Metropolitan Lives: The Ashcan Artists and Their New York, 1897-1917

Metropolitan Lives: The Ashcan Artists and Their New York, 1897-1917

by Virginia M. Mecklenburg, Robert W. Snyder, Rebecca Zurier, Robert Snyder
     
 

100 greatest works by Bellows, Sloan, and the other painters of the Ashcan School.
This book presents 100 of the greatest paintings, pastels, drawings, and prints by a group of artists derogatorily dubbed the Ashcan School by the critics. George Bellows, William Glackens, Robert Henri, George Luks, Everett Shinn, and John Sloan ignored the romantic and lofty

Overview

100 greatest works by Bellows, Sloan, and the other painters of the Ashcan School.
This book presents 100 of the greatest paintings, pastels, drawings, and prints by a group of artists derogatorily dubbed the Ashcan School by the critics. George Bellows, William Glackens, Robert Henri, George Luks, Everett Shinn, and John Sloan ignored the romantic and lofty themes of many of their contemporaries and chose instead to depict the dramatic changes and conflicting social mores among the common people in turn-of-the-century New York City. The Ashcan artists documented the city and its people in an almost journalistic fashion, exploring the same subjects occupying the press: immigration, the lower-middle class, and gender issues. They portrayed life at the street level, gravitating to bars, street corners, boxing clubs, beaches, parks, restaurants, movie theaters, and neighborhood meeting places. In retrospect, it is difficult to imagine the American tradition in painting without these wonderful and moving works.

Editorial Reviews

Donna Seaman
Between 1897 and 1917, six painters, none native to the city they so provocatively and energetically portrayed, challenged the standards for suitable artistic subject matter when they took to the streets of New York and seized on images full of motion and life. Their "prophet" was Walt Whitman, and their achievements create a vibrant record of urban growth and artistic evolution. George Bellows, William Glackens, Robert Henri, George Luks, Everett Shinn, and John Sloan were friends and collaborators, each developing their own distinct style, each capturing different slices of New York life. There are scenes of poverty and wealth, work and play, sensuality and despair. Zurier and her coauthors, Robert Snyder and Virginia Mecklenburg, bring expertise in art, social, and cultural history to this lively volume. They profile each artist and analyze his works, establishing a visual context with photographs and graphic arts of the time. Most of the paintings, which are beautifully reproduced, are rarely seen in books, and some, especially Shinn's exceptional pastels and watercolors, are a revelation.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393039016
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
11/01/1995
Series:
National Museum of American Art
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 11.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Virginia Mecklenburg is the chief curator for the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.

Robert Snyder is a social historian and author of The Voice of the City: Vaudeville and Pop Culture in New York.

Rebecca Zurier is assistant professor of American Art at the University of Michigan.

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