Muscarelle Museum of Art

College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, VA



Lifting the Rose-Colored Glasses: Three Social Realists


The Muscarelle Museum of Art at The College of William and Mary will present the exhibition Lifting the Rose-Colored Glasses: Three Social Realists from January 22, 2000-March 19, 2000. To complement the exhibition, the Museum will host a gallery talk, presented by Professor Kimberley Phillips of the Department of History, The College of William and Mary, at 5:30 p.m.on Thursday, February 10. (left: Raphael Soyer, Dancing Lesson, 1969)

Social Realism was a distinct trend in the American Scene movement of art in the 1920's and 30's, in which artists looked at their own environment and artistic tradition. Social Realist artists were interested in the political and social problems of poverty and unemployment brought on by the Great Depression, particularly in the city. These artists depicted commonly shared experiences, especially those of the working classes and the urban poor. Since many of the artists were immigrants themselves, they could easily empathize with their subjects who had also suffered deprivations.

Lifting the Rose-Colored Glasses: Three Social Realists features over 50 prints and drawings by three of the most important Social Realists. Ben Shahn's early paintings were devoted to political scapegoats; Raphael Soyer examined the problems faced by the city's working classes, and William Gropper criticized social injustices and the over-privileged. Each artist created an individual style within the boundaries of Social Realism. (left: Raphael Soyer,Waitresses, 1954)

Lifting the Rose-Colored Glasses: Three Social Realists was organized and circulated by Blair-Murrah Exhibitions of Sibley, Missouri.


Read More in Resource Library Magazine about Muscarelle Museum of Art.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 12/23/10

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