An Introduction to the American Art

The vitality and the international presence of a big country can also be measured in the field of culture. This is why Statesmen, and more generally the leaders, always have the objective and concern to leave for posterity or to strengthen big cultural institutions.

As proof of this we can quote, as examples, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the British Museum, the Monastery of Escorial or the many American Presidential Libraries which honor the memory of the various Presidents of the United States.

Since the Holy Roman Empire and, notably, in Europe during the Renaissance times cultural sponsorship has been increasingly active for the sake of art or for the sense of splendor.

Nowadays, if there is a country where sponsors have a constant and decisive presence in the world of the art, this is certainly the United States. Names given to museum rooms in memory of devoted sponsors, as well as labels next to the paintings noting the donor’s name, are a very visible aspect of cultural sponsorship, especially in America.

The impressive collections of museums and centers of art testify, from Los Angeles to New York and from Chicago to Miami, to this love of art and of posterity.

Most of these collections present artists from Europe or other continents (for example, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston), but there is also a growing presence of American artists.

“The American Art: An Introduction” encompasses the history of painting and visual art in the United States. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, artists primarily painted landscapes and portraits in a realistic style. A parallel development taking shape in rural America was the American craft movement, which began as a reaction to the industrial revolution. Developments in modern art in Europe came to America from exhibitions in New York City, such as the Armory Show in 1913. Previously, American Artists had based the majority of their work on Western Painting and European Arts. After World War II, New York replaced Paris as the center of the art world. Since then many American Movements have shaped Modern and Post Modern art. Art in the United States today covers a huge range of styles.

American art, certainly, can be classified from the 18th century onwards (with some immigrant artists previously), but really exploded during the 20th century.

Twentieth century art cannot be approached or understood without this American reference. Names as Lichtenstein, Rothko, Rauschenberg, Hopper, Warhol, Haring, etc., are strong markers of the art in this century, and the good vintage is definitely continuing.

To learn more about American art, I have prepared this text which is intended to provide an introduction to artists, their ideas, their movements and to the striking places for visual art in the United States.

I hope you enjoy this article and will be inspired learn more about the art of this country-continent!

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