American art(redirected from Visual arts of the United States)
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American art,the art of the North American colonies and of the United States. There are separate articles on American architectureAmerican architecture,
the architecture produced in the geographical area that now constitutes the United States. Early History
American architecture properly begins in the 17th cent. with the colonization of the North American continent.
..... Click the link for more information. , North American Native artNorth American Native art,
diverse traditional arts of Native North Americans. In recent years Native American arts have become commodities collected and marketed by nonindigenous Americans and Europeans.
..... Click the link for more information. , pre-Columbian art and architecturepre-Columbian art and architecture,
works of art and structures created in Central and South America before the arrival of Europeans in the Western Hemisphere. For many years the regions that are now Mexico and Guatemala and the Andean region of South America had been the cradle
..... Click the link for more information. , Mexican art and architectureMexican art and architecture,
works of art and structures produced in the area that is now the country of Mexico. Such arts were already highly developed in the ancient civilizations flourishing before the conquest of Cortés.
..... Click the link for more information. , Spanish colonial art and architectureSpanish colonial art and architecture,
fl. 16th–early 19th cent., the artistic production of Spain's colonies in the New World. These works followed the historical development of styles previously established in Spain, but developed original features in different regions.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Canadian art and architectureCanadian art and architecture,
the various types and styles arts and structures produced in the geographic area that now constitutes Canada.
For a discussion of the art of indigenous peoples of Canada, see North American Native art.
..... Click the link for more information. .
The Colonial Period
In the 17th cent. the North American colonies enjoyed neither the wealth nor the leisure to cultivate the fine arts extensively. Colonial artisans working in pewter, silver, glass, or textiles closely followed European models. The 17th-century limnerslimner
, the work of untrained, generally anonymous artists active in the English American colonies. Characteristic examples of their paintings show flat, awkward, often frontal figures in richly detailed costumes and landscape settings copied from European prints.
..... Click the link for more information. , generally unknown by name, turned out naive but often charming portraits in the Elizabethan style, the Dutch baroque style, or the English baroque court style, depending upon the European background of both artist and patron.
The portrait painters alternated limning with coach and sign painting or other types of craftsmanship, and even in the 18th cent. it was seldom possible to earn a living by working at painting alone. Even the renowned silversmith Paul RevereRevere, Paul,
1735–1818, American silversmith and political leader in the American Revolution, b. Boston. In his father's smithy he learned to work gold and silver, and he became a leading silversmith of New England.
..... Click the link for more information. also turned his talents to commercial engraving and the manufacture of false teeth. The crafts in general followed English, Dutch, and Bavarian models, although in furniture some variations appeared in the work of talented artisans such as Samuel McIntireMcIntire, Samuel
, 1757–1811, American architect and woodcarver, b. Salem, Mass. He developed high skill as a joiner and housewright and in wood sculpture. McIntire's opportunities, both as builder and carver, came in designing houses for the shipowning aristocracy of
..... Click the link for more information. and Duncan PhyfePhyfe, Duncan
, c.1768–1854, American cabinetmaker, b. Scotland. He emigrated to America c.1783, settling at Albany, N.Y., where he was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker.
..... Click the link for more information. .
In the first half of the 18th cent. a growing demand for portrait painting attracted such artists as John SmibertSmibert or Smybert, John
, 1688–1751, American portrait painter, b. Scotland, the first skillful painter in New England. After his apprenticeship to an Edinburgh house painter, he went to London.
..... Click the link for more information. , Peter PelhamPelham, Peter
, c.1695–1751, American engraver and painter, b. England; stepfather of John Singleton Copley. After studying and practicing in England, Pelham settled (c.1728) in Boston. He produced engravings of Cotton Mather and Increase Mather based on his own paintings.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Joseph BlackburnBlackburn, Joseph,
b. c.1700, d. after 1765, American portrait painter. Little is known concerning him except that from 1750 to 1765 he painted portraits (usually signed J.B.), chiefly of members of distinguished families in Boston and Portsmouth, N.H.
..... Click the link for more information. from England, Gustavus HesseliusHesselius, Gustavus
, 1682–1755, American portrait painter, b. Sweden, settled c.1712 in Philadelphia. He was the earliest portrait painter and organ builder in the United States. His Last Supper (1721–22) for St. Barnabas Church in Prince Georges co., Md.
..... Click the link for more information. from Sweden, Jeremiah TheusTheus, Jeremiah
, c.1719–1744, American portrait painter, b. Switzerland. He emigrated to South Carolina as a child. By 1740, according to newspaper notices, he was painting portraits and teaching art in Charleston. His portraits were good likenesses.
..... Click the link for more information. from Switzerland, and Pieter VanderlynVanderlyn, Pieter
, c.1687–1778, American colonial painter, b. Holland. He reached New York c.1718 and became a portrait painter and land speculator and practiced other trades, settling in Kingston, N.Y. The portrait most certainly ascribed to him is that of Mrs.
..... Click the link for more information. from Holland. Joseph BadgerBadger, Joseph,
1708–65, American painter, b. Charlestown, Mass. By trade a glazier and house and sign painter, he turned his hand to portraiture. Generally uninspired, his work appears at its best in his numerous portrayals of young children, such as Jeremiah Belknap (Mus.
..... Click the link for more information. , Robert FekeFeke, Robert
, c.1705–c.1750, early American portrait painter, b. Oyster Bay, N.Y. He practiced in Newport, R.I., New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston. He probably studied in Europe for a time, but soon developed a very personal painting style.
..... Click the link for more information. , Ralph EarleEarle or Earl, Ralph,
1751–1801, American portrait and landscape painter, b. Worcester co., Mass. He is purported to have painted four scenes of the battle of Lexington as an eyewitness, but is best known for his
..... Click the link for more information. , John TrumbullTrumbull, John,
1756–1843, American painter, b. Lebanon, Conn.; son of Gov. Jonathan Trumbull. He served in the Continental Army early in the Revolution as an aide to Washington. He resigned his commission in 1777 and devoted himself to painting.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Charles Willson PealePeale, Charles Willson
, 1741–1827, American portrait painter, naturalist, and inventor, b. Queen Annes County, Md. Early Life
Apprenticed to a saddler in Annapolis, he became at 20 his own master and taught himself various other trades—watchmaking,
..... Click the link for more information. did not depart widely from the tradition of 18th-century English portraiture, but despite some provincial awkwardness, their work is often more vigorous. In the early work of John Singleton CopleyCopley, John Singleton
, 1738–1815, American portrait painter, b. Boston. Copley is considered the greatest of the American old masters. He studied with his stepfather, Peter Pelham, and undoubtedly frequented the studios of Smibert and Feke.
..... Click the link for more information. this vigor is combined with a great native talent.
Another 18th-century American painter, Benjamin WestWest, Benjamin,
1738–1820, American historical painter who worked in England. He was born in Springfield, Pa., in a house that is now a memorial museum at Swarthmore College.
