MCA 7

"Every age projects its own images into its art."  Social Realism (1930-1945), began during the Great Depression. The movement was divided into two groups of artists with different approaches to depicting what was occurring in the world. The Social Realists were dedicated to depicting the social troubles of the lower urban classes. The Regionalists painted more positively as a hope to bringing the nation out of depression by showing them that there was hope for a better future. Social Realism was characterized by scenes depicting industrial and urban landscapes and scenes on collective farms portraying the suffering of the lower classes caused by the Great Depression. Two artists that portrayed this period well was Sir Hubert von Herkomer (1849-1914) and Ben Shahn (1898-1969).

What I think Herkomer was trying to portray in this painting entitled The Dying Monarch, was that the social aspects of the day didn't need to revolve around the monarchy. Also that the nature and landscapes of the world were dying because of the horrific conditions that were caused by the Great Depression.
In this painting by Herkomer, he tried to show the frailness of the women at the conference and despite their sharpened and protruding bone structures that they all appeared to in some peace of mind.
In this painting by Herkomer, he depicts a lovely woodland scene with equally cute bunnies. Herkomer shows another side to this era that was characterized by sadness, cruelty and loneliness. Herkomer shows that in the countryside there was still beauty and that people needed to just look and that they would be able to find it.
Shahn on the other hand was an excellent photographer of the time period. He showed the world a new view to things such as the hardships that the urban lower classes had to face. In this photo you see two little boys who seem fairly healthy despite their small structures, dirty skin and filthy clothes.
Shahn shows a little girl on a porch being watched by her mother in the background. The girl seems to be in better condition than the two boys in the previous photo. She seems to be wearing a new or gently used dress. the mother in the background doesn't seem supportive of the photo being taken by Shahn as it appears that she is giving the camera or cameraman the middle finger.
Shahn shows five men in this photo of mixed races and ethnic backgrounds. The men all seem to be well dressed and some even have tobacco and newspapers. Although the men are seated in front of an old and dingy grocery store.
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