Winston-Salem, North Carolina.- The Reynolda House Museum of American Art is proud to present “Modern Masters from the Smithsonian American Art Museum” on view through December 31st. The exhibition features 43 key paintings and sculptures by 31 of the most celebrated artists who came to maturity in the 1950s. “Modern Masters” examines the complex and varied nature of American abstract art in the mid-20th century through three broadly conceived themes that span two decades of creative genius—“Significant Gestures,” “Optics and Order” and “New Images of Man.” The decades following World War II were stimulating times for American art. While some vanguard artists began to paint or sculpt in the 1930s as beneficiaries of WPA-era government support, other immigrant artists fled to the United States as Nazi power grew in Germany. A few artists were highly educated; others left school at an early age to pursue their art. Working in New York, California, the South and abroad, these artists blended knowledge gleaned from the old masters and modernists Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse with philosophy and ancient mythology to create abstract compositions that addressed current social concerns and personal history.