Regionalism, The California View, Watercolors 1928-1949
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1988
88 pages, 74 illustrations, softcover - $69.50
By Susan M. Anderson
In the 1930s, a period of great social and economic change, American artists sought to free themselves from European influences in an effort to create a truly American art. Contemporary American art critics since the late 1920s had been advocating an American art that did not rely on European models for its inspiration. The called for an authentic native art, portraying subject matter in a realistic manner that could be readily understood by Americans in all parts of the country.
During the Great Depression following the stock market crash of late 1929, a wave of national consciousness swept the country, exerting a strong influence on writers, artists and other observers of the social scene. They sensed the need for new art forms that would capture the diverse environmental and social characteristics in various parts of the country. This Regionalist focus found visual expression in an artistic movement strongly committed to the American experience.