Royal Academy – “America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s” opens 25 February 2017

Grant Wood – American Gothic, 1930 (detail). Oil on beaver board. 78 x 65.3 cm. Friends of American Art Collection 1930.934, The Art Institute of Chicago

The 1930s was a period of intense social and economic deprivation in America, starting with the Wall Street Crash (1929) which led to over a decade – the Great Depression – of high unemployment and poverty, with the collapse of agricultural and industrial production bringing rapid changes in urbanisation, industrialisation and emigration. These social changes were charted in a flowering of American art and literature.  The exhibition features many famous works of American artists from the 30’s including Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Thomas Hart Benton, Philip Guston, Alice Neel, Charles Sheeler and Grant Wood, “resulting in one of the most vital periods for American artists in the 20th centuryThe Royal Academy – America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s

Alice Neel – Pat Whelan, 1935. Oil, ink and newspaper on canvas. 68.6 x 58.4 cm. Collection of Whitney Museum of American Art © The Estate of Alice Neel