Chronology MMoCA Collects


American Scene Painting (1930–1940)

American Scene Painting emerged during the 1930s, the period of the Great Depression. As an art movement its purpose was to dignify and poeticize American subjects. Its artists worked in a variety of realist styles that countered the more radical Surrealist and abstract styles of European modernism. American Scene Painting mirrored, in part, the social realism of Mexican Modernism and the Neue Sachleitkeitin Germany (see German Expressionism). American Scene painters fell into two groups: the urban realists centered in New York City and the regionalists, most importantly Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood, who took the American Midwest for subject.