Document Type

News Article

Publication Date



San Jose Mercury News


During the 1930s, America was the subject of American art. The European expressionism that had influenced so many artists through the 1920s was unceremoniously abandoned in favor of domestic realism. Creative people in all the arts adopted the theme. Virgil Thomson's music and Martha Graham's dance joined the novels of John Dos Passos and the plays of Thornton Wilder in an across-the-board celebration of America, past and present.

Domestic realism, as an artistic style, could take two distinct forms. · On the one hand there was the "documentary style" that sought to illustrate the country's troubles as a first step toward solving them. On the other hand there was the "American Scene," a somewhat amorphous concept that stressed the strength and traditions of the country in a consciously nationalistic way.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.