Critical Issues in American Art: A Book of Readings

By Mary Ann Calo | Go to book overview
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1930s, they brought to their American subject matter an agenda that dictated the kinds of scenes they chose to paint. The free and open interaction with American culture, which characterized art around 1920--however difficult and implausible that might have been--was smothered by programmatic and restrictive ways of thinking. Artists found what they were searching for rather than finding liberation in a break with the past or with outmoded art styles. The quest for national identity in art became institutionalized rather than inciting, conscious rather than intuitive, and thus became something other than the quest that had begun earlier in the century.


From Arts Magazine ( February 1987). Reprinted by permission of the author.

Giles Edgerton ( Mary Fanton Roberts), "The Younger American Painters," The Craftsman, 13 ( February, 1908), 521.
Robert Henri, "The New York Independent Artists," The Craftsman, 18 ( May, 1910), [6]. See also Gustave Stickley, "A Greater Sincerity Necessary for the True Development of American Art," The Craftsman, 16 ( April, 1909), 55-59.
Hippolyte Taine, Lectures on Art, trans. by John Durand ( New York: Henry Holt, 1883), p. 30. See also Leo Tolstoy, What Is Art?, trans. Charles Johnston ( Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1898); John Albert Macy , "Tolstoi's Moral Theory of Art," The Century, 52 ( June, 1901), 300; and Joseph Kwait, "Robert Henri and the Emerson-Whitman tradition," PMLA, 71 ( September, 1956), 617-36.
Edgerton, "American Painters of Outdoors: Their Rank and Their Success," The Craftsman, 16 ( June, 1909), 282.
"The National Note in Our Art: A Distinctive American Quality Dominant at the Pennsylvania Academy," The Craftsman, 9 ( March, 1906), 753; "Irving R. Wiles: Distinctive American Portrait Painter," The Craftsman, 18 ( June, 1910), 353. See also Bayard Boyeson, "The National Note in American Art," Putnam's Monthly, 4 ( May, 1908). 133-35; and Kenyon Cox. "The American School of Painting," Scribner's Magazine, 50 ( December, 1911), 765-68.
Randolph Bourne, "Our Cultural Humility," The Atlantic Monthly, 114 ( October, 1914), 506.
"Picabia, Art Rebel, Here to Teach New Movement," The New York Times, February 16, 1913, sect. 5, p. 9.
"French Artists Spur on an American Art," New York Tribune, October 24, 1915, sect. 4, p. 2. See also "The European Art Invasion," The Literary Digest, 51 ( November 1927, 1915), 1224; "The Iconoclastic Opinions of M. Marcel Duchamp Concerning Art and America," Current Opinion, 59 ( November, 1915), 346, cited in Dickran Tashjian, Skyscraper Primitives (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1975), p. 50.
Van Wyck Brooks, "The Culture of Industrialism," The Seven Arts, 1 ( April, 1917), 655.
Harold Stearns, America and the Young Intellectual ( New York: Doran, 1918), pp. 80-81.
From 291, 5-6 ( July-August, 1915), reprinted in Camera Work, 48 ( October, 1916), 69, cited in Tashjian, op. cit., p. 41.
Bourne, "Trans-National America," The Atlantic Monthly, 118 ( July, 1916), 88-91; and Maxwell Bodenheim , "American Art?", The Dial, 66 ( May 31, 1919), 544.
Paul Strand, "American Water Colors at the Brooklyn Museum," The Arts, 2 ( December, 1921), 149, 150.
Bourne, "Trans-National America,"86.
"America As the Promised Land," The New Republic, 32 ( October 4, 1922), 135. See also Winifred Kirkland , "Americanization and Walt Whitman," The Dial, 66 ( May 31, 1919), 537.
Editorials, The Seven Arts, 1 ( November, 1916), 52, 53, and 1 ( March, 1917), 505.
On Hassam, see William Gerdts, American Impressionism ( New York: Abbeville, 1984), p. 299. On Luks, see "Comment on the Arts", The Arts, 1 ( February-March, 1921), 34.


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