Kindred Spirits: Sherwood Anderson, Wharton Esherick, and the Making of American Modernism

Wednesday, March 27
7:00 to 8:30 p.m., The Conference Center, Musser Auditorium


University of Penn professor, Peter Conn, will discuss the relationship between Wharton Esherick and Sherwood Anderson who met in 1919 in Fairhope, Alabama, a utopian community dedicated to progressive ideas in economics, politics, and education. The friendship lasted for two decades until Anderson's death in 1941. In quite different ways, both men made significant contributions to the creation of a distinctively American modern style. By looking closely at some of Esherick's sculpture and Anderson's fiction, the lecture will trace their respective achievements in this shared endeavor.

Peter Conn is Vartan Gregorian Professor of English emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. Conn's book, The American 1930s: A Literary History, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009. His next book, Adoption: a Brief Social and Cultural History, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013. He has lectured on a number of American artists at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Whitney Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other institutions.