..... Click the link for more information. , set up shop in London and became painter to the king and president of the Royal Academy. Although his training and practice were European, his studio became a mecca for American painters who for half a century came to study under him. His teaching of historical painting did not stand them in good stead on their return to America, where there was little demand for such work. Gilbert StuartStuart, Gilbert,
1755–1828, American portrait painter, b. North Kingstown, R.I., best known for his portraits of George Washington. Having shown an early talent for drawing, he became the pupil of Cosmo Alexander, a Scottish painter who was visiting America.
..... Click the link for more information. , however, emerged from his tutelage a superb portrait painter and, after gaining success in England, returned to America, where he executed a long series of famous and charming portraits and set a standard rarely surpassed in the United States.
Of all the arts, sculpture was probably the least cultivated in the colonies. Apart from the anonymous carvers of tombstones and ships' figureheads, William RushRush, William,
1756–1833, American sculptor, one of the earliest in the country, b. Philadelphia. His wood carvings, clay models, and figureheads were famous in their day.
..... Click the link for more information. is almost the only known native sculptor to have practiced in pre-Revolutionary and early Federalist times.
From the Revolution to the Civil War
The period from the birth of the republic to the Civil War did not see much increase in the demand for the fine arts. Such early painters as Washington AllstonAllston, Washington
, 1779–1843, American painter and author, b. Georgetown co., S.C. After graduating from Harvard (1800), where he composed music and wrote poetry (published in 1813 as The Sylphs of the Seasons
..... Click the link for more information. , Samuel F. B. MorseMorse, Samuel Finley Breese,
1791–1872, American inventor and artist, b. Charlestown, Mass., grad. Yale, 1810. He studied painting in England under Washington Allston and achieved some success.
..... Click the link for more information. , John VanderlynVanderlyn, John
, 1776–1852, American portrait and historical painter, b. Kingston, N.Y. Under the patronage of Aaron Burr he studied with Gilbert Stuart and in Paris. From 1796 to 1815 much of his life was spent in Paris and in Rome.
..... Click the link for more information. , and John Trumbull, who sought a market in America for historical painting in the neoclassical manner of Jacques-Louis DavidDavid, Jacques-Louis
, 1748–1825, French painter. David was the virtual art dictator of France for a generation. Extending beyond painting, his influence determined the course of fashion, furniture design, and interior decoration and was reflected in the development of
..... Click the link for more information. , were quickly disillusioned. Portrait painting alone provided the substantial patronage enjoyed by such men as Mather BrownBrown, Mather,
1761–1831, American portrait and historical painter, b. Boston. He studied under Benjamin West in London and continued to work in England. His portraits include those of George IV (Buckingham Palace, London), Queen Charlotte, Sir William Pepperrell,
..... Click the link for more information. , Henry BenbridgeBenbridge, Henry,
1744–1812, American portrait painter and miniaturist, b. Philadelphia, studied in Italy and with Benjamin West in London. His portraits are characterized by technical skill and have sometimes been attributed to John Singleton Copley.
..... Click the link for more information. , Edward SavageSavage, Edward,
1761–1817, American portrait painter and engraver. He was probably self-taught, although he may have studied with Benjamin West during a brief visit to London. He at one time operated art galleries in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City.
..... Click the link for more information. , Thomas SullySully, Thomas,
1783–1872, American painter, b. England. Having come to the United States as a child, he first studied with his brother Lawrence, a miniaturist, and later for a brief time with Gilbert Stuart.
..... Click the link for more information. , John NeagleNeagle, John
, 1796–1865, American portrait painter, b. Boston. He was reared in Philadelphia, where he was apprentice to a coach painter. After travel in the West, he settled in Philadelphia and married the stepdaughter of Thomas Sully.
..... Click the link for more information. , Chester HardingHarding, Chester,
1792–1866, American portrait painter, b. Conway, Mass. He worked as an itinerant portrait painter long enough to enable him to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Design. Later he practiced in St. Louis, Washington, D.C.
..... Click the link for more information. , and the miniaturists Edward G. MalboneMalbone, Edward Greene
, 1777–1807, American portrait painter and miniaturist, b. Newport, R.I. After painting portraits in Providence and Boston, he accompanied Washington Allston to Charleston, S.C., and then to Europe.
..... Click the link for more information. and John Wesley JarvisJarvis, John Wesley,
1781?–1839, American portrait painter, b. England. Beginning as an engraver in Philadelphia, he early moved to New York, where he became a popular portrait painter.
..... Click the link for more information. . Their work expressed the energy and self-confidence of the builders of the new American nation.
This period also saw the gradual rise of a number of excellent genregenre
, in art-history terminology, a type of painting dealing with unidealized scenes and subjects of everyday life. Although practiced in ancient art, as shown by Pompeiian frescoes, and in the Middle Ages, genre was not recognized as worthy and independent subject matter
..... Click the link for more information. painters—Henry InmanInman, Henry,
1801–46, American portrait, genre, and landscape painter, b. Yorkville, N.Y., studied with John Wesley Jarvis. He was a founder and first vice president of the National Academy of Design.
..... Click the link for more information. , William Sidney MountMount, William Sidney,
1807–68, American genre and portrait painter, b. Setauket, N.Y. His childhood was spent at Stony Brook, Long Island, the scene of many of his pictures. At 17 he was apprenticed to his elder brother, Henry, a sign and ornament painter.
..... Click the link for more information. , Richard C. WoodvilleWoodville, Richard Caton,
1825–55, American genre painter, b. Baltimore. He turned from medical studies to painting and in 1845 studied in Düsseldorf. He spent most of his brief working life in Europe, but his popular paintings, which exhibit a relish for varied
..... Click the link for more information. , David G. BlytheBlythe, David Gilmour
, 1815–65, American artist, b. East Liverpool, Ohio. Working in Pennsylvania, Blythe produced genre scenes that depict the rough existence of the early frontier. Many of his paintings are satirical portrayals of the everyday world of early 19th-century America.
..... Click the link for more information. , Eastman JohnsonJohnson, Eastman,
1824–1906, American portrait and genre painter, b. Lovell, Maine. He studied with a lithographer in Boston and later in Düsseldorf, then for almost four years at The Hague, where he was greatly influenced by the 17th-century Dutch masters.
..... Click the link for more information. , and George Caleb BinghamBingham, George Caleb,
1811–79, American painter and politician, b. Augusta co., Va. His family moved (1819) to Missouri, which was the site of most of Bingham's activities. In 1837 he studied for a short time at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
..... Click the link for more information. . These were the earliest painters of the American scene. In addition, J. J. AudubonAudubon, John James
, 1785–1851, American ornithologist, b. Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (now Haiti). The illegitimate son of a French sea captain and plantation owner and a Creole chambermaid who died months after his birth, he was educated in France and in 1803 came to live
..... Click the link for more information. created an extraordinary, detailed series of paintings of American birds. It is significant that he had to go to England for recognition and publication of his work. John QuidorQuidor, John
, 1801–81, American painter, b. Tappan, N.Y., studied with J. W. Jarvis. Little appreciated in his own time, he was subsequently accorded a place among the best early American artists.
..... Click the link for more information. painted scenes and legendary figures from the works of James Fenimore CooperCooper, James Fenimore,
1789–1851, American novelist, b. Burlington, N.J., as James Cooper. He was the first important American writer to draw on the subjects and landscape of his native land in order to create a vivid myth of frontier life.
