Renegade Regionalists: The Modern Independence of Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry by James M. Dennis. Illustrated, 296 pages, paperback. University of Wisconsin Press, 1998.
Famous for iconic images of the rural Midwest—such as American Gothic, Politics in Missouri, and Baptism in Kansas—Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry have long been lumped together under the rubric the "Regionalists." James M. Dennis offers a fresh and sophisticated look at the modernist tendencies of this trio of American painters, arguing that the individual styles of Wood, Benton, and Curry were both mislabeled and misunderstood. Revisiting the artistic and political culture of America between the World Wars, he shows that critics and ideologues—from Time Magazine to the Partisan Review—pigeonholed, praised, or pilloried the Regionalists to serve their own critical intentions.
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