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Social Realism

  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

Social realism was a politically engaged and socially critical form of U.S. painting during the 1930s that called attention to the plight of the working class and the poor. Though it emerged directly from the bleak conditions of the Great Depression, which provoked many artists to emphasize the social function of their work, its origins can be traced to the European movement of realism in the mid-19th century. Artists such as Gustave Courbet and Jean-Francois Millet were known for their depictions of peasants who ...

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