CLAREMONT MODERN: The Artists of the GI Bill
In 2010, inspired by the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time celebration, Claremont Heritage and the Claremont Museum of Art formed a partnership to produce CLAREMONT MODERN, a series of four exhibitions in the Claremont Heritage Ginger Elliott Exhibition Space.
The third in our series, CLAREMONT MODERN: The Artists of the GI Bill examined the impact of the GI Bill on the Claremont art community.
As soldiers returned from WWII, the opportunity to study art was made possible by funding from the GI Bill. Some came to the Pomona College Art Department and stayed on. Millard Sheets developed the Graduate School Masters of Fine Art program in 1943-44 and admitted many talented GIs to study with art professors on the Scripps campus. These young men were older, more experienced with a focus and determination to pursue careers in art. The vision of Millard Sheets combined with the enthusiast energy of these GIs transformed Claremont into a vibrant art center at mid-century.
The Exhibition CLAREMONT MODERN: The Artists of the GI Bill focused on a pivotal point in the history of the Claremont art community from 1945-1960. It featured Claremont area artists who served in WWII, returned to study art with funding from the GI Bill and pursued a lifetime career in the arts.
It included works by Karl Benjamin, Paul Darrow, Rupert Deese, Carl Hertel, James Hueter, Anthony Ivins, Roger Kuntz, Doug McClellan, Harrison McIntosh, David Scott, Paul Soldner, John Svenson and Melvin Wood. The Exhibition was displayed for eight days in the Claremont Heritage Ginger Elliott Exhibition Space located in Memorial Park behind the Garner House.