19th–20th Century American Art
The Collection Galleries
American art established itself internationally in the 19th century through representations of the wilderness, a natural feature Europe hadn’t had for centuries. Some painters created large canvases glorifying the western Rockies while others composed intimate, more contemplative scenes. As the 20th century progressed, artists emerged who examined American life and culture. Some, termed Regionalists, created art that featured values, often associated with life in the rural Midwest, such as hard work and religious conservatism, while others, known as Social Realists, tackled the challenges of urban life. Both of these styles flourished in the 1930s when America was in the grips of the Great Depression.