1925 - 1945

Movement in American art that focused on local, representational subject-matter. Regionalism was the dominant style in American art during the 1930s and into the 1940s, often depicting scenes of the rural Midwest, American folklore, or the hard times during the Great Depression. Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood—all Midwesterners—are artists most commonly associated with Regionalism. In some formulations, however, the work of Stuart Davis and Edward Hopper could also be considered ‘Regionalist’, as they painted during the same period and drew on local sources for subject-matter, though in their case the focus was on city life. In this light, Regionalism can be viewed as an artist’s desire to connect with his or her surroundings rather than to universal themes (as was often the case with abstraction).
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© Grove Art / OUP

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