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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 PainterA Drawing Room Scene
Art Prints
Frank Holl 1845-1888 British PainterDeserted
Art Prints
Sir Hubert von Herkomer 1849-1914 German/British PainterBottom Asleep, 1891
Art Prints
Eugene Higgins 1874-1958 American Painter/Printmaker 
Mabel Dwight 1876-1955 American 
Jose Clemente Orozco 1883-1949 Mexican MuralistOrozco Mural of Hidalgo at Guadalajara, Mexico
Art Prints
George Biddle 1885-1973 American Painter 
Diego Rivera 1886-1957 Mexican MuralistThe Flower Vendor
Art Prints
Morris Topchevsky 1889-1947 Polish/American Painter 
Dorothea Lange 1895-1965 American PhotographerDorothea Lange
Art Prints
David Alfaro Siqueiros 1896-1974 Mexican MuralistPortrait
Art Prints
William Gropper 1897-1977 American Painter 
Reginald Marsh 1898-1954 American PainterReginald Marsh: The Twenty Cent Movie
Art Prints
Ben Shahn 1898-1969 Lithuanian/American Painter/PhotographerBen Shahn: March 3-28
Art Prints
Moses Soyer 1899-1974 Russian/American Painter 
Raphael Soyer 1899-1987 Russian/American PainterRaphael Soyer: Sixth Avenue
Art Prints
Hale Woodruff 1900-1980 African-American PainterHale Woodruff: Poor Man's Cotton
Art Prints
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 PhotographerAuto Parts Shop, Atlanta, Georgia, c.1936
Art Prints
Robert Gwathmey 1903-1988 AmericanGwathmey: Singing and Mending
Art Prints
Harry Sternberg 1904-2001 American Printmaker 
Anton Refregier 1905-1979 Russian Painter 
Gregorio Prestopino 1907-1984 American Painter 
Joe Jones 1909-1963 American Painter 
Jack Levine Born 1915 American PainterJack Levine: King Saul
Art Prints
Charles Wilbert White 1918-1979 African-American Painter 

 
 
 




 
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