Essay on Early American Studies

Submitted By billybob789
Words: 1366
Pages: 6

Early American Studies

From the times of the seceding south pre civil war, to the advanced technology of the 21st century art has been an ever changing part of American society. Just like how the technology available to the people has changed drastically over time, so has the art made by the people. From styles like cubism made famous from artists like Pablo Picasso, to the times of Pop Art done by people like Andy Warhol, time periods all across the decades had their own unique styles just as similar to the change of clothing styles across the decades as well. To try and write a paper on all of these styles in a semester is a difficult task, but to write a paper on a specific painting after attending a collection of artwork from all these eras is a much more efficient way of trying to dig deeper into understanding an artwork. There is no better place to see a wide collection of art in the south eastern corner of Pennsylvania then the Philadelphia Art Museum. The art museum is the perfect place for such an assignment because of its large collection creating an ideal place to do such an assignment. It gives the viewer the ability to view vast amounts of arts, has pieces that can be easily researched to better understand the piece, and the viewer can casually stroll and take however long they need to be able to analyze the pieces. For this type of assignment the Philadelphia Art Museum creates a near perfect setting to try and further enrich ones artistic knowledge. Having been there before one may think it would be a boring trip through the exhibits, but this would be false; after reading and studying some different art styles throughout history, and creating a foundation of art history, the art museum becomes a much more interesting place. The museum itself could be considered art from an architect’s standpoint in its design, arrangement, and exterior decorations. Once there a viewer enters the building and finds that it is very easy to maneuver around and find their way through the different sections. With art from American artists, to ancient Asian styling, even stuff made in recent years there is certainly something that can interest all. With maps its is very simple and easy to find your way around the place, and guides are in almost every other room if a question arises or simply more information be desired about the subject as a whole. A trip to the museum can give more then enough inspiration or information to a person trying to further discover the varying styles and times in the history of art. Going through the museum and in particular the American art section, one piece in particular stood out and was easy to relate to, it was a piece entitled Plowing by Grant Wood. The piece was an instant reminder of a history class lesson. This piece was made in 1936, a time of balance between the urban and rural settings of American life. For the more rural and farmland lifestyle families had to be self sufficient and work the land for crops to be sold at market to support the family. While at the museum I talked to the nearest museum expert I was discovered that Wood was from a town in Iowa, which makes sense on why he would be painting farm landscapes since Iowa is a farming state. This time in history was just following the big push for immigrants to move westward and try and make a living by farming. Government actions like the Dawes Act gave people land to promote farming and an agricultural development of the country. Also independent railroad companies sold land for cheap miles away from major cities and gave high rates for the farmers to transport their crops by railroads to the marketplace, creating a life full of hard work and struggles for families to get by. With owning huge chunks of land and the need to utilize every part of it to get by it was constant busy work for families with little interaction on a daily basis for these people. In the painting a few things done by the artist immediately jump out…