American 20th-21st Century Genre Scene Art


Genre paintings are scenes from everyday life.

This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American 20th-21st Century Genre Scene Art." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

Following are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches.

Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.


Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:


Helen Farr Sloan, 1911-2005; essay by Heather Campbell Coyle (10/7/15)

A Native Son: Paintings by West Fraser; essay by Courtney McNeil (3/7/12)

Eugene Savage: The Seminole Paintings (11/7/11)


William Gropper; essay by Elizabeth Baer and Donald Myers (12/15/09)

Pleasant Journeys and Good Eats Along the Way: A Retrospective of Paintings by John Baeder (8/1/08)

The Eight; essay by Frank H. Goodyear Jr (8/1/08)

Pleasant Journeys and Good Eats along the Way: A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings by John Baeder (12/14/07)

Seeing the City: Sloan's New York (11/3/07)

"Edward Hopper" at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (5/11/07)

Edward Hopper (5/11/07)

Grandma Moses: Grandmother to the Nation (1/25/07)

Masters of American Comics (2/2/06)

Jacob Lawrence: Three Series of Prints - Genesis, Hiroshima, and Toussaint L'Ouverture (1/13/06)


Elizabeth Catlett: In the Image of the People; essay by Melanie Herzog (12/20/05)

Legends and Legacy Award: Elizabeth Catlett (12/20/05)

Visual Politics: The Art of Engagement; article by Susan Landauer (11/30/05)

Syncopated Rhythms: 20th-Century African American Art from the George and Joyce Wein Collection (11/14/05)

The Night Before Christmas (11/14/05)

Romare Bearden: Enchanter in Time (10/13/05)

Paul Keene: His Art and Legacy (10/13/05)

The Independents: The Ashcan School & Their Circle from Florida Collections; article by Valerie Ann Leeds (8/22/05)

Coming Home: American Paintings, 1930-1950, from the Schoen Collection (5/20/05)

Patriotism and Persuasion: Posters of World War I (5/16/05)

Salute to Norman Rockwell; essay by Richard N. Gregg (4/13/05)

Eamon Ore-Giron: Mirage; essay by Alex Baker (3/23/05)

John Biggers: My America, The 1940s and 1950s -- Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings (1/31/05)

Pretty Sweet: The Sentimental Image in Contemporary Art (1/26/05)

A Sentimental Journey, or How Did We Get Here?, essay by Nick Capasso (1/26/05)

A Swell of Sentiment, essay by Alexandra Novina (1/26/05)

John Steuart Curry: Inventing the Middle West; essay By Patricia Junker (1/25/05)

Norman Rockwell: Celebrating America; essay by Susan Kay Crawford and Mark Hunt (12/16/04)

Two Columbus Legacies: Alma Thomas and Lamar Baker (11/23/04)

By the Sea: Folk Paintings by Janet Munro (10/22/04)

Norman Rockwell's America: The Saturday Evening Post Covers (8/17/04)

The W.P.A. Era: Art Across America (8/17/04)

Heartland: Paintings and Drawings by Bo Bartlett, 1978-2002 (7/16/04)

A Northern Adventure: The Art of Fred Machetanz (1908-2002); Introduction to the Exhibition by Kesler Woodward (6/29/04)

The American Farm Past and Present (6/14/04)

Beneath A Turquoise Sky: Navajo Painters and Their World (5/27/04)

Urban American Scenes: Works by John Sloan, Isabel Bishop and Jacob Lawrence (4/1/04)

Art at Home Plate: Philadelphia Baseball Legends on Canvas (1/16/04)

Leaving the Country: George Bellows at Woodstock (11/19/03)

Edward Hopper and Urban Realism (9/4/03)

George Bellows: The Tragedies of War (8/9/03)

American Illustration from the Collection of the Delaware Art Museum (7/12/03)

Fairfield Porter: A Life in Art, 1907-1975 (6/9/03)

Heartland: Paintings by Bo Bartlett, 1978-2002 (5/21/03)

Feelin' Groovy: Rock and Roll Graphics, 1966-1970 (5/20/03)

