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“Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet”- Paul Klee. Most southern arts during the 1930s and 1940s in America was popular and exciting. The painters entertained people by producing huge public artworks and using more abstract styles. Because of the Great Depression, artists expressed their views toward America’s politics and economics through their paintings. Moreover, artists in the 1930s and 40s revealed mostly the daily life of people through their artworks. The major southern artworks during the 1930s and 40s which imply the artists’ views on the Great Depression are Oyster Shuckers, by Catherine M. Howell, and Parkville, Main Street, by Gale Stockwell.

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First, one of the major artworks during the 1930s and 40s is Oyster Shuckers by Catherine Howell. Catherine Howell was born in Louisiana in 1892. Her painting, Oyster Shuckers, shows a picture of men peeling oyster shells in 1934. This piece captured the dull job of oyster peeling that paid little. Howell’s artwork demonstrated the difficulty of American citizens during the Great Depression. In her painting, there are four men, two who are old and two who are young. This implies how the Great Depression caused not only young men but also old men to come back to work instead of retiring. The four men’s facial expressions in the painting are dark and impassive due to the tough and difficult job that they have to do to earn end's meat. The blue and light brown colors of Howell’s painting signifