In this thesis I explore the spread of modern art to conservative regions of the country, in particular Utah. By using George Dibble as a case study this thesis will also address the struggle that Utah artists had to endure to have their progressive ideas in art be accepted in such a conservative area. It will address the criticism that Dibble had to endure by discussing specific incidents involved with certain works of art. Although there were plenty of people who did not like modern art, there were some institutions and people who were advocates of this progressive form of art. Through determination and persevering through challenges, artists like Dibble made it easier for the next generation of modern artists to gain acceptance. Dibble and his generation of artists opened the door to the acceptance of truly abstract and modern works of the Abstract Expressionist. This thesis also will deal with the origins of modernism in America and how it spread throughout the country starting with the Amory Show in New York in 1913 and going through the Great Depression with the WPA. It will examine the artistic climate of Utah during the first three decades of the twentieth century and artists who came before Dibble who came in contact with the European modernists. Although there has been some scholarship on the history of Utah art, there has been little written on the spread of Modern art through the state. Utah art historian Bob Olpin has done the most scholarship on Dibble and his contemporaries.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Visual Arts



Date Submitted


Document Type





Utah art, George Dibble, twentieth century art, modern art, American art



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