New York Becomes the Center
Partisan Review
"The main premises of Western painting have at last migrated to the United States, along with the center of gravity of industrial production and political power." - Clement Greenberg in The Decline of Cubism, 1948











Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917 (1964 replica).













Alfred Stieglitz, photograph of Fountain, 1917.
Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven











Seventeen known versions of Fountain










During the 1920s and the 1930s American artists sought to find an artistic identity
that was uniquely expressive of the American experience.

American Regionalism

Early Sunday Morning
American Gothic

Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1930.

Grant Wood, American Gothic, 1930.











"I had to go to France to appreciate Iowa." - Grant Wood


Grant Wood, Young Corn, 1931.











"I wallowed in every cockeyed ism that came along, and it took me ten years
to get all that modernist dirt out of my system." - Thomas Hart Benton


Thomas Hart Benton, The Arts of the West, 1932.











Thomas Hart Benton, The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley, 1934.











Horace Pippin, Interior, 1944.
Jacob Lawrence, Bar ‘n Grill, 1937.


Red Canna
Pepper #30
Migrant Mother
Georgia O'Keefe, Red Canna, c. 1924.
Edward Weston, Pepper #30, 1930.
Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936.









"While many East Coast critics branded the Regionalists as reactionary and provincial, the artists themselves often espoused progressive, populist, and socialist ideals. Many felt that modernist art was inaccessible to working class people, and they hoped to create images that would reflect and ennoble the lives of the rural poor. By representing the Midwestern landscape and its inhabitants, Regionalists celebrated an underclass of people whose lives were often ignored in the cultural centers of urban America." - Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri
Thomas Hart Benton, America Today, 1930 - 1931.