..... Click the link for more information. and Washington IrvingIrving, Washington,
1783–1859, American author and diplomat, b. New York City. Irving was one of the first Americans to be recognized abroad as a man of letters, and he was a literary idol at home.
..... Click the link for more information. .
The first half of the 19th cent. witnessed development of the first school of American landscape painting. Thomas DoughtyDoughty, Thomas,
1793–1856, American painter of the Hudson River school, b. Philadelphia. Although self-taught, he was one of the first American landscape painters to win widespread recognition at home and abroad. His paintings, few in number, are mostly of river scenery.
..... Click the link for more information. and Thomas ColeCole, Thomas,
1801–48, American landscape painter, b. England. He arrived in the United States in 1818 and moved to Ohio, where he was impressed by the beauty of the countryside. In 1825 he went to New York, where his landscape paintings began to be appreciated.
..... Click the link for more information. led the Hudson River schoolHudson River school,
group of American landscape painters, working from 1825 to 1875. The 19th-century romantic movements of England, Germany, and France were introduced to the United States by such writers as Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper.
..... Click the link for more information. , which was continued by Asher B. DurandDurand, Asher Brown
, 1796–1886, American painter and engraver, b. near Newark, N.J. He established a reputation by his engravings of Trumbull's Signing of the Declaration of Independence, followed by a series of engraved portraits of eminent contemporaries.
..... Click the link for more information. , John F. KensettKensett, John Frederick
, 1816–72, American landscape painter, of the Hudson River school, b. Cheshire, Conn. He began painting while working as an engraver and in 1840 went to England to study.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Frederick E. ChurchChurch, Frederick Edwin,
1826–1900, American landscape painter of the Hudson River school, b. Hartford, Conn., studied with Thomas Cole at Catskill, N.Y. He traveled and painted in North and South America and in Europe and excelled in panoramic scenes.
..... Click the link for more information. . The land and peoples west of the Mississippi were described in paintings by George CatlinCatlin, George,
1796–1872, American traveler and artist, b. Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Educated as a lawyer, he practiced in Philadelphia for two years but turned to art study and became a portrait painter in New York City. He went west c.
..... Click the link for more information. , Charles M. RussellRussell, Charles Marion,
1864–1926, American painter, b. Oak Hill, Mo. He was one of the two greatest and most popular painters of the American West (the other was Frederic Remington).
..... Click the link for more information. , and Seth Eastman, and in panoramic landscape views by Albert BierstadtBierstadt, Albert
, 1830–1902, American painter of Western scenery, b. Germany. After traveling and sketching throughout the mountains of Europe, he returned to the United States. He then journeyed (1859) to the West with a trail-making expedition.
..... Click the link for more information. and Thomas Moran (see under Moran, EdwardMoran, Edward
, 1829–1901, American painter of marine and historical subjects, b. England. He came to the United States with his family in 1844. In 1899 he completed a series of 13 paintings illustrating epochs in the maritime history of America from the landing of Leif
..... Click the link for more information. ). The work of these men showed a direct response to nature that has never ceased to be an important factor in American art. See luminismluminism
, American art movement of the 19th cent. Luminism was an outgrowth of the Hudson River school. In its concern for capturing the effects of light and atmosphere it is sometimes linked to impressionism. Its practitioners included Frederick E.
..... Click the link for more information. .
In addition, the characteristic American passion for objects realistically portrayed found remarkable expression in the paintings of William HarnettHarnett, William Michael
, 1848–92, American painter, b. Ireland. He emigrated to Philadelphia as a child; he first learned engraving and then studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at the National Academy of Design and Cooper Union.
..... Click the link for more information. and John F. PetoPeto, John F.
, 1854–1907, American painter, b. Philadelphia. Largely self-taught, Peto worked in the exacting style of trompe l'oeil illusionism perfected by William Harnett.
..... Click the link for more information. , and earlier in the still-life works of the Peale family. The strain of primitivism, first evident in the limners, was more pronounced and popular in the early 19th cent. with works by Edward HicksHicks, Edward,
1780–1849, American painter and preacher, b. Bucks co., Pa. A member of the Society of Friends, he became a noted back-country preacher in the conservative group of Quakers associated with his cousin Elias Hicks.
..... Click the link for more information. and Erastus Salisbury FieldField, Erastus Salisbury,
1805–1900, American painter, b. Leverett, Mass. Field's paintings, executed in a primitive manner, included biblical and classical themes and portraits. His famous Historical Monument of the American Republic (c.
..... Click the link for more information. ; it was continued by Grandma MosesMoses, Grandma
(Anna Mary Robertson Moses), 1860–1961, American painter, b. Washington co., N.Y., self-taught. She lived the arduous life of a farm wife, first in the Shenandoah Valley and later at Eagle Bridge, near Hoosick Falls, N.Y.
..... Click the link for more information. and Horace PippinPippin, Horace,
1888–1946, American primitive painter, b. West Chester, Pa. He worked as a porter, peddler, and warehouseman and never studied art. He was severely wounded in World War I. The naive fervor and bold design of his painting brought him recognition in the 1930s.
..... Click the link for more information. in the 20th cent.
In sculpture portraiture provided the main source of patronage. John FrazeeFrazee, John
, 1790–1852, American pioneer sculptor, b. Rahway, N.J. Without formal instruction, he advanced from tombstone cutting to portrait busts, including those of Daniel Webster, John Marshall, and other notables. The portrait of John Wells (1824; St.
..... Click the link for more information. and Hezekiah AugurAugur, Hezekiah
, 1791–1858, American sculptor. After a business failure he devoted himself to art and was encouraged by Samuel F. B. Morse. His bust of Washington and the statuette group Jephtha and His Daughter (Yale Univ.) are among his best-known works.
..... Click the link for more information. with little training produced forceful and original work in marble and wood. Horatio GreenoughGreenough, Horatio
, 1805–52, American sculptor and writer, b. Boston, grad. Harvard, 1824, and studied in Italy under Thorvaldsen. A protégé of Washington Allston, he was a man of ideas in advance of his time.
..... Click the link for more information. began the long tradition of the American sculptor trained in Italy, where he was soon followed by Thomas CrawfordCrawford, Thomas,
1813–57, American sculptor, b. New York City. He was apprenticed to a wood carver and later worked for a firm of tombstone cutters. He achieved his first success with decorations for the Capitol at Washington, D.C.
..... Click the link for more information. , Hiram PowersPowers, Hiram,
1805–73, American sculptor, b. Woodstock, Vt. Having moved to Ohio, he made wax models for a Cincinnati museum. In 1835 he began his career as a sculptor, spending some time in Washington, D.C.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Harriet HosmerHosmer, Harriet Goodhue
, 1830–1908, American sculptor, b. Watertown, Mass. She lived chiefly in Rome, where she produced graceful statues very popular in her day. Of her spirited Puck 30 copies were made.
..... Click the link for more information. . The American sculptors in Italy were greatly influenced by the Danish neoclassicist A. B. ThorvaldsenThorvaldsen or Thorwaldsen, Albert Bertel
, 1770–1844, Danish sculptor, b. Copenhagen. In 1797 he went to Rome, where he shared with Canova the leadership of the neoclassicists.
