The Ashcan Painters: Founders of New York Realism
Wednesday 13th April 2022
“The fun of being a New York painter is that landmarks are torn down so rapidly that your canvases become historic records almost before the paint on them is dry.” John Sloan
The term ‘Ashcan School’ was used to describe the realism and contemporary subject matter of a New York based group of artists, exhibiting as ‘The Eight’ in 1908. In fact, they were not a formal school or an ‘ism’, nor were their subjects confined to gritty realism, but they shared a fascination with zesty everyday life scenes, delighting in depicting the leisures and pleasures of the city’s working inhabitants, as well as their trades and toils. Each had an individual style, and all rejected the stolid conservatism and rigid teaching practices of the National Academy of Design. In this lecture we will explore the work of this extraordinary group of individual artists and friends who came together to exhibit paintings, share ideas, and create vivid and stunningly beautiful images of a New York city in transition at the beginning of the twentieth century.
This lecture will explore the work of this extraordinary group of individual artists who created vivid and stunningly beautiful images of a New York city in transition at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Mary Alexander has thirty years’ experience as a lecturer. Her experience includes public lectures in museums, tutoring for the Open University, visiting lecturer at Christie’s Education in London, and museum curator at Platt Hall, the Gallery of Costume, Manchester. She has worked in Pentagram design consultancy in London and New York organising conferences and special events, and is now a freelance lecturer to various arts, heritage and antiquarian societies. She is the author of articles on design and visual awareness issues. Her background combines an unusual blend of academic and visual communications skills.
Note this lecture is on the second Wednesday of the month.