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American Paintings

The Hudson Valley School, the first generation of American painters, specialized in landscape, and flourished from around 1850 to 1876. Thomas Cole, whose landscapes captured the distinctly rugged American terrain, led the Hudson Valley painters.

Cole did the grand tour in 1829 and was exposed to the monuments of Western art. Hudson Valley painters included Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt. The landscapes captured American ideals of transcendentalism, or the divine in nature; and Manifest Destiny, a widely held belief that the young country’s God-given duty was to take full control of the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

In the early 20th century, the Ash Can School artists painted daily life in the city and country. Their painting style is related to the Political Realist style from Paris that started in the 1940s. The artists were fascinated by the modern lifestyle available from the Industrial Revolution.

The Ashcan painters influenced Edward Hopper. He continued the realist style, yet his paintings capture a stillness and melancholy – an emotional distance between the characters, as they deal with modern life. His paintings are reminiscent of French Impressionist paintings, showing, for example, the mark of industrialization on the countryside.


Quick Facts

  • After WWII, America became the tastemaker for the international art world. Before then, Europe regarded America as a backwater for art production. American art from the 1950s onward is usually called Modern or, at the later end, Contemporary Art, rather than American
  • Oil paintings by Edward Hopper sell at contemporary art prices. His "Bridle Path," 1939, sold at Sotheby’s New York for $10.4 million on May 17, 2012
  • Renowned 19th-century painter Winslow Homer painted poignant images of an American life from a previous generation. He sought to deal with the deep national wound left by the American Civil War

Recommended Items at Auction

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Gerald Bogard (CA,20C) oil painting
Mar 17, 11:45 AM EDT
Gerald Bogard (CA,20C) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $450- $600
$101 Bid
Burke Tyree, American (1921-1979), Haunani Pa, oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm.)
Mar 06, 9:00 AM PST
Burke Tyree, American (1921-1979), Haunani Pa, oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm.)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $900- $1,200
$6000 Bids
Henry Pember Smith, American (1854-1907), Man Ploughing with Oxen, watercolour, 15 x 19 in. (38.1 x 48.3 cm.)
Mar 06, 9:00 AM PST
Henry Pember Smith, American (1854-1907), Man Ploughing with Oxen, watercolour, 15 x 19 in. (38.1 x 48.3 cm.)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $500- $700
$3400 Bids
B.F. Perkins
Mar 08, 10:00 AM EST
B.F. Perkins
by Brunk Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
R.A. Miller
Mar 08, 10:00 AM EST
R.A. Miller
by Brunk Auctions
Est: $100- $300
$500 Bids
Edward Carpenter Bearden, American (1919-1980), Desert Verbena, oil on board, 12 x 16 in. (30.5 x 40.6 cm.)
Mar 06, 9:00 AM PST
Edward Carpenter Bearden, American (1919-1980), Desert Verbena, oil on board, 12 x 16 in. (30.5 x 40.6 cm.)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $700- $900
$4800 Bids
Leo B. Blake, American (1887-1970), School is Out, oil on board, 20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm.)
Mar 06, 9:00 AM PST
Leo B. Blake, American (1887-1970), School is Out, oil on board, 20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm.)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$7000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Paintings


Maynards Fine Art & Antiques

Maynards Fine Art & Antiques

Brunk Auctions

Brunk Auctions

Broward Auction Gallery LLC

Broward Auction Gallery LLC