..... Click the link for more information. . Works of great originality were produced by Clark MillsMills, Clark,
1810–83, American sculptor, b. Onondaga co., N.Y. Self-taught in art, he designed and in 1852 cast in an experimental foundry the statue of General Jackson for Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C. Mills had never seen his subject nor an equestrian statue.
..... Click the link for more information. , Thomas BallBall, Thomas,
1819–1911, American sculptor, b. Charlestown, Mass.; son of a house and sign painter. Thomas Ball was also a singer of reputation, the first in the United States to sing the title role in Mendelssohn's Elijah.
..... Click the link for more information. , and particularly by William RimmerRimmer, William,
1816–79, American sculptor and writer, b. Liverpool, England. He was brought up in the United States and after working as a cobbler in Brockton, Mass., at the age of 30 began the study of medicine.
..... Click the link for more information. , whose untutored sculpture was enormously powerful.
After the Civil War
In painting the post–Civil War period, which was one of unprecedented patronage for the arts from government and private sources, produced works of enduring worth and striking individuality. Among the many outstanding artists of this period, James McNeill WhistlerWhistler, James Abbott McNeill,
1834–1903, American painter, etcher, wit, and eccentric, b. Lowell, Mass.
Whistler was dismissed from West Point for insufficient knowledge of chemistry and from the U.S.
..... Click the link for more information. , Albert Pinkham RyderRyder, Albert Pinkham,
1847–1917, American painter, b. New Bedford, Mass. In 1867 his family moved to New York City. There he studied with W. E. Marshall, the engraver, and at the National Academy of Design, but he was largely self-taught.
..... Click the link for more information. , Thomas EakinsEakins, Thomas
, 1844–1916, American painter, photographer, and sculptor, b. Philadelphia, where he worked most of his life. Eakins is considered the foremost American portrait painter and one of the greatest artists of the 19th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Winslow HomerHomer, Winslow,
1836–1910, American landscape, marine, and genre painter. Homer was born in Boston, where he later worked as a lithographer and illustrator. In 1861 he was sent to the Civil War battlefront as correspondent for Harper's Weekly,
..... Click the link for more information. created works that rank among the finest achievements in American art. While they were contemporaries, these four are strikingly dissimilar. Whistler, an expatriate, cultivated a delicate art of suggestion in his oils and etchings, approaching the effects of French impressionism. Ryder produced a visionary art of profound emotional impact. Eakins painted sympathetic portraits of extraordinary psychological insight and uncompromising honesty. Homer's watercolors are among the strongest interpretations of pure landscape and seascape ever painted.
This period also saw the further development of the romantic landscape in the works of George InnessInness, George
, 1825–94, American landscape painter, b. Newburgh, N.Y. His father intended Inness to be a grocer, but he showed artistic talent at an early age and was apprenticed to an engraver.
..... Click the link for more information. , Alexander H. WyantWyant, Alexander Helwig
, 1836–92, American landscape painter, b. Tuscarawas co., Ohio, studied in Cincinnati and in Germany. He was influenced by Inness, who became his friend.
..... Click the link for more information. , Homer D. MartinMartin, Homer Dodge,
1836–97, American landscape painter, b. Albany, N.Y. His earlier works are in the style of the Hudson River school, but after his stay in France (1881–86) his work showed the influence of the Barbizon school, notably Corot; his style, however,
..... Click the link for more information. , and Ralph BlakelockBlakelock, Ralph Albert,
1847–1919, American landscape painter, b. New York City. The son of a doctor, he was educated for a medical career but abandoned it for painting, in which he was largely self-taught. His life was one of hardship.
..... Click the link for more information. . In Inness, and perhaps even more in William Morris HuntHunt, William Morris,
1824–79, American painter, b. Brattleboro, Vt., studied in Düsseldorf and Paris. He was greatly influenced by the Barbizon school and by J. F. Millet.
..... Click the link for more information. , the influence of the Barbizon schoolBarbizon school
, an informal school of French landscape painting that flourished c.1830–1870. Its name derives from the village of Barbizon, a favorite residence of the painters associated with the school.
..... Click the link for more information. was brought to America. Although French influence had begun to supplant German, the work of the portrait painters William M. ChaseChase, William Merritt,
1849–1916, American painter, b. Williamsburg, Ind., studied in Indianapolis and in Munich under Piloty. In 1878 he began his long career as an influential teacher at the Art Students League of New York and later established his own summer school of
..... Click the link for more information. and Frank DuveneckDuveneck, Frank
, 1848–1919, American portrait and genre painter and teacher, b. Covington, Ky., studied in Cincinnati and in Munich. In 1875 he showed a group of his canvases in Boston, where they created a sensation because of their bold brushwork, rich color, and
..... Click the link for more information. reflected contemporary currents in Munich, as the earlier genre painters had reflected the influence of artists in Düsseldorf. John La FargeLa Farge, John
, 1835–1910, American artist and writer, b. New York City. He studied with William Morris Hunt in Newport, R.I., and with Thomas Couture in Paris. La Farge began his career as a painter of landscapes and figure compositions.
..... Click the link for more information. 's religious murals and stained glass set a new standard for these arts.
John Singer SargentSargent, John Singer,
1856–1925, American painter, b. Florence, Italy, of American parents, educated in Italy, France, and Germany. In 1874 he went to Paris, where he studied under Carolus-Duran.
..... Click the link for more information. , working chiefly in England, excelled in society portraiture, and Elihu VedderVedder, Elihu,
1836–1923, American painter, illustrator, and author, b. New York City, studied in Paris. From 1867 his permanent residence was Rome. He often used romantic landscape as a setting for allegorical images.
..... Click the link for more information. and Edwin AbbeyAbbey, Edwin Austin,
1852–1911, American illustrator and painter, b. Philadelphia, studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Employed by Harper & Brothers, he was sent to England, where he gathered materials for his illustration of Herrick's poems and other
..... Click the link for more information. in illustration. At the close of the 19th cent. and the beginning of the 20th, John TwachtmanTwachtman, John Henry
, 1853–1902, American landscape painter and etcher, b. Cincinnati. He studied in Cincinnati under Duveneck and in Munich and Paris, but was influenced principally by the impressionists.
..... Click the link for more information. , Childe HassamHassam, Childe
(Frederick Childe Hassam) , 1859–1935, American painter and printmaker, b. Boston, studied in Paris. With their flickering light and airy palette, Hassam's sprightly landscapes, cityscapes, and interiors show the strong influence of late 19th-century French
..... Click the link for more information. , Ernest LawsonLawson, Ernest,
1873–1939, American landscape painter, b. San Francisco. He studied art in Kansas City, in New York City under Twachtman and J. Alden Weir, and in Paris. On returning to New York he joined the independent artists' group called the Eight.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Mary CassattCassatt, Mary
, 1844–1926, American figure painter and etcher, b. Pittsburgh. Most of her life was spent in France, where she was greatly influenced by her great French contemporaries, particularly Manet and Degas, whose friendship and esteem she enjoyed.
