Artists by Movement:
Social Realism

America, 1930's

Social Realism is a naturalistic realism focusing specifically on social issues and the hardships of everyday life. The term usually refers to the urban American Scene artists of the Depression era, who were greatly influenced by the Ashcan School of early 20th century New York.

Social Realism is somewhat of a pejorative label in the United States, where overtly political art, not to mention socialist politics, are extremely out of favor.

Ben Shahn, Jack Levine and Jacob Lawrence are the best-known American Social Realists.

Chronological Listing of Social Realists
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Frederick Walker 1840-1875 English Painter
Frank Holl 1845-1888 British Painter
Sir Hubert von Herkomer 1849-1914 German/British Painter
Eugene Higgins 1874-1958 American Painter/Printmaker
Mabel Dwight 1876-1955 American
Jose Clemente Orozco 1883-1949 Mexican Painter/Muralist
George Biddle 1885-1973 American Painter
Diego Rivera 1886-1957 Mexican Painter/Muralist
Morris Topchevsky 1889-1947 Polish/American Painter
Dorothea Lange 1895-1965 American Photographer
David Alfaro Siqueiros 1896-1974 Mexican Painter/Muralist
William Gropper 1897-1977 American Painter
Reginald Marsh 1898-1954 American Painter
Ben Shahn 1898-1969 Lithuanian/American Painter/Photographer
Moses Soyer 1899-1974 Russian/American Painter
Raphael Soyer 1899-1987 Russian/American Painter
Hale Woodruff 1900-1980 African-American Painter
Philip Evergood 1901-1973 American Painter
Isabel Bishop 1902-1988 American Painter/Printmaker
Isaac Soyer 1902-1981 Russian/American Painter
Walker Evans 1903-1975 American Photographer
Robert Gwathmey 1903-1988 American
Pablo O'Higgins 1904-1983 American/Mexican Painter/Printmaker
Harry Sternberg 1904-2001 American Printmaker
Anton Refregier 1905-1979 Russian Painter
Gregorio Prestopino 1907-1984 American Painter
Joe Jones 1909-1963 American Painter
Nan Lurie 1910-1985 American Printmaker
Jack Levine 1915-2010 American Painter
Charles Wilbert White 1918-1979 African-American Painter



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