Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1930s America's Great Depression - Paul Raphael Meltsner 1905–1966



Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) American Landscape

Paul Raphael Meltsner was born in New York City in 1905, attending Flushing High School graduating in 1922. During the 1930s, he became closely associated with the WPA, enjoying the government support given artists during the Great Depression. In 1938, a New York City gallery offered him a one-man exhibition.

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966)

Meltsner is known for his heroic industrial & urban scenes; & in the mid 1930's, he began to paint portraits of performers. He was especially interested in dancers, particularly ballet dancers & the modern dance of Martha Graham.

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Earth and Sky

In 1926, the Martha Graham (1894-1991) Center of Contemporary Dance was established. In 1936, Graham made her defining work, "Chronicle", which signaled the beginning of a new era in contemporary dance. The dance brought serious issues to the stage for the general public in a dramatic manner. Influenced by the Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression, & the Spanish Civil War, it focused on depression & isolation, reflected in the dark nature of both the set and costumes.

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Man Machine c 1938

Eventually Paul Meltsner left his downtown New York studio to get away from the "tensions" of the city & moved to Woodstock, New York. There in his backwoods barn-studio he lived without a phone or car.

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Dock Scene

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) September Morn

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966)

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Country Gentleman

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Locomotive

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) The Artist Paul, Marcella, and dog Van Gogh 1937

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Martha Graham Dance Class 1939

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Martha Graham

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Martha Graham

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Prima Ballerina

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Dress Rehersal

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Ballet Girls

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) The Faceless Crowd

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Nightclub Scene 1935 Watercolor

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Boys Bathing in the Harbor Watercolor

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Brooklyn Madonna c 1930 Watercolor

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Lighthouse with Breaking Waves

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Harlem, c 1940 Watercolor

Paul Raphael Meltsner (American artist, 1905–1966) Sailing at the Point watercolor

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