..... Click the link for more information. as well as such lesser-known American artists as Willard Metcalf (1858–1925) worked under the direct influence of French impressionismimpressionism,
in painting, late-19th-century French school that was generally characterized by the attempt to depict transitory visual impressions, often painted directly from nature, and by the use of pure, broken color to achieve brilliance and luminosity.
..... Click the link for more information. . Meanwhile, under the same influence, Maurice PrendergastPrendergast, Maurice Brazil,
1859–1924, American painter, b. St. John's, N.L., Canada, educated in Boston. In 1886 he worked his way to Europe on a cattle boat and studied in Paris at Julian's and at the Colarossi Academy.
..... Click the link for more information. created original, boldly colorful images of passing urban scenes. In a wholly different vein, realistic if somewhat romanticized scenes of life in the American West were painted by several artist-illustrators, the most prominent of whom were Frederick RemingtonRemington, Frederic,
1861–1909, American painter, sculptor, illustrator, and writer, b. Canton, N.Y., studied at the Yale School of Fine Arts and the Art Students League.
..... Click the link for more information. and C. M. Russell.
In sculpture after the Civil War there was an increased demand for commemorative work. Notable sculptors in the monumental tradition include John Quincy Adams WardWard, John Quincy Adams,
1830–1910, American sculptor, b. Urbana, Ohio. He was trained under H. K. Brown, whom he assisted in the execution of the equestrian statue of George Washington in New York City.
..... Click the link for more information. and Daniel Chester FrenchFrench, Daniel Chester,
1850–1931, American sculptor, b. Exeter, N.H., studied in Florence and in Boston with William Rimmer. After executing his first large work, The Minute Man
..... Click the link for more information. . The workshop of John RogersRogers, John,
1829–1904, American sculptor, b. Salem, Mass. Trained as an engineer, he was forced by failing eyesight to work as a machinist. He began modeling in clay as a pastime and studied sculpture in Rome for a short while.
..... Click the link for more information. produced small figures and genre groups that became popular. Later, Remington's small bronzes extended the subject matter of native realism westward to include the cowboy. Neoclassical tendencies dominated in the work of Olin WarnerWarner, Olin Levi,
1844–96, American sculptor, b. Suffield, Conn. He studied art in Paris, working for a time as an assistant to J.-B. Carpeaux. He served in the Franco-Prussian War (1870) and returned to the United States in 1892, setting up a studio in New York City.
..... Click the link for more information. and Augustus Saint-GaudensSaint-Gaudens, Augustus
, 1848–1907, American sculptor, b. Dublin, Ireland. His family immigrated to New York when he was an infant. An apprentice in cameo cutting at 13, he gained mastery over low-relief sculpture.
..... Click the link for more information. , both of whom studied in Paris.
The Twentieth Century
Among early 20th-century American sculptors Paul BartlettBartlett, Paul Wayland,
1865–1925. American sculptor, b. New Haven, Conn. The son of a sculptor, he lived in Paris in his boyhood and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and under Frémiet. The Bohemian Bear Trainer won a gold medal at the Salon of 1888.
..... Click the link for more information. , Karl BitterBitter, Karl Theodore Francis,
1867–1915, American sculptor, b. Austria. Having done some decorative modeling in Austria, Bitter soon found work when he came to the United States in 1889.
..... Click the link for more information. , Frederick MacMonniesMacMonnies, Frederick William
, 1863–1937, American sculptor and painter, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., studied with Augustus Saint-Gaudens and with Falguière in Paris. His fountain for the Court of Honor at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893, brought him fame.
..... Click the link for more information. , George BarnardBarnard, George Grey,
1863–1938, American sculptor, b. Bellefonte, Pa. He studied engraving, then sculpture, first at the Art Institute of Chicago, then at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Lorado TaftTaft, Lorado
, 1860–1936, American sculptor, lecturer, and writer on art, b. Elmwood, Ill., studied at the École des Beaux-Arts. In 1886 he became instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago, exerting a strong influence over the young sculptors of the West.
..... Click the link for more information. exhibited a continuing conflict between naturalistic and idealized modes of representation. A significant cultural development of the era was the founding and expansion of American museums, whose collections were important to the art student and public alike. Under the impetus of new techniques of reproduction, the art of illustration flourished. The work of Edwin Abbey, Arthur FrostFrost, Arthur Burdett,
1851–1928, American illustrator and cartoonist, b. Philadelphia; pupil of Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He worked chiefly in New York City and became one of the most popular illustrators of his time.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Howard PylePyle, Howard,
1853–1911, American illustrator and writer, b. Wilmington, Del., studied at the Art Students League, New York City. His illustrations appeared regularly in Harper's Weekly, and in many other American magazines.
..... Click the link for more information. was outstanding, appearing in Harper's and numerous other illustrated magazines and books.
Most importantly, in the 20th cent. American art turned to the exploitation of new techniques and new modes of expression. The functional design aesthetic of the machine strongly influenced all the arts. Meanwhile, the development of photographyphotography, still,
science and art of making permanent images on light-sensitive materials.
See also photographic processing; motion picture photography; motion pictures.
..... Click the link for more information. forced a reevaluation of the representational nature of painting, and the formal and expressive capacities of modern European art opened fresh fields for the American artist.
Early in the century a vigorous movement toward realism in subject matter and freedom in technique was headed by Robert HenriHenri, Robert
, 1865–1929, American painter and teacher, b. Cincinnati as Robert Henry Cozad. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1888 he went to Paris, where he worked at Julian's and the Beaux-Arts until, dissatisfied with the schools, he set up
..... Click the link for more information. , John SloanSloan, John,
1871–1951, American painter and etcher, b. Lock Haven, Pa. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and worked for 12 years as an illustrator on the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Press.
..... Click the link for more information. , and George LuksLuks, George Benjamin
, 1867–1933, American portrait and genre painter, b. Williamsport, Pa., studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and in Düsseldorf.
..... Click the link for more information. . With William GlackensGlackens, William James,
1870–1938, American landscape and genre painter and illustrator, b. Philadelphia. An illustrator for Philadelphia and New York City newspapers and magazines for many years, Glackens first exhibited his paintings with the Eight and achieved fame as
..... Click the link for more information. , Everett ShinnShinn, Everett,
1876–1953, American painter and magazine illustrator, b. Woodstown, N.J., studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Moving to New York City, Shinn created a series of murals for Stanford White that led to numerous commissions.
..... Click the link for more information. , and others, they formed the EightEight, the,
group of American artists in New York City, formed in 1908 to exhibit paintings. They were men of widely different tendencies, held together mainly by their common opposition to academism.
..... Click the link for more information. , a group also known as the "Ash-can School." They sought to communicate something of the reality of everyday life through art. At the same time, Alfred StieglitzStieglitz, Alfred
, 1864–1946, American photographer, editor, and art exhibitor, b. Hoboken, N.J. The first art photographer in the United States, Stieglitz more than any other American compelled the recognition of photography as a fine art.
