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by: Jessika Song

Regionalism ARHI 2400

Jessika Song

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These notes are a combination of material from the textbook and from class lectures, to give you all of the information you'll need for the exam.
History of Art Survey, Part II
Beth Fadeley
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessika Song on Tuesday May 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARHI 2400 at University of Georgia taught by Beth Fadeley in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see History of Art Survey, Part II in Art History at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 05/03/16
4GIKQPCNKUO▯ Regionalism United States, 1930-1945 - In the 1930s, much of the Western world was plunged into the Great Depressions, however, the federal government established programs to provide relief and reform. The programs supporting artists were the Treasury Relief Art Project, founded in 1934 to commission art for federal buildings, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) — the largest agency of FDR’s New Deal, founded in 1935 to relieve widespread unemployment. [New Deal: 1934-1941] - The United States’ policy of isolationism caused the U.S. to become a haven for European artists who, like the rest of Europe in the inter-war period, had a deep fear of fascism and change in government. - At this time, European elitism began to fall out of fashion due to people’s awareness of real- life situations and problems. The Regionalists - John Steuart Curry, Grant Wood, and Thomas Hart Benton; who rejected the elite modernist aesthetic and focused on American subjects. - They believed that art should be relatable and accessible to people’s lives. - Although they were all trained in big cities, and Europe, they still stood firm in their beliefs — even possessed a sense of self-deprecating humor in their art. Baptism in Kansas - John Steuart Curry depicts a baptism, but has the baptism occur in a trough that would typically be used to water cattle. - It can be seen that Curry is slyly mocking religiosity and folk art by using visual cues see in traditional art. Grant Wood (1891-1942) - Born and raised in Iowa; best known for depicting the rural American midwest. - Studied many styles of painting in Europe, especially Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. American Gothic - One of the most famous paintings in American art and one of few paintings to reach the status of widely recognized cultural icon. - Wood depicted a farmer and his spinster daughter, in traditional attire, standing in front of a neat house with a small lancet window, a motif originating in Gothic architecture and associated with churches and religious piety. - It can be seen that the woman is wearing a brooch with a wood nymph on it, which is associated with sexuality, thus incorporating hidden humor. - Their upright, humorless, and grim expressions embody qualities of strength and fortitude, representing the true spirit of America. - Also repeats the pitchfork image throughout the painting. Parson Weems’ Fable - Parson Weems = George Washington’s most famous apocryphal biographer. - Modeled after Weems’ tale of the cherry tree, Wood depicts Washington as a child with a grown adult head (Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Washington) — more evidence of the Regionalists satire. - Wood plays with the idea that former artists and society, in general, uses history in whatever way they find suitable at the time. Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) - Whereas Wood focused his attention on Iowa, Benton turned to scenes from his native Missouri. - Benton, like Wood, championed a visually accessible style, but he developed a highly personal aesthetic that included complex compositions, a fluidity of imagery, and simplified figures depicted with a rubbery distortion. - Studied in Paris and lived in New York City for more than 20 years. - Known for his mural paintings and fluid style of painting. A Social History of Missouri - A series of murals done in 1936 for the Missouri State Capitol. The murals depict a collection of images from the state’s historic and legendary past, such as primitive agriculture, horse trading, a vigilante lynching, and an old-fashioned political meeting. - Part documentary and part invention, Benton’s images include both positive and negative aspects of Missouri’s history. The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley - A painting about a song — jealous man kills his lover, only to find out that she was not cheating on him in the first place. - Benton’s style of painting perfectly portrays a scene that is evoked from the song, flowing out from the violin itself.


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