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American Regionalism - A Stan Klos Webpage


 

American Regionalism
By: Neal McLaughlin

 

On October 29, 1929, the United States of America would be thrown into a spiral of uncertainties, insecurities and panic and for the next 12 years would endure a tireless struggle in order to regain her footing and to move forward into recovery.

Following the collapse of the U.S. stock market on Black Thuursday the dominoes began to tumble as bankruptcies and defaults would trigger the Great depression in the United States and abroad.

Millions of people would find themselves with out jobs and would soon find themselves homeless, hungry and struggling to simply survive. The faith of the American public would be greatly tested as they trudged forth to eke out an existence for their families.

The American populace would find it difficult to view their nation as a strong, independent and prosperous land of opportunity. Instead they were bitter, uncertain and fearful! Would America be strong enough to withstand this travesty and to once again land on her feet?

What Americans needed more than anything else was for someone to show them that despite the current reign of tragedy, the United States was and still is the epitome of strength, patriotism and perseverance.

As with any hellacious, life-altering challenge the situation may be viewed from several very different perspectives. One can elect to observe the current trials through the eyes of negativity; emphasizing on the hardships at hand, or one can choose to peer through the haze of despair and find the port that offers a haven for all of the troubled souls.

During the 1930's one such group who set out to demonstrate that in tragedy, there can be beauty, were the artist of the new movement known as the American Scene Painters, or American Regionalists.

Divided into 2 camps of very different political views and philosophical perspective each group set out to depict the current condition of the world in their own unique styles and techniques.

The Social Realists like Ben Shahn (1898-1969), Jacob Lawrence (1917- 2000) and Jack Levine (1915-) were centering their attentions to the current social struggle and hardships faced by everyday people in their depression-laden urban lives.

The Regionalists, on the other hand, opted not to show the world as mean, dirty and greedy. Instead, artists such as Thomas Hart Benton (1889 -1975), John Steurat Curry (1897 - 1946) and Grant Wood (1892 - 1942) were concentrating on guiding the United States to a better future by promoting her in a positive image.

Artists of the Regionalist camp would focus their painting efforts away from turmoil and chaotic New York and instead, paint their respective Midwestern homesteads illustrating rural Americans complete with their Midwestern values of hard work, self-preservation and love of their community.

It was these clear, simple paintings that portrayed America as she had once been and would once again become: strong, self-reliant, prosperous and a land of golden opportunities.

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Research Links

 

American Regionalism: Artists and their Works
... 1930's. An American term, Regionalism refers to the work of a group of rural ... of the
best-known and one of the greatest works of American art, American Gothic. ...

Yahoo! Directory Art History > American Regionalism
Yahoo! reviewed these sites and found them related to Art History >
American Regionalism. ... Art History > American Regionalism. ...

American regionalism
... orion ... American regionalism ... American regionalism. Midwest art that came
to prominance in the. American Quarterly: Regionalism ... ...

American Regionalism
... Click here to buy posters! American Regionalism American Regionalism American
Regionalism Art American Regionalism Artist American Regionalism pictures ...

Stone City Art Colony - The American Regionalism Movement
... at the school moved on to other genres and subject matters but their training included
a good dose of what was to be labeled American Regionalism in art. ...

Art Posters: Fine Art / North American Realism / American ...
... All of American Regionalism. Benton. Cox. Wood. Woodruff. Fine Art > North American
Realism > American Regionalism (1 of 1 pages ). Spring Plowing by Grant Wood ...

Thomas Hart Benton . For Educators | PBS
... Visual Arts) Overview: A major leader of the American Regionalism art movement,
Thomas Hart Benton became famous for his murals that brought America to life. ...

Welcome to the John M. Pfau Library - Find Art Prints
... Marilyn Monroe (1962), American, 20th Century, Pop Art, War 1. Watteau, Jean-Antoine,
1684-1721 ... American Gothic, American, 20th Century, American Regionalism, Woo ...

American Art, American Artists
... CGFA. . American paintings and sculpture. An introduction from the Metropolitan
Museum of Art. . American Regionalism American Regionalism. ...

Arts & Activities: Regionalism - Classroom Use - Brief Article
... & SAVE ART PRINT REPRODUCTION This painting by John Steuart Curry may be used both
as an example of American Regionalism and various other art-teaching needs. ...

American Art Deco: Modernistic Architecture and Regionalism
American Art Deco: Modernistic Architecture and Regionalism. by Carla Breeze. ...

NGA: Themes in American Art: Glossary
... REGIONALISM - An art movement of the 1930s that focused on portraying aspects
characteristic of American life. Midwestern painters ...


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