American realism 1900 – 1930

In the USA Realism engaged such major painters of the second half of the 19th century as Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins (eg the Gross Clinic, 1875; Philadelphia, PA, Thomas Jefferson U, Medic Col) and John Singer Sargent, all of whom used their European experience to import fashionable influence to the USA The American expatriate James McNeill Whistler moved to Paris in 1855, where he met and was influenced by Courbet In Arrangement in Grey and Black, No 1: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother (1871; Paris, Mus d’Orsay) he created a refined balance between Realism and his emerging Aestheticism in a way that fits perfectly within the transition from Courbet to Manet

American Realism was a style in art, music and literature that depicted contemporary social realities and the lives and everyday activities of ordinary people The movement began in literature in the mid-19th century, and became an important tendency in visual art in the early 20th century Whether a cultural portrayal or a scenic view of downtown New York City, American realist works attempted to define what was real

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In America at the beginning of the 20th century a new generation of painters, writers and journalists were coming of age Many of the painters felt the influence of older American artists such as Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, J Alden Weir, Thomas Pollock Anshutz, and William Merritt Chase However they were interested in creating new and more urbane works that reflected city life and a population that was more urban than rural in America as it entered the new century

From the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, the United States experienced enormous industrial, economic, social and cultural change A continuous wave of European immigration and the rising potential for international trade brought increasing growth and prosperity to America Through art and artistic expression (through all mediums including painting, literature and music), American Realism attempted to portray the exhaustion and cultural exuberance of the figurative American landscape and the life of ordinary Americans at home Artists used the feelings, textures and sounds of the city to influence the color, texture and look of their creative projects Musicians noticed the quick and fast paced nature of the early 20th century and responded with a fresh and new tempo Writers and authors told a new story about Americans; boys and girls real Americans could have grown up with Pulling away from fantasy and focusing on the now, American Realism presented a new gateway and a breakthrough—introducing modernism, and what it means to be in the present The Ashcan School also known as The Eight and the group called Ten American Painters created the core of the new American Modernism in the visual arts