Robert Riggs, “Germantown & Chelten,” circa 1950, lithograph, 16 x 22 7/8 inches, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Reba and Dave Williams Collection

The early 20th century in America was a period of brilliant change and growth in urban centers, which was beautifully captured by important printmakers such as Louis Lozowick, Reginald Marsh, Mabel Dwight, Gerald Geerlings, Victoria Hutson Huntley, and Martin Lewis.

Selected works by these artists and more feature during an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., titled “The Urban Scene: 1920-1950.” These masterful works capture the unprecedented scale of urban architecture and the impact of industrialization and technology on city life. “From one perspective, skyscrapers, bridges, and other technological marvels projected wealth, opportunity, and invoked the sublime, but from another these structures could be interpreted as blocking light, deepening shadows, heightening a sense of enclosure and confinement, and amplifying feelings of diminution and anonymity,” the museum suggests.

Edward Arthur Wilson, “Untitled (Laying Pipe in New York City),” 1941, lithograph, 13 1/2 x 19 1/4 inches, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Reba and Dave Williams Collection
Howard Cook, “Looking up Broadway,” 1937, lithograph, 17 7/8 x 12 1/2 inches, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Reba and Dave Williams Collection

To learn more, visit the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Fine Art Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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