About The Era
Artists, writers, and philosophers of the period became obsessed with the social relevance of art. Although a small group of American artists did attack the societal ills of the nation (housing shortages, unemployment) and of the world in general (the rise of fascism and militarism), most adopted a more pragmatic and even positive attitude. American scene painters captured busy city dwellers on streets, in buses, at work, and at play. Occasionally artists infused an element of humor into the pathos of everyday existence, even in scenes that allude to the political disasters of the day. Regionalists were particularly fond of idealizing the past and aggrandizing the present accomplishments of the country. In fact, the myth of America as a country where everyone lives a pastoral, carefree existence emerged with new vigor in the art of the 1930s.
The diversity of the people also emerged as a strong current of social realism. Artists who were accustomed to working in their studios now looked beyond their immediate circles for models. Individuals of various races, professions, or creeds inspired some of the most moving portraits of the century and demonstrated the soul of the people.
- About the Era.
- Eliasoph, Philip. 1981. Paul Cadmus: Yesterday & Today. Oxford, Ohio: Miami University Art Museum.
- Pacini, Marina. Red Grooms: Traveling Correspondent. Memphis: Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 2016.
- Doty, Robert. Human Concern/Personal Torment: the Grotesque in American Art. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1969.
- Einzig, Barbara, ed. Los Angeles County Museum of Art Report, July 1, 1979-June 30, 1981. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1982.
- Price, Lorna. Masterpieces from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1988.
- Fort, Ilene Susan and Michael Quick. American Art: a Catalogue of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Collection. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1991.
- Morris, Anthony J. 2012. Paul Cadmus and carnival, 1934: representing the comic grotesque. American Art 26(3): 86-99.
Higginbotham, Carmenita. The Urban Scene: Race, Reginald Marsh, and American Art. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015.
- Frank, Robin Jaffee. Coney Island. Hartford: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press, 2015.
Gioni, Massimiliano and Gary Carrion-Murayari, eds. Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment. London; New York: Phaidon Press, in association with New Museum, 2020.