Ashcan School - A Stan Klos Website
By: Neal McLaughlin
In the opening months of 1907, a group of New York painters set out to
capture the true essence of twentieth-century New York. Instead of the glamorous
portrayal of their subject matter practiced by the Old School artists, the "
Eight", as they would eventually be called decided to paint the alleyways,
tenements and "slum dwellers" of modern New York City.
Forgoing the old philosophy of "art for art's sake" Robert Henri
(1868-1929) and his band of artistic buddies adopted a new philosophy: "Art
for life's sake", believing that what was true and real in life was
beautiful and therefore constituted art.
Their new style of art had infuriated some and shocked many others who
felt that it was in bad taste to depict their city in such a negative concept.
So disgusted were some critics that they had labeled the group the
"revolutionary black gang".
The artists defended their position by alleging that they were not
attempting to muddy social commentary but were instead portraying the urban
vitality. Regardless of their explanation, their movement was eventually to be
dubbed the Ashcan school, deriving from the omnipresent urban image of the
Their work was considered so controversial that to arrange for an
exhibition seemed almost fruitless. Outraged by the National Academy's rejection
of their art for the 1907 spring exhibition, Henri and his gang united;
determined to have their own exhibition.
Joined by artists John Sloan (1871-1951), Everett Shinn (1876-1938),
William Glackens (1870-1938) and George Luks (1867-1933), Robert Henri was
determined to prove that the "Apostles of Ugliness" were indeed
These five men continued to depict the darker sides of humanity as they
pressed forth in hopes of securing an exhibition. Their perseverance soon
attracted the attention of three more men who would soon enlist among the rank
of the Ashcan school.
Landscape painters Ernest Lawson (1873-1939), Maurice Prendergast
(1858-1924) and Symbolist painter Arthur B. Davies (1862-1922) set aside their
current projects and joined Henri and his other partners.
The mutual hostility that each of these men shared towards the rigid jury
system of the Academicians was enough fuel to thrust this group into the light
of fame. By late 1907 early 1908 these New York Realists held what had been
considered to be a controversial independent exhibition at the McBeth Galleries
of New York.
Their showing was met with mixed reviews. The main theme in the criticism
seemed to be that critics considered their art as an "inappropriate"
recording of the "uglier" aspects of New York.
Regardless of the intensely negative reviews, this exhibition was actually
a milestone in the history of modern American painting. Thanks to the
perseverance and devotion of these and future Ashcan painters their rebellion
against the Academicians led to the organization and development of the 1913
Armory exhibition and the founding of the Society of Independent Artists in
Despite the fact that so many people objected to renderings offered by the
Ashcan painters this style never totally collapsed from the intense pressures.
Late into the 1930's there were still a select group of artists who accepted the
precedent established by the "Eight" and continued to paint in this
ArtLex on the Ashcan School
Click Here. Ashcan School - A group of early
artists who often painted pictures of New York city life. ...
The Ashcan School: Artists and their Works
Artcyclopedia Artists by Movement: The Ashcan School. ...
The spirit of the Ashcan School
was carried on by the American Scene Painting of the 1920's and 1930's. ...
Reader's Companion to American History - -ASHCAN SCHOOL
The Reader's Companion to American History. ASHCAN
SCHOOL. The Ashcan school of
art evolved during the early years of the twentieth century in New York City.
ASHCAN SCHOOL. KEY DATES: 1891-1918. A group of urban
realist painters in
America creating work around the early part of 20th century. ...
Ashcan School - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ashcan School. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. ...
Members of the Ashcan School
were connected with the Macbeth Gallery throughout much of their careers. ...
Images - Ashcan School
Images - Ashcan School. Everett Shinn View of the East
River ca. 1900 Watercolor
on paper 10.5 x 15.5 inches Adelson Galleries, New York. [6k image]. ...
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Yahoo! Directory: Art History > Ashcan School
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... Ashcan School. Group of US realist painters active
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The Ashcan School
The Ashcan School. ... William Glackens, "The Eight" /
"Ashcan School" / "Apostles
of Ugliness". In response to the National Academy's .
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How can I recognize a painting
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The Ashcan School
... Site last updated 13 October, 2004. The Ashcan
School. ... This transition began
around 1900 and has since come to be called the Ashcan School. ...
Ashcan School -- Encyclopædia Britannica
Ashcan School group of American realist painters based in
New York City in the early
20th century. ... Expand all, Ashcan School, Print this Table of Contents, ...