Down on the Farm (12/19/02)

Edward Hopper: The Paris Years (12/3/02)

Robert Henri and His Influence (11/19/02)

Ira Moskowitz: Works on Paper, essay by Robin West (11/13/02)

"Girl Walking," 1946, A Painting by the Artist Reginald Marsh (1898 - 1954), essay by Gregg Hertzlieb (9/24/02)

Robert Henri and His Influence: From the Permanent Collection of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (8/21/02)

John Koch: Intimate Realism; essay by Don Gray (7/22/02)

The Circus in 20th Century American Art: Images From The World Between (6/14/02)

Norman Rockwell Lithographs from the Powers Collection, Cheney, Washington (2/20/02)

Morgan Monceaux: A Century of African Americans in Dance; essay by Claude L. Elliott (2/5/02)

Maurice Brazil Prendergast, 1853-1324, Merry-Go-Round, Nahant, around 1900-1901; essay by Carol Clark (2/4/02)

Sante Graziani, born 1920, Mural, 1943-1347; essay by Mary E. Kinnecome (1/3/02)

Norman Rockwell: Drawing The American Dream (12/12/01)

Old New York and Artists of the Period: 1900-1941 (7/19/01)

Thomas Hart Benton, by Marianne Berardi (4/30/01)

Grandma Moses in the 21st Century (4/24/01)

Scenes of American Life: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (4/15/01)

Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People (3/22/01)

Grandma Moses in the 21st Century (3/7/01)

Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence (2/8/01)

Space 2001: To the Moon and Beyond (1/10/01)

Seeing What the Heart Knows: The Art of Howard Terpning (1/5/01)


Click here for more articles and essays on this subject published in:



From other websites:

American Visions: Selections from the C. Leonard Pfeiffer Collection, an exhibit held November 22, 2013- March 24, 2014 at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. Includes teaching materials. Accessed May, 2015.

Ballad of the Farm: Then, Now, Tomorrow, an exhibit held May 13 - September 13, 2015 at the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art. Accessed December, 2015.

Dan McCleary: Every Day Sacred. Paintings, 1993-2013, an exhibit held January 14-March 7, 2015 at the USC Fisher Museum of Art. Includes press release and press coverage. Accessed May, 2015.


DVD/VHS videos:

Scenes of American Life: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Masterworks by Alexander Hogue, Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence, Ross Dickinson, Moses Sayer, Joseph RugoIo, Gertrude Goodrich and others are seen In this program highlighting art depicting American life during the first half of the 20th century. Designed for grades 7-12, this 28 program conforms to art, social studies and American history curricula based on the National History Standards. Includes video, prints, slides, and a teacher's guide. "Features works depicting American life in the first half of the 20th century, from the Roaring Twenties through the Great Depression to World War II and beyond. Images of jazz and street life, farms and factories, workers and families captured a changing America. Includes works by Jacob Lawrence, Moses Sawyer, and Gertrude Goodrich, among others." Description source: Amon Carter Museum Teacher Resource Center
Thomas Hart Benton is a 60 minute1988 film from the Ken Burns' America series by PBS. "The turbulent career of Thomas Hart Benton, one of America's most controversial artists, began with experimentation in Expressionism, Cubism, and other European styles abroad. Later, while in the military, Benton was assigned to illustrate army equipment, discovering in the process a realistic style that finally satisfied him. Returning to civilian life, he became a Regionalist painter, portraying Americans as down-to-earth types who expressed their "American-ness" through their everyday actions and their appearance." Director Ken Burns combines samples of Benton's work and interviews with art critics, family, and friends as well as footage of Benton himself. Produced by Ken Burns and Julie Dumphey. (Quote from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)
Visions of California: The Story of California Scene Painting, produced by Paul Bockhorst for KOCE Public Television in collaboration with The Irvine Museum, is the 1994 story of California Scene Painting 1925-1950. Bockhorst, working with scores of collectors and dozens of institutions and museums nationwide, has created a three-part series of artistic delight and intellectual insight that features almost 150 works of art.

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format.


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