..... Click the link for more information. offered America early glimpses of fauve and cubist work from Europe and exhibited abstract paintings by such Americans as Max WeberWeber, Max
, 1881–1961, American painter, b. Russia. At 10 he accompanied his family to Brooklyn, N.Y. He studied art at Pratt Institute and in 1905 went abroad. In Paris he studied under J. P. Laurens, later visiting Spain and Italy and returning to New York in 1909.
..... Click the link for more information. , Marsden HartleyHartley, Marsden,
1877–1943, American painter widely considered the first great American modernist of the 20th cent., b. Lewiston, Maine. He was educated in Cleveland, but early in his career (1899) went to New York City, where he studied under William Merritt Chase and at
..... Click the link for more information. , and John MarinMarin, John
, 1870–1953, American landscape painter, b. Rutherford, N.J. After a year at Stevens Institute of Technology, he worked for four years as an architectural draftsman.
..... Click the link for more information. at his revolutionary 291 Gallery for contemporary photographs and paintings.
The full force of European modernism was presented to shocked Americans in the famous Armory ShowArmory Show,
international exhibition of modern art held in 1913 at the 69th-regiment armory in New York City. It was a sensational introduction of modern art into the United States. The estimated 1,600 works included paintings representing avant-garde movements in Europe.
..... Click the link for more information. of 1913 in New York City, which was organized by such American artists as Arthur B. DaviesDavies, Arthur Bowen
, 1862–1928, American painter and lithographer, b. Utica, N.Y., studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League, New York City. In 1893 he traveled in Europe and exhibited successfully on his return.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Walt KuhnKuhn, Walt,
1880–1949, American painter, b. New York City. At the age of 19 he worked as a cartoonist in San Francisco, contributing later to Life magazine. After travel and study in Europe he devoted himself largely to oil painting.
..... Click the link for more information. . Under the influence of this exhibition, the early work of such Americans as Joseph StellaStella, Joseph,
1877–1946, American painter, b. Italy, emigrated to the United States in 1896. He studied at the Art Students League of New York City with William Chase and later in Italy and Paris.
..... Click the link for more information. , Yasuo KuniyoshiKuniyoshi, Yasuo
, 1889?–1953, American painter, b. Okayama, Japan. He came to the United States in 1906 and studied art in Los Angeles and at the Art Students League in New York City. He visited Europe in 1925 and in 1928.
..... Click the link for more information. , Charles DemuthDemuth, Charles
, 1883–1935, American watercolor painter, b. Lancaster, Pa. At the age of 20 he began his art study under William Chase at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1907 and again in 1912, Demuth visited Europe.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Stuart DavisDavis, Stuart,
1894–1964, American painter, b. Philadelphia, studied with Robert Henri in New York City. At the age of 19 he did drawings and covers for The Masses and exhibited in the Armory Show.
..... Click the link for more information. revealed new abstract tendencies. George BellowsBellows, George Wesley,
1882–1925, American painter, draftsman, and lithographer, b. Columbus, Ohio. The son of an engineer, architect, and builder, he left Ohio State Univ. in his senior year to study painting under Robert Henri in New York City.
..... Click the link for more information. and Rockwell KentKent, Rockwell,
1882–1971, American painter, muralist, wood engraver, lithographer, book and magazine illustrator, and writer, b. Tarrytown, N.Y. Kent studied with William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri.
..... Click the link for more information. remained popular realists, and Edward HopperHopper, Edward,
1882–1967, American painter and engraver, b. Nyack, N.Y., studied in New York City with Robert Henri. Hopper lived in France for a year but was little influenced by the artistic currents there.
..... Click the link for more information. and Charles BurchfieldBurchfield, Charles
(Charles Ephraim Burchfield), 1893–1967, American painter, b. Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio, studied Cleveland School of Art. Living at first in Ohio, then moving (1921) to upstate New York, he worked (1921–29) as a wallpaper designer.
..... Click the link for more information. developed a more poignant and intensely personal realism. John Marin caught the imposing breadth of nature in his watercolors, while Georgia O'KeeffeO'Keeffe, Georgia
, 1887–1986, American painter, b. Sun Prairie, Wis. After working briefly as a commercial artist in Chicago, O'Keeffe abandoned painting until she began the study of abstract design with A. W. Dow at Columbia Univ. Teachers College.
..... Click the link for more information. and Charles SheelerSheeler, Charles,
1883–1965, American painter and photographer, b. Philadelphia, studied at the School of Industrial Art there and later at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under William M. Chase. With Chase he made two visits to Europe to study art.
..... Click the link for more information. combined realism with varying degrees of precise formal design.
Meanwhile, Peter BlumeBlume, Peter
, 1906–92, American painter, b. Russia. Blume immigrated to the United States in 1911. In his early work, such as The Parade (1930; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City), he sought to depict through symbolism the smooth, hard contours of the industrial
..... Click the link for more information. , Ivan AlbrightAlbright, Ivan Le Lorraine
, 1897–1983, American painter, b. North Harvey, Ill. Allied with the Magic Realist group, Albright developed a style combining American scene painting with surrealist influences.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Edwin DickinsonDickinson, Edwin Walter,
1891–1978, American painter, b. Seneca Falls, N.Y. He studied in New York City with William Merritt Chase, and spent most of his life on Cape Cod.
..... Click the link for more information. developed differing and complex realist and surrealist styles. A chauvinistic espousal of the American scene flourished under Thomas Hart BentonBenton, Thomas Hart,
1889–1975, American regionalist painter, b. Neosho, Mo.; grandnephew of Sen. Thomas Hart Benton and son of Rep. Maecenas E. Benton. In 1906 and 1907 he attended the Art Institute of Chicago and at 19 went to Paris, where he remained for three years,
..... Click the link for more information. and Grant WoodWood, Grant,
1891–1942, American painter, b. Anamosa, Iowa, studied Art Institute of Chicago and in Paris. He experimented with an impressionist style in Paris, but in Munich in 1928 he was decisively influenced by German and Flemish primitive painters, Memling in
..... Click the link for more information. in the early 1930s, while the same decade and the 1940s saw the rise of a more socially conscious realistic art in the work of Ben ShahnShahn, Ben
(Benjamin Shahn), 1898–1969, American painter and graphic artist, b. Lithuania. Shahn emigrated to the United States in 1906. After working in lithography until 1930, his style crystallized in a series of 23 paintings concerning the Sacco-Vanzetti trial, among
..... Click the link for more information. , Philip EvergoodEvergood, Philip,
1901–73, American painter and etcher, b. New York City. His original name was Philip Blashki. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge and studied art in New York City and Paris.
..... Click the link for more information. , Reginald MarshMarsh, Reginald,
1898–1954, American painter and illustrator, b. Paris. Both his parents were artists. After their return to the United States, he studied at Yale (B.A., 1920).
..... Click the link for more information. , Jacob LawrenceLawrence, Jacob,
1917–2000, American painter, b. Atlantic City, N.J. In Lawrence's work social themes, often detailing the African-American experience, are expressed in colorfully angular, simplified, expressive, and richly decorative figurative effects.
..... Click the link for more information. , Isabel BishopBishop, Isabel,
1902–88, American painter, b. Cincinnati, Ohio. Influenced by the New York City painters of the 1930s, Bishop produced numerous paintings of working women.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Raphael and Moses SoyerSoyer,
three brothers, American painters, emigrated with their family from Russia in 1912. Two were twins, Raphael Soyer, 1899–1987, and Moses Soyer, 1899–1974, b. Borisoglebsk.
