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U.Va. Art Museum Hosts Lunchtime Talk by Jill Baskin on Dec. 14

December 2, 2010 — Jill Baskin, the current Luzak-Lindner Fellow at the University of Virginia Art Museum, will give a Lunchtime Talk about one of the museum's recent acquisitions on Dec. 14, from noon to 1 p.m.

Her talk, "Our Good Earth ... Keep It Ours: Imagining the Homefront in U.S. War Bond Advertising, 1941-1945," will focus on John Steuart Curry's "Our Good Earth ... Keep It Ours," one of a vast array of posters commissioned by the United States government during World War II to sell war bonds and encourage patriotism.

Curry was one of the most prominent figures in American Regionalism, and his work was known for embracing the Midwest as a nostalgic American heartland and for advancing traditional agricultural and labor practices, conservative social values and notions of economic self-sufficiency.

While such themes had been popular in Regionalist art of the 1930s, they took on new relevance during the war. In "Our Good Earth" and other government-sponsored poster art of this period, factories, homes and everyday American landscapes became arenas of war and monuments of American freedom at risk of being lost, should citizens fail to do their part socially, culturally and especially economically.    

Baskin is a Ph.D. student in American art and architectural history at U.Va. As part of her fellowship, she researched this acquisition to expand the knowledge about the piece of America's visual history for the museum. 

The museum's Lunchtime Talks are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. These lectures offer the opportunity to join curators and faculty as they explore topics related to museum collections and exhibitions.

Lunchtime Talks are free and open to the public. For information, call 434-243-2050 or e-mail museumoutreach@virginia.edu. The museum is located at 155 Rugby Road, one block from the Rotunda.

— By Jane Ford

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