To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America

Alexander Nemerov

An American painter usually associated with the precisionist movement, George Copeland Ault (1891–1948) created works that provide a unique window onto the uncertainty and despair of the Second World War. To Make a World is the first major publication on Ault in more than two decades and features nearly twenty of Ault’s paintings alongside works by twenty-two of his contemporaries, including Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth. Ault’s series of nighttime views depicting a small Woodstock junction, Russell’s Corner, provides inspiration for a text by author Alexander Nemerov, who argues that the sense of mystery in these paintings speaks to their times, and that Ault’s isolation gave him the perspective to find compelling visual images that spoke to the melancholy and separation that others felt then, too. A new generation of readers will now have a chance to experience these paintings and to sense, through them, the lost world of America in the 1940s.


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Product Details

Copublished with Yale University Press
Year Published
152 pp.: ill. (63 color)
  • Hardcover: 978-0-300-17239-3
10 1411 in.


Media - 1976.121 - SAAM-1976.121_2 - 123041
To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America
March 11, 2011September 4, 2011
During the turbulent 1940s, artist George Ault (1891-1948) created precise yet eerie pictures—works of art that have come to be seen, following his death, as some of the most original paintings made in America in those years.