American 20th-21st Century Genre Scene Art


(above: Theodore Wores, New Year's Day in San Francisco's Chinatown, Unknown source. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)



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.


(above: George Benjamin Luks, Houston Street, 1907, oil on canvas mounted on masonite, 23.8 x 41.6 inches, Saint Louis Art Museum. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)


Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:









(above: John Baeder, John's Diner with John's Chevelle, 2007, oil on canvas, 30 x 48 inches, by John Baeder. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)

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.

Jonas Wood is a 2019 exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art which says: "Known for his colorful and compressed depictions of the people, places, and things that populate his daily life, Los Angeles-based painter Jonas Wood creates works that bear clear traces of his biography in both form and content."  Also see interview in artnet Accessed 5/19


(above: William Gropper, Automobile Industry, 1941, oil on canvas, 72 inches x 20 feet, Detroit, Michigan Post Office. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)


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.


Go to Genre Art: 18-19th Century, 19-20th Century, 20-21st Century

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