(This slide show contains images from the time of the opening on the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and images of art and articles from The Fine Art Center School’s heyday in the 1930s and 40s under Boardman Robinson. Thanks to Blake Wilson for the Life magazines and all those noted in the captions for the images.)

On April 20, 2011, The Fine Arts Center will mark its 75th anniversary. When it opened in 1936, it was considered the finest arts institution west of the Mississippi and had a world-class, week-long gala that featured some of the most avant-garde art known to the world at that time. Craig Richardson and Noel Black of The Big Something bring us this account of the opening, written by art historian Stanley Cuba. Below you can see videos about the Erik Satie symphonic drama “Socrate” with a stage set by Alexander Calder and a video of Martha Graham’s famous 1930 work “Lamentation,” which was performed on The Fine Arts Center’s Stage when the building opened.

Download, or listen to the piece here:

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4 Responses to The Fine Arts Center's Opening and School, Our Forgotten Art History Part II

  1. adam degraff says:

    Magafan, Mangravite and Musick. All new to me and memorable. Really captures a spirit. Probably the best Calder I’ve seen (except for the circus thing) and the Martha Graham was gorgeous, especially with the introduction. Colorado Springs is shaping up. Thank you.

  2. Louise C says:

    Wow! And Colorado Springs at the time was a burg of 30,000. Now we’re more than 10 times as big. Was 1936 our high point on the arts timeline?

  3. Mary Ellen says:

    This is marvelous. Thank you! I didn’t know about Adolf Dehn or all the other remarkable artists included here. Great job.

  4. Noel Black says:

    @Louise C, we definitely had the right idea back in the first half of the 20th C. All that culture is still here in many ways, but it has been neglected. Hopefully locals who care will spread the word and help rekindle interest, which would almost certainly help inform the present and future of our arts community for the better.

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