The American Regionalists were a group of artists whose paintings, prints, and drawings represented everyday life in the heart of the United States during the 1920s through the 50s and later. Some of the most important artists associated with this movement were the Midwestern painters Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood.
While many East Coast critics branded the Regionalists as reactionary and provincial, the artists themselves often espoused progressive, populist, and socialist ideals. Many felt that modernist art was inaccessible to working class people, and they hoped to create images that would reflect and ennoble the lives of the rural poor. By representing the Midwestern landscape and its inhabitants, Regionalists celebrated an underclass of people whose lives were often ignored in the cultural centers of urban America.
This online exhibition presents important Regionalist paintings, prints, and drawings in the permanent collection of the Museum of Art and Archaeology. Fred Shane, Charles Morgenthaler, and Thomas Hart Benton lived and worked in Missouri.