American 19-20th Century Genre Scene Art


(above: George Benjamin Luks, Street Scene (Hester Street), 1905. oil on canvas, 25 13/16 x 35 7/8 inches,  Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund. 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 19-20th 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.

We recommend that readers search within the TFAO website to find detailed information for any topic. Please see our page How to research topics not listed for more information.

After articles and essays 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: Manuel Bromberg, Chuck Wagon Serenade, mural in the U.S. Post Office building in Greybull, Wyoming. Bromberg, an Iowan, executed post office murals in several states. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)


Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:


A Good and Gracious Man; essay by Brett Busang (2/17/12)

The Paintings of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Works from a Long Island Collection; Introduction by Karl Emil Willers (12/21/11)

The Paintings of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Works from a Long Island Collection (12/17/11)



Mundane and Sublime: Wash Day Images from the Johnson Collection; essay by Lauren Brunk (11/23/07)

American ABC: Childhood in 19th-Century America (9/22/06)

American ABC: Childhood in 19th-Century America (9/22/06)

Striking the Right Notes: Music in American Art (11/3/05)


(above: Edward Lamson Henry, The Country Store, 1885, oil on canvas, 11.6 x 20.3 inches, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)



If Elected I Will Serve: Election Images from the Permanent Collection; essay by Marjorie Searl (10/11/04)

Tales from the Easel: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century American Narrative Paintings from Southeastern Museums, circa 1800-1950 (6/1/04)

Currents of Change: Art and Life along the Mississippi River, 1850-1861 (5/12/04)

Tales from the Easel: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century American Narrative Paintings from Southeastern Museums, circa 1800-1950 (9/26/03)

Edward Lamson Henry, 1841-1919 The Peddler, 1879; essay by William T. Oedel (1/14/02)

John George Brown, 1831-1913, The Berry Boy, c. 1877, Crossing the Brook, 1874; essay by Martha Hoppin (12/29/01)

Paintings of Native America from the Stark Museum of Art (12/03/01)

Tell Me a Story - Chapter 2: Narrative Art of the Cape and Islands (7/27/01)

Americans Outdoors: Seasonal Prints by Winslow Homer (with selected wall text) (7/5/01)

Baseball Art from the Gladstone Collection (5/7/01)

Remington, Russell and the Language of Western Art (2/27/01)

A Printmaker in Paradise: The Life and Art of Charles W. Bartlett (2/8/01)

A Bountiful Plenty: Folk Art from the Shelburne Museum (1/27/01)

Remington, Russell and the Language of Western Art (11/22/00)

Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures: Orientalism in America, 1870-1930 (11/15/00)

Painters and the American West (10/17/00)

Our Backyard: History and Memory in American Folk Art (10/15/00)

Eye of The Storm: The Civil War Drawings of Robert Knox Sneden (10/2/00)

Inside and Out: Scenes of American Life from the Addison Collection (9/24/00)

The American West: Out of Myth, Into Reality (9/23/00)

Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (8/21/00)

The Works of Joseph Henry Sharp (8/1/00)

Winslow Homer: An American Genius at the Parthenon (7/25/00)

How the West Was Drawn (7/18/00)

Unending Frontier: Art of the West (7/16/00)

Parks and Promenades: Maurice Prendergast in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (6/12/00)

Remington and Russell: Masterpieces of the American West from the Amon Carter Museum (5/23/00)

Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures: Orientalism in America, 1870-1930 (4/18/00)

Andrew Lenaghan: New Paintings / Lewis Wickes Hine: The Final Years (3/14/00)

The American West: Out of Myth, Into Reality (3/11/00)

Winslow Homer Facing Nature (2/20/00)

Work and Progress (1/21/00)

The Phelan Collection of Western Art (1/14/00)



The Ralph K. Davies Collection of Western Art at the Monterey Museum of Art (12/17/99)

Winslow Homer (1836-1910) (10/7/99)

Maxfield Parrish, 1870-1966 (9/16/99)

Visions of Home: American Impressionist Images of Suburban Leisure and Country Comfort (7/11/99)

14th annual C.M. Russell Museum Benefit (7/12/99)

America Seen: People and Place (2/2/99)

The Latino Spirit: Hispanic Icons and Images (10/27/98)

Powerful Images: Portrayals of Native America (9/1/98)

Friendly Persuasions: Folk Art from the Collection of The Chase Manhattan Bank

Visual History of the Art of Fly Fishing

Animal as Muse (4/14/98)

Fair and Free: Images of Childhood, 1824-1992 (11/21/97)


From other websites:

Genre paintings are scenes from everyday life. The National Gallery of Art explains genre scenes in their Exploring Themes in American Art series. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915, an exhibit held October 12, 2009-January 24, 2010 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Includes video and podacsts. Accessed February, 2015

Figure Study, The Fourteenth Street School and the Woman in Public, an exhibit held August 26 - December 23, 2011 at the University of Virginia Art Museum. Includes exhibit extended object labels and wall panel text. Accessed May, 2015.

Landscape of Slavery, The Plantation in American Art, an exhibit held January 25 - April 20, 2008 at the University of Virginia Art Museum. Includes exhibit family guidebook and educator's guide. Accessed May, 2015.

Natural Forces: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington is a 2020 exhibit at the Denver Art Museum which says: "Born a generation apart, both artists succeeded in capturing the quintessential American spirit through works of art at the turn of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, an era of growing industrialization and notions of the closing of the American western frontier."   Accessed 1/21

Scenes of Everyday Life: Drawings by Bernard Arnest is a 2019 exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College which says: "The most ambitious project of his career, Scenes from Life, is a series of 51 large drawings that encapsulated his reactions to a world that he has decided was essentially tragic. The subject matter can be challenging, depicting human strife and conflict, but the images are beautifully rendered  Also see information  from 2018 Cottonwood Center for the Arts exhibit  Accessed 3/19

Walter Haskell Hinton: Image Maker for Deere is a 2013-14 exhibit at the Figge Art Museum which says: "In 1934, artist Walter Haskell Hinton painted his first calendar image for Deere & Company, the first of many commissions during the next 20 years. In contrast to the everyday scenes of American life featured in the concurrent exhibition 1934: A New Deal for Artists, Hinton created an ideal world where the sun shines on perfect fields of corn, and the smiling family gathers around its new helpmate, the green John Deere tractor." Accessed 2/17


(above: Maurice Brazil Prendergast, Central Park, 1901, watercolor and graphite pencil on paper, 22.0625 x 5.1875 inches, Whitney Museum of American Art. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)


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

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