Society for Sanity in Art

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The Society for Sanity in Art was an American artist's society whose members strongly opposed all forms of modern art, including cubism, surrealism, and abstract expressionism. In 1939, a western branch of this Society changed its name to the Society of Western Artists.


It was founded in Chicago in 1936 by Josephine Hancock Logan,[1] and from there it spread all over the country, with major branches in Boston and San Francisco. Ms. Logan also published a book entitled Sanity in Art in 1937.[2] Branches of the group established themselves all around the United States.

Haig Patigian served as president of the group in the 1940s.[1] Margaret Fitzhugh Browne founded the Boston branch of the organization, and led it in protesting a 1940 exhibit of paintings by Picasso at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.[3] A western branch of the Society changed its name to the Society of Western Artists in 1939, and remains to this day the largest society of representational artists in the western United States. The San Francisco branch of The Society for Sanity in the Arts sponsored an annual art exhibit-for-sale by its members at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor at least as late as 1945.[1][4]

Artists that support the cause of this group included; William Winthrop Ward, Florence Louise Bryant, Percy Gray, Rudolph F. Ingerle, Frank Montague Moore, Thomas Hill; Frank C. Peyraud, Theodore Wores and Chauncey Foster Ryder.[1]

The Society gave out awards to artists who met its standards of "sanity"; these awards included the Logan Medal of the Arts.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "Art Glossary - Society for Sanity in Art". AskArt. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ Hancock Logan, Josephine (1937). Sanity in art. Cornell University. 
  3. ^ Sane Boston (3 June 1940), Time Magazine. Unattributed author.
  4. ^ Website of the Society of Western Artists
  5. ^ Sanity & Mrs. Logan (22 March 1937), Time Magazine. Author unattributed.