings. Pieces of the original dress, as well as a recreation of it, will also be included in one of the multi-media vignettes.
A popular dance of the freer generation of the Roaring Twenties, and danced by both young women (flappers) and young men of the era, the Charleston involves fast-paced swinging of the legs and big arm movements.