The Legacy of Forum 49: A Members’ Juried Exhibition at PMPM

Members of Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) and Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum (PMPM) are exhibiting their work in a juried exhibition during PMPM’s 2024 season. Artists were asked to submit work related to the theme of “Forum 49.”

Members of PMPM or PAAM enjoy free admission to either institution in 2024; please check individual websites for hours (, Joint admission passes will be made available to the general public for $30.

The exhibition was juried by artists Grace Hopkins and Cid Bolduc, co-chairs of Forum 24: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Forum 49, sponsored by the Provincetown Art Gallery Association. The occasion will be marked with a summer of events designed to honor the original Forum and illuminate the connections between modern art and the cultural changes and artistic changes that still resonate in the world today. Learn more about Forum 24 here, and plan to visit the PAAM exhibition Remembering Forum 49: Works from the Permanent Collection, on view April 19-June 2.

Forum 49 was a pivotal project of modernists at the center of a debate over the avant-garde and American artistic values. A summer-long series of sophisticated programs were held in Provincetown in 1949, beginning with the forum “What Is An Artist?” and ending with the controversial “French Art vs American Art Today.” Record crowds attended the exhibits of paintings and programs focused on the avant-garde in many areas (architecture, psychoanalysis, poetry, jazz) all held in a gallery at 200 Commercial Street. 75 years after Forum 49, Provincetown artists continue to innovate, explore, and interrogate how art exists in society.


Chip Brock, Jim Broussard, Carolyn Callahan, Karen Cappotto, Ed Christie, Maura Cunningham, Amy Davies, Mary Doering, Bill Evaul, Robert Glisson, Michael Giaquinto, Robert Henry, Megan Hinton, Valerie Isaacs, Pat Kearns, Paul Kelly, Lorraine La Pointe, Dianne Longchamps, Richard Neal, Fran O’Neill, Hunter Ohanian, Rowena Perkins, Sky Power, Georgene Riedl, Hugo Rizzoli, John Romualdi, James Ryan, Mariellen Serena, Laura Shabott, Elspeth Slayter, Margot Stage, Joe Trepiccione, Mike Wright, Bert Yarborough, Laurence Young, and Andrew Young.


In the summer of 1949, a group of artists and avant-garde thinkers led by Weldon Kees organized a series of cultural programs intended to promote the exchange of progressive ideas. 

The program kicked off with a forum discussion of “What is an artist?” led by Hans Hofmann, Serge Chermayeff, Adolph Gottlieb, and George Biddle, and covered topics such as social and economic privilege, innovation in the avant-garde, innate versus learned skills, democracy, consumerism, and the commercialization of art. An exhibition juried by Hofmann, Karl Knaths, Fritz Bultman, Weldon Kees, and Cecil Hemley was held at 200 Commercial Street and highlighted the trending movements of surrealism, cubism, abstract expressionism, and the avant-garde.

IMAGE: Jules Aarons (1921-2008), Untitled, c. 1949-50, PAAM Collection, Gift of David Murphy