Bella Pacifica: Bay Area Abstraction 1946–1963

Jerry Burchard, Jay DeFeo (1958) Collection SFMOMA

Between 1946 and 1952, the proportion of students at California’s five most important art schools who had served in the military was never less than 70 percent, and frequently more than 80. Most of these enrolled with assistance from the GI Bill, the monumental piece of post-war legislation that swelled the ranks of liberal arts courses across the United States with mature, motivated and philosophically reflective men and women, alive to the preciousness of their personal freedoms.

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