..... Click the link for more information. . Several years later this social awareness was given bitter expression in the paintings of Jack LevineLevine, Jack
, 1915–2010, American painter, b. Boston. Levine began his career with the Federal Arts Project. His savagely realistic paintings, executed with diffused, prismatic textural effects, treat social themes in a bitter, satirical vein.
..... Click the link for more information. .
Government sponsorship of the arts during the years of the Great Depression under the Dept. of the Treasury's Section of Fine Arts and the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration enabled many artists to continue working, embellishing many public buildings with murals and creating smaller works for display in public institutions. The Farm Security Administration supported the photographic documentation of rural America, a project that employed a number of outstanding photographers and resulted in a moving portrait of America in crisis. World War II brought an influx of European painters who were to influence the course of American art. They included Joan MiróMiró, Joan
, 1893–1983, Spanish surrealist painter. After studying in Barcelona, Miró went to Paris in 1919. In the 1920s he came into contact with cubism and surrealism.
..... Click the link for more information. , Salvador DalíDalí, Salvador
, 1904–89, Spanish painter. At first influenced by futurism, in 1924 Dalí came under the influence of the Italian painter de Chirico and by 1929 he had become a leader of surrealism.
..... Click the link for more information. , Max ErnstErnst, Max
1891–1976, German painter. After World War I, Ernst joined the Dada movement in Paris and then became a founder of surrealism. Apart from the medium of collage, for which he is well known, Ernst developed other devices to express his fantastic vision.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Yves TanguyTanguy, Yves
, 1900–1955, French surrealist painter. At first a merchant seaman, he saw a picture by Chirico in 1923 and instantly decided to take up painting. He created vast imaginary dream landscapes, in which float strange, often amorphous, objects and
..... Click the link for more information. .
A continuing realistic tradition in American sculpture produced works in traditional styles during the 1920s and 30s. Among these are Gutzon BorglumBorglum, Gutzon
(John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum) , 1867–1941, American sculptor, b. Idaho; son of a Danish immigrant physician and rancher. He studied at the San Francisco Art Academy and in Paris at Julian's academy and the École des Beaux-Arts.
..... Click the link for more information. 's enormous Mt. Rushmore monument, the classicizing figures of Paul ManshipManship, Paul Howard,
1885–1966, American sculptor, b. St. Paul, Minn., studied at St. Paul Institute of Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the American Academy at Rome. He often went to classical mythology for his subjects.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Mahonri YoungYoung, Mahonri Mackintosh
, 1877–1957, American sculptor, painter, and etcher, b. Salt Lake City, studied at the Art Students League and at Julian's Academy, Paris; grandson of Brigham Young.
..... Click the link for more information. 's naturalistic athletes and laborers. Nonetheless, the dominant tendency of national sculpture was toward abstract design and expressive form, a trend to which William ZorachZorach, William
, 1887–1966, American sculptor, b. Lithuania. His family emigrated to the United States when he was four and settled near Cleveland. After studying at the Cleveland School of Art and the National Academy of Design, New York City, Zorach spent two years in
..... Click the link for more information. , Gaston LachaiseLachaise, Gaston
, 1882–1935, American sculptor, b. Paris. After studying in Paris, he emigrated to the United States in 1906. For 12 years he worked in Boston and New York City, chiefly for the sculptors H. H.
..... Click the link for more information. , and, later, Leonard BaskinBaskin, Leonard,
1922–2000, American sculptor, graphic artist, and teacher, b. New Brunswick, N.J. In sculptural and graphic works that are figurative in style, Baskin's images of a corrupt, bloated humanity often have an element of sardonic humor.
..... Click the link for more information. contributed figurative work. Alexander CalderCalder, Alexander
, 1898–1976, American sculptor, b. Philadelphia; son of Alexander Stirling Calder and grandson of Alexander Mine Calder, prominent sculptors. Among the most innovative of modern sculptors, he trained as a mechanical engineer and studied at New York's Art
..... Click the link for more information. pioneered in the use of mobile welded metal forms, adding motion as a new dimension in sculpture.
In painting from 1945–60 the work of all but the most intensive realists, such as Andrew WyethWyeth, Andrew Newell
, 1917–2009, American painter, b. Chadds Ford, Pa. Wyeth's work has been enormously popular, critically acclaimed, and sometimes severely criticized since his first one-man show in 1937. He was trained by his father, the noted illustrator N. C.
..... Click the link for more information. , tended increasingly toward abstraction. Such artists as Arshile GorkyGorky, Arshile
, c.1900–48, American painter, b. Armenia as Vosdanig Adoian. He escaped the Turkish slaughter of Armenians, emigrated to the United States in 1920, studied at Boston's New School of Design, and moved to New York City in 1925.
..... Click the link for more information. , Mark RothkoRothko, Mark
, 1903–70, American painter, b. Dvinsk, Russia (now Daugavpils, Latvia), as Marcus Rotkovitch. His family immigrated to the United States in 1913. He was a student of Max Weber, then came under the influence of the surrealists.
..... Click the link for more information. , Morris Graves, Mark TobeyTobey, Mark,
1890–1976, American painter, b. Centerville, Wis. An avid traveler, Tobey visited China and Japan in 1934. He then developed his celebrated "white writing," in which he attempted to symbolize the human spirit by applying principles of Eastern calligraphy to
..... Click the link for more information. , and Helen FrankenthalerFrankenthaler, Helen
, 1928–2011, American painter, b. New York City. The youngest of the women who formed part of abstract expressionism's second generation, Frankenthaler was greatly influenced by Jackson Pollock, with whom she studied.
..... Click the link for more information. developed and employed abstraction in works of highly personal symbolic content, while painters such as Jackson PollockPollock, Jackson,
1912–56, American painter, b. Cody, Wyo. He studied (1929–31) in New York City, mainly under Thomas Hart Benton, but he was more strongly influenced by A. P. Ryder and the Mexican muralists, especially Siqueiros.
..... Click the link for more information. , Willem de Kooningde Kooning, Willem
, 1904–97, American painter, b. Netherlands; studied Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts and Techniques. De Kooning immigrated to the United States, arriving as a stowaway in 1926 and settling in New York City, where he worked on the Federal Arts Project
..... Click the link for more information. , Adolph GottliebGottlieb, Adolph,
1903–74, American painter, b. New York City. Gottlieb studied under John Sloan and Robert Henri. In the 1940s he created pictographs which were stylized, primitive symbols set in a gridlike pattern. His abstract dynamic canvases of the following decade (e.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Franz KlineKline, Franz,
1910–62, American painter, b. Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He studied (1937–38) in England, then settled in New York City. His first works were representational, often portraying the industrial landscapes of Pennsylvania's coal and steel towns.
..... Click the link for more information. created a bold and unique imagery that made American painting a dominant influence in world art (see abstract expressionismabstract expressionism,
movement of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the mid-1940s and attained singular prominence in American art in the following decade; also called action painting and the New York school.
