"Models and Muses" exhibition opens at Philbrook Museum

TULSA - Like most artists, Max Weber struggled early on in his career.

Born in Russia in 1881, Weber moved with his family to New York in 1891. In 1905, he moved to Paris and studied under artists like Matisse and Picasso.

When Weber returned to New York in 1909, it was clear that Europe had influenced his art.

According to the Philbrook Museum's chief curator, Catherine Whitney, Weber's work became more colorful as he ventured more and more into cubism.

Whitney says during the era leading up to World War I, American critics expressed displeasure with Weber's work.

By 1920, though, his work began to change. Weber began to focus on domestic, humanitarian and spirtual concerns, says Whitney.

By the 1950s, Weber had become an artist's artist and a teacher.

But it's his work from the early 20th Century that Weber is best celebrated for.

Whitney compiled over 40 pieces of Weber's work for a new exhibition,  "Models and Muses," which opened at the Philbrook on Sunday.

The exhibition traces Weber's evolution as an artist through his career and explores how figure painting helped him negotiate tradition and innovation in his works, says Whitney.

It is the first show of just Weber's pieces in over 20 years.

Some of the items were borrowed from 20 institutions, including from MoMa, the Smithsonian and The Whitney.

The exhibition runs through February 3rd.

For more information about the exhibition, including hours and ticket prices, visit the Philbrook Museum of Art's website.

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