American Art Before and After WWII

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Imagine it is 1954 and you have just read a critic’s scathing review of an Abstract Expressionist art exhibition.

Write a letter to the editor responding to the attack. At the beginning of your letter, briefly discuss how the work of American artwork created in the 1930s embodied democratic values (FYI, these are values of a democracy, not of the Democratic party…) Then, discuss Abstract Expressionism as an extension of those values and how it is a demonstration of the freedom of expression available to artists in American society.

Include the following in your letter:

  • Two specific artists from the 1930s with an explanation of how their artworks embodied democratic values; were the works tools of social reform? If so, what were the goals of the artists? Were the works depicting uniquely American scenes? If so, for what purpose? Provide an image of one art example for each artist that illustrates your points.
  • One example of a work of Abstract Expressionism (with an image)
  • How the Abstract Expressionist artists expressed themselves using this abstract style; what were they “saying?” or what was the message of their artwork? What influenced their work?

Format your letter appropriately. Include citations and a reference page for any information that is not common knowledge.

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