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American Regionalism

Most popular in the early part of the 1930s, American Realist Modern Art Movement or American Regionalism is a Western style of painting. Most artists painting in this style attempt to create depictions of rural life that are healthy and normal. These artists had a dislike of the hectic pace of life in the city. During the early thirties, there was a great conflict among American Regionalism, Abstract and Social Realism art forms.

Details in art of the American Regionalism style generally focused on limited subjects and genuine themes. This art form was a reflection of positivity in lifestyles. Many of the paintings showcased villages and the normal daily routines. Some themes in Regionalism were animals, landscapes and other natural subjects.

A prime example of American Regionalism art style can be seen in the works created by Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry and Grant Wood. Some of their famous paintings included Grant Wood’s American Gothic completed in 1930. Wood drew his inspiration for the masterpiece from a rural cottage. The main characters are a farmer and a lady. It is unknown if the woman in the painting is the farmer’s wife or his daughter. John S. Curry’s Kansas Pastoral – The Unmortgaged Farm is a beautiful mural created in black and white. Curry was inspired to create this fine work of art by the natural surroundings of the Kansas Statehouse of Topeka. This piece depicts grazing cattle against a background of farmland. Another great painting, Letter from Overseas by Thomas Hart Benton was created in 1943. Created on fine woven paper, this piece was a lithograph.