The Minneapolis Institute of Arts - Museum Home Page
Exhibition Preview
The Origins of Villa America
American Moderns
The American Scene
Return from Bohemia
In the Studio
The Artist's Portrait
Shop Online

Exhibition Preview

The American Scene

Following the stock market crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression, the early 20th century's long period of artistic innovation largely came to an end. The 1930s ushered in a more somber, realistic mode: themes drawn from everyday life reflected regional values and a new sense of social responsibility. Throughout the country, artists became interpreters of America. In New York, painters such as Walt Kuhn and Reginald Marsh portrayed the vitality of the city, depicting its diverse residents and chronicling their varied activities. Others, such as Paul Cadmus and Philip Evergood, combined realistic depiction with caricature and social critique, creating a style often referred to as Social Realism.

Reginald Marsh, Star Burlesque, 1933
© Estate of Reginald Marsh/ARS

Walt Kuhn
Roberto, 1946


Paul Cadmus
Aspects of Suburban Life: Main Street, 1937