'Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties' opens Sunday at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Roaring Twenties art captures culture shift

CLEVELAND - "Speakeasies. Charlie Chaplin. The Harlem Renaissance. Bobbed hair. The Golden Age of Radio. Steamboat Willie and The Cotton Club. Women's Suffrage. "Lucky Lindy." The Charleston. Raccoon coats. The Scopes trial. The "It" Girl. Sweet Georgia Brown. Babe Ruth."

So opens the story of "Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties," a provocative, flamboyant and intimate view of the cultural earthquake experienced in America through the 1920s.

As a time of change, it was a powerful impetus for creative expression in sculpture, painting, drawings and photography. Society shed the restrictions of the Victorian age and there was a new embrace of the human body, a greater freedom in style of dress, a movement toward urban living and emerging technology and conveniences.

The exhibit, some 130 pieces, includes artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Ansel Adams and George Bellows. The museum is also offering visitors the opportunity to listen to a playlist of music from the 1920s on an iPod provided at the museum, or you can scan a code with your own smartphone to get the playlist on your own device.

The exhibit opens this Sunday, July 1 and continues through Sept. 16. Check the Cleveland Museum of Art website for times and ticket information. http://www.clevelandart.org

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