The Influence Of Regionalism In American Gothic

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Just a year prior to painting American Gothic, Wood was witness to the crash of the stock market, marking the end of six years of enormous prosperity in the USA. The economy stalled and tension built up amongst the people. To broaden the scope, across the Atlantic ocean, fascism began gaining followers and taking power. As a result a political ideology was developed. More people felt the need to go back to older times, to a more primitive and rural kind of life. This return to a more familiar and reassuring time was in line with a feeling of distress and fear of globalization and industrialization. Internationalism had lost its appeal and it was now considered as something extremely dangerous: the root of all evil and the cause of European fascism. This ideology was translated into art by many, mostly Mid-western, American Scene painters who through an anti-modernist style rejected the developing technological advances and urban imagery and preferred to focus on a patriotic depiction of rural life. Rural conservatism was echoed in Wood’s body of work who along with John Steuart Curry and Tom Hart Benton became a leading figure of the so-called Regionalism art movement. The three painters are known as the “Regionalist Triumvirate”, often honoring the American Heartland through their paintings. Regionalism was at its peak during the 1930s, especially between 1930 and 1935. In his pamphlet “Revolt against the city” Wood shuns the city and evokes his concerns about the

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