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American Art

  • The Athenaeum

    The Athenaeum
    This portrait of George Washington is the most famous work of Gilbert Stuart. Although the original version was never completed, Stuart used it to make about 75 replicas. This portrait was used on the 1 dollar bill. The portrait got its name when the Boston Athenaeum acquired it after Stuart's death.
  • Lansdowne Portrait

     Lansdowne Portrait
    This is an iconic portrait of George Washington. It is called the Lansdowne Portrait because it was first commissioned for the Marquis of Lansdowne. The original is being displayed at the Smithsonian while its copies are at the White House, the Capitol and many other places.
  • The Peaceable Kingdom

    The Peaceable Kingdom
    Edward Hicks, an American painter, painted the Peaceable Kingdom which exemplified Quaker ideals. Between 1820 and his death, Hicks painted over a hundred versions of this Peaceable Kingdom.
  • Washington Crossing the Delaware

    Washington Crossing the Delaware
    This is a picture that shows George Washington crossing the Delaware River during the American Revolutionary war. It was painted by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, a German American Artist. Although there are many historical inaccuracies, it was still a very famous painting. A copy of this painting is in the White House while the original is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
  • American Impressionism

    American Impressionism
    Impressionism was an art movement that originated from France. The style was introduced to America in the 1880s. This style was characterized by loose brushwork and vivid colors. Claude Monet was the founder of the impressionist painting.
  • Naturalism

    Naturalism was an art movement that idealized portraying things as they are. The style of the naturalists was very accurate and detailed. The naturalists drew realistic things in a natural environment, It was very similar to the Realism movement.
  • The Child's Bath

    The Child's Bath
    This is a famous painting by Mary Cassatt. The way the subjects were drawn was inspired by Japanese woodblocks. The overhead perspective was used just like the Japanese. This piece is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago and is one of the most popular paintings there.
  • Realism

    Realism was a style of art in the early 20th century that portrayed what was happening in real life. Color contrasts or abstract features were not used but reality was transferred to the canvas.
  • American Scene Painting

    American Scene Painting
    The American Scene Painting movement was a style of painting where the artists would simply draw the natural environment around them. The paintings conveyed a sense of nationalism. These paintings were very naturalistic and simple. The movement lasted from the 1920s to the 1950s.
  • Cubism

    Cubism was a 20th century art movement that was started by Pablo Picasso. The style was breaking up and reassembling objects so multiple viewpoints are represented in a single object. In the 1920s cubism started again in the works of Stuart Davis.
  • Andy Warhol is born

    Andy Warhol is born
    On this day, the leading figure of the Pop Art movement, Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His artworks consisted of paintings of popular icons, focusing on commercial art..
  • American Gothic

    American Gothic
    This painting is one of the most famous images from the 20th century. It is also one of the most parodied artworks. The couples in the painting represent the traditional roles of men and women. Grant Wood decided to paint the house after seeing the Dibble House, a small house in Eldon, Iowa. This painting is now a cultural icon like the Mona Lisa.
  • Nighthawks

    This is one of the most recognizable paintings in American art today. It is by Edward Hopper, an American realiast painter. It is called Nighthawks because of the possibility of "predators" at night. This painting is meant to be appreciated from a technical point of view.
  • No. 5, 1948

    No. 5, 1948
    This is one the most iconic American paintings. It is the most famous painting by Jackson Pollock, an abstract expressionist. No. 5 is the most expensive painting ever sold with a price tag of $140 million. Although this painting has no "theme" it is very important to the art world as it represents Abstract Expressionism as a whole.
  • Christina's World

    Christina's World
    This is one of the most famous paintings of the middle 20th century. It is by the American painter Andrew Wyeth. The style of the painting is realism. The lack of bright colors in the painting creates a melancholy and sad tone. This is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
  • Abstract Expressionism

    Abstract Expressionism
    This was a post-WW2 art movement, This movement's style was the emphasis on movement, color, and being abstract. This was the first movement put NYC at the center of the western art world by achieving international influence.
  • Pop Art

    Pop Art
    This was a modern art movement that emerged in the US around the 1950s. This style was very different from other art styles in that this one used imagery from popular culture. Advertising imagery was used in pop art. Andy Warhol was extremely famous for being part of the movement.
  • Campbell's Soup Cans

    Campbell's Soup Cans
    Andy Warhol created this iconic work of art in 1962. He created the artwork through a printmaking method. He first received much criticism and hate for using an almost automatic system to create art. But eventually the public fell in love with Warhol's work and made it in high demand.
  • Jackson Pollock is born

    Jackson Pollock is born
    Jackson Pollock was born on January 28, 1912 in Cody, Wyoming. He studied under Thomas Hart Benton and learned his rhythmic use of paint and his independence. Pollock later invented the unique style of drip painting.
  • An Arrangement

    An Arrangement
    This painting was done by an American modernist painter, Alfred Henry Maurer. This is his most famous painting. He drew it in a matter of hours. What is interesting about this piece is that it was painted on a piece of cardboard and not a canvas.