..... Click the link for more information. ). In sculpture of the 1940s and 50s the free play of abstract forms in light and space and the use of new materials were vigorously exploited by David SmithSmith, David,
1906–65, American sculptor, b. Decatur, Ind. He arrived in New York City in 1926 and studied painting at the Art Students League. In the 1930s he began experimenting with sculpture and after 1935 he worked primarily in this medium.
..... Click the link for more information. , Theodore RoszakRoszak, Theodore
, 1907–81, American sculptor, b. Poland. Commencing his artistic career as a painter, Roszak began in the late 1930s to create constructions in plastics and metal.
..... Click the link for more information. , Herbert FerberFerber, Herbert,
1906–91, American sculptor, b. New York City, grad. Columbia (D.D.S., 1930). His original name was Herbert Ferber Silvers. Turning from early massive figures in wood and stone, he developed large, spatially inventive abstractions in brazed metal called
..... Click the link for more information. , Isamu NoguchiNoguchi, Isamu
, 1904–88, American sculptor, b. Los Angeles. The son of a Japanese poet father and an American mother, he was a student of Gutzon Borglum and won Guggenheim fellowships (1927 and 1928) that permitted him to study in Paris under Brancusi.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Richard LippoldLippold, Richard
, 1915–2002, American sculptor, engineer, and designer, b. Milwaukee. Until 1941, Lippold worked as an industrial designer. As a sculptor, he achieved startling effects in intricately arranged, precisely engineered constructions of suspended wire and sheet
..... Click the link for more information. .
The pop artpop art,
movement that restored realism to avant-garde art; it first emerged in Great Britain at the end of the 1950s as a reaction against the seriousness of abstract expressionism.
..... Click the link for more information. movement of the 1950s and 60s utilized an aesthetic based on the mass-produced artifacts of urban culture, rejecting the concepts of beauty and ugliness. Its major practitioners included Andy Warhol, Roy LichtensteinLichtenstein, Roy
, 1923–97, American painter, b. New York City. A master of pop art, Lichtenstein derived his subject matter from popular sources such as comic strips, the imagery of which he used until the early 1970s.
..... Click the link for more information. , Jasper JohnsJohns, Jasper,
1930–, American artist, b. Augusta, Ga. Influenced by Marcel Duchamp in the mid-1950s, Johns attempted to transform common objects into art by placing them in an art context.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Robert RauschenbergRauschenberg, Robert
, 1925–2008, American painter, b. Port Arthur, Tex., as Milton Ernest Rauschenberg. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, and at New York's Art Students League.
..... Click the link for more information. . Other nonobjective styles of painting and sculpture flourished concurrently with pop art during the 1960s, including op artop art
, movement that became prominent in the United States and Europe in the mid-1960s. Deriving from abstract expressionism, op art includes paintings concerned with surface kinetics. Colors were used to create visual effects, such as afterimages and trompe l'oeil.
..... Click the link for more information. , minimalism, and color-field paintingcolor-field painting,
abstract art movement that originated in the 1960s. Coming after the abstract expressionism of the 1950s, color-field painting represents a sharp change from the earlier movement.
..... Click the link for more information. .
No single school or style has dominated American art in the latter half of the 20th cent., as artists have sought numerous avenues of individual expression. Sculptural abstraction was developed in individual directions by John ChamberlainChamberlain, John,
1927–2011, American sculptor, b. Rochester, Ind. In the late 1950s, Chamberlain became known for his welded abstract assemblages of smashed automobile parts and colored scrap metal.
..... Click the link for more information. , Eva Hess, Carl AndreAndre, Carl
, 1935–, American sculptor, b. Quincy, Mass. A student of Patrick Morgan and associate of Frank Stella, Andre produces sculptures of elemental form and abstract monumentality.
..... Click the link for more information. , Louise NevelsonNevelson, Louise,
1900–1988, American sculptor, b. Kiev, Russia. Using odd pieces of wood, found objects, cast metal and other materials, Nevelson constructed huge walls or enclosed box arrangements of complex and rhythmic abstract shapes.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Tony Smith; minimalist sculpture in particular was developed by Donald JuddJudd, Donald Clarence,
1928–94, American artist, b. Excelsior Springs, Mo. His sculpture, allied with the minimalist school of the late 1960s (see minimalism; modern art), has the appearance of industrial fabrication.
..... Click the link for more information. . Postmodern developments in painting and sculpture include photorealismphotorealism,
international art movement of the late 1960s and 70s that stressed the precise rendering of subject matter, often taken from actual photographs or painted with the aid of slides.
..... Click the link for more information. , conceptualism, neoexpressionism, assemblage, land artland art
art form developed in the late 1960s and early 70s by Robert Smithson, Robert Morris, Michael Heizer, and others, in which the artist employs the elements of nature in situ or rearranges the landscape with earthmoving equipment.
..... Click the link for more information. , and performance and process art (see performance artperformance art,
multimedia art form originating in the 1970s in which performance is the dominant mode of expression. Perfomance art may incorporate such elements as instrumental or electronic music, song, dance, television, film, sculpture, spoken dialogue, and storytelling.
..... Click the link for more information. ; see also contemporary artcontemporary art,
the art of the late 20th cent. and early 21st cent., both an outgrowth and a rejection of modern art. As the force and vigor of abstract expressionism diminished, new artistic movements and styles arose during the 1960s and 70s to challenge and displace
..... Click the link for more information. ).
The ascendancy of women and minority artists since the 1970s has been marked by essentialism, the assertion of the artist's distinctive heritage or social circumstance, favoring a point of view typically presented as outside the mainstream of contemporary art. Imagery suggestive of female anatomy and sexuality has been central to the works of Judy ChicagoChicago, Judy
(Judy Gerowitz Chicago) , 1939–, American artist, b. Chicago as Judy Cohen, grad. Univ. of California, Los Angeles (B.A. 1962, M.A. 1964). A feminist and founder of the Women's Art Education collective, she works in a variety of media, including such
..... Click the link for more information. ; an awareness of stereotypes of African-American women has informed drawings and installations by Adrian Piper. Jenny Holzer in her work has made extensive use of the printed word.
No single trend can be said to have dominated American art in the closing decades of the 20th cent. However, in general, American art in the 1980s and 90s saw an increased occurrence of words as statement and image as well as a widened use of photography, collage, and a variety of other media. Also characterizing these decades was eclecticism in both materials and imagery, combinations of painting and sculpture in single works, a trend toward use of the ironic, a resurgance of realism, and a heightened use of "borrowings" from other periods and works of art.
See A. T. Gardner, Yankee Stonecutters (1945); L. Lippard, Pop Art (1967); J. K. Howat, The Hudson River and Its Painters (1972); M. Brown, American Art (1979); D. Ashton, American Art Since 1945 (1982); E. Lucie-Smith, American Art Now (1985); C. Copeland and J. M. De La Croix, Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Art (1987); B. Haskell, The American Century, Art and Culture, 1900–1950 (1999) and L. Phillips, The American Century, Art and Culture, 1950–2000 (1999); A. Cohen-Solal, Painting American: The Rise of American Artists, Paris 1867–New York 1948 (2001).