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American Art Before and After World War II Assignment Resources: Review readings and videos. Assignment, choose one of the options listed below. Option A Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper on American art before and after World War II. Include an examination of the artwork of three artists total. Select two artists who worked during the Great Depression and one Abstract Expressionist artist. Include discussion of the following in your paper: • • • • At least one example of art from each artist with a description of the subject and style of the work. An examination of the purpose of artwork created during the Great Depression. Were your examples used as tools for social reform? What other types of messaging was present in works from the 1930s? A description of how Abstract Expressionism emerged in post-World War II America and how it differed from the art work of the 1930s. A description of the style of your Abstract Expressionist artist and why he or she was interested in this style of abstraction; was there a "meaning" to their work? Format your paper according to appropriate course level APA guidelines. Submit your assignment to the Assignment Files tab. Option B Imagine it is 1954 and you have just read a critic's scathing review of an Abstract Expressionist art exhibition. Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word letter to the editor responding to the attack. At the beginning of your letter, discuss how the work of American artwork created in the 1930s embodied Democratic values. Then, discuss Abstract Expressionism as an extension of those values and a demonstration of the freedom of expression available to artists in American society. Include discussion of the following in your letter: • • • Two examples of art from the 1930s with explanation of how these artworks embody 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? One example of a work of Abstract Expressionism How the Abstract Expressionist artist 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 according to appropriate course level APA guidelines.
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Running head: AMERICAN ART


American Art Before and After World War 2
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Running head: AMERICAN ART


The great depression is said to have occurred from 1929 to1939. It’s a period that was
marked with a high number of retrenchments and closure of companies and banks. Many
investors and industries were caught up in the economic depression. The effect was massive
unemployment and a reduction in the rate of consumption of consumer goods. It was a
catastrophe experienced by western industrialized countries. For America, the lowest point of the
depression was in 1933 with massive unemployment reported. (Robbins)
The World War 2 came as a disguised blessing to the USA. It helped salvage the
economic situation which had persistently dealt American economy a hefty blow in spite of
President Franklin Roosevelt reform policies. The war saw America’s industries that had been
closed down reopen and production started at a massive pace again. The unemployment level
went to a level below the pre-depression number. This period of depression saw not only a
massive socio-economic crisis but also the rise of aggressive political movements among
different countries.
Purpose of artwork during the great depression
Art was used in depicting the misery of the public as a consequence of the great
depression. It was used as a tool for championing for social reforms. It was also used as a source
of employment from 1933. In 1933, with the New Deal, art received a boost in its growth in that
the government gave funding to the sector and artists became government’s employees. Still, it
was used as a channel for nurturing talent and skills among citizens during that time, among
many other functions. (F. K. Pohl)

Running head: AMERICAN ART


Artists during the great depression
Ronald Debs Ginther, born in 1904 in Oregon USA, was a watercolor painter. He was
actively involved in various social and labor right’s union activities such as the radical Industrial
Workers of the World (IWW) movement. This self-made artist was also a cook with the gift of
organizing unions that championed the rights of unemployed laborers for instance in Seattle. His
paintings depict events that occurred during the great depression. Most of his works are about his
personal experiences during the great depression.
Ronald Ginther’s work, mostly watercolor paintings, were tools for emancipation and
social reforms. His November 1934 self-portrait is an example of his watercolor paintings. In this
portrait, Ginther appears to be holding two crackers that he had managed to receive from a
restaurant owner after two hours of bumming and knocking door to door begging for food. This
portrait reveals a desperate restaurant owner with a depressed face. The restaurant is devoid of
robust business activity to show the effects of the Great Depression on individual businesses.
Ginther himself wears a face with a drop of tears or perspiration to depict the difficulty
unemployed individuals were going through. His unhappiness is not clouded by his rather red
eyes which are an indication of poor health and misery the common man was going through
during this period. His patched pants and unkempt beard seem to be of less concern to him, a
feature that is common among all other Americans at that time and may reveal a primary concern
of survival rather than good hygiene. (Gibson)
Another notable portrait by the ...

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