Hill Road - Uptown, Downtown: American Art for a New Century

  • painting by george bellows of a crowded new york city scene from the early twentieth century
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Join docent speaker Lori Windsor Mohr from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Community Speakers Program as she presents this lecture on the Ashcan School of Artists.

America in the early 20th century was an increasingly machine-driven culture, with skyscrapers, automobiles, radio and phone changing the way of life. Artists of the Ashcan School, such as Robert Henri, George Glackens, George Bellow, created a new kind of art rooted in the raw, visceral day-to-day reality of the city—not that depicted by popular American Impressionists of the posh Park Ave bourgeoisie—but the Lower East Side of newly arrived immigrants, dockworkers, nightclub performers, saloonkeepers, boxers, and the average worker.

The lasting legacy of Ashcan artists is that for the first time, American painting took on a populist commitment, depicting the reality of life in a changing, diverse, industrializing metropolis. At a time when prosperity and poverty were two sides of one coin in collective fortunes, their art enlightened, educated and spiritually lifted an enormous audience, establishing one of the main currents in 20th-century social realist painting, and expanding the changing role of art in American life.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (805) 677-7180. 

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