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To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America

Alexander Nemerov

Copublished with Yale University Press
152pp.: ill. (63 color)
ISBN: 978-0-300-17239-3

Hardcover, $45.00

An American painter usually associated with the precisionist movement, George Copeland Ault (1891–1948) created works that provide a unique window onto the uncertainty and despair of the Second World War. To Make a World is the first major publication on Ault in more than two decades and features nearly twenty of Ault's paintings alongside works by twenty-two of his contemporaries, including Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth. Ault's series of nighttime views depicting a small Woodstock junction, Russell's Corner, provides inspiration for a text by author Alexander Nemerov, who argues that the sense of mystery in these paintings speaks to their times, and that Ault's isolation gave him the perspective to find compelling visual images that spoke to the melancholy and separation that others felt then, too. A new generation of readers will now have a chance to experience these paintings and to sense, through them, the lost world of America in the 1940s.