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Posts Tagged ‘Great Depression’

Hopper’s Self Portrait (1925-30) is a typical example of Hopper’s self-representation, which was often moody, lonely, and somewhat unflattering.

This post comes to us from Emily Sesko, Curatorial Intern

I remember being nine years old, packed into the car for a trip to Boston to see an exhibit of Edward Hopper paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts. My dad was excited, always in search of an opportunity to see a few good Hoppers. We’ve been all over the place in search of Hoppers, sometimes on purpose, other times finding ourselves on an impromptu Hopper-hunt. The hunt brought us to NBMAA a few years ago, around Christmas time.  There was just one hanging upstairs in one of the galleries—Abbot’s House, from ca. 1926—and my dad was thrilled. A Hopper outpost, just twenty minutes away from home.

During his eighty-five-year lifetime, Hopper was not an especially prolific artist, producing fewer than 400 total works before his death. Nevertheless, he is one of America’s best-recognized painters, and was one of the bestselling artists at the height of his career between 1925 and 1945. What did it take to become one of America’s beloved realists? (more…)

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Nude Study, 1938. Lee Krasner (1908-1984). Charcoal on paper, 25 x 18 7/8 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Friends Purchase Fund, 1985.09.

Lee Krasner, a progressive female artist working hard throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s until the mid 1980s, has become known in larger circles as the wife of Jackson Pollock. Both artists worked for the government as part of the Works of Art Project’s (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP) which was formulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his four terms as US president, up until World War II. While Pollock may be a household name, Krasner is a celebrated artist in her own right. She was academically trained in drawing, painting, and other media. Yet it was the influence ofHans Hofmann that facilitated her Cubist-style detachments of forms in Nude Study. It was acquired by NBMAA in 1985, a year after her death. (more…)

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Documentary photographers and socially concerned photojournalists have been working in the United States since the 1880s. At that time, Jacob A. Riis wanted to bring to light the atrocious living conditions in the lodgings, basements and back streets of New York City. Riis’s photographs were the proof that society needed to change. Thanks to advances in technology it was possible for the images to be reproduced and distributed to a wide audience.

Five Cents Lodging, Bayard Street, c.1889. Jacob A. Riis (1849-1914). Gelatin Silver Print. Jacob A. Riis Collection, Museum of the City of New York.

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