In summer 2012 the National Gallery of Art hosted a comprehensive exhibit showcasing the works of George Bellows. A student of French, I studied primarily European art and so Bellows was new to me. I gladly acquainted myself with Bellows and his contemporaries that summer.
Bellows, from Columbus, Ohio, moved to New York for work, capturing city life as his subject. Some believe Bellows defined The City’s cultural ascent in his works, simultaneously moving American art into the Modern age. I’ll suggest Bellows did more. He was capturing the primacy of the American spirit. Though a cliché, “the American Spirit,” I will agree with Bellows that it’s found in the grit of laborers, immigrants, kids, and all those who hustle.
Today, more than ever, let’s pay some respect to that spirit and carry it on.
Gershwin comes a little later, but his work is also of the…
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