Between 1900 and 1950, America was a nation of constant evolution — cultural, political, social, and economic. The World Wars, industrialization, and the Great Depression produced an extraordinary time in the United States that resulted in artistic responses and reflections. And that is the subject of an outstanding exhibition in Minneapolis.
Featuring over 45 original prints, drawings, and watercolors by some of America’s leading artistic minds of the early 20th century, “America, Seen” is a small but powerful exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art that explores one of the most dynamic periods in our nation’s history. Among the names included are John Sloan, George Bellows, Charles Burchfield, Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Grant Wood, Rockwell Kent, Reginald Marsh, Leo Katz, Elizabeth Catlett, Rico Lebrun, Ben Shahn, and many more.
The museum writes, “The first half of the 20th century was a time of enormous changes in American life. Industrial growth, unprecedented scientific and technological developments, and progressive social and financial reforms resulted in a higher standard of living, an expanded middle class, and greater levels of self-determination for both men and women. At the same time, global wars, economic depression, and racial and religious conflict produced suffering for many. These turbulent decades prompted insightful, often impassioned, responses from American artists whose perspectives conveyed many of the hopes, dreams, and fears of the public at large.”
“America, Seen” opened in December 2015 and will be on view through September 4. To learn more, visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
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 is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked 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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