As you probably realize by now if you’ve read this blog, I’m very partial to American art of all periods. But I particularly favor styles and movements that were not particularly favored by critics in their day (go figure). Yes, I’m not a big fan of academic realism, classical or literary subject matter, or emotion-drenched works of art. While the American Impressionists of the 1880s and 1890s were the first American artists to depart stylistically from academic tradition in painting, the popularly-named Ash Can School was the first radical departure from traditional subject matter. I enjoy the work particularly of Everett Shinn, one of the less well-known artists of the group. Because of his interest in atmospheric interior scenes, his works have an intimacy that some of the other Ash Can artists lack.
The Eight Independent Artists (Ash Can School) was a group of eight
This painting shows Shinn’s interest in light and ambience, which he learned in
Starting in the 1920s, Shinn seems to have lost interest in painting scenes of urban life. Still interested in theater, his output consisted mostly of theatrical backdrops, including ones for the Ziegfield Follies. He also painted many murals, such as a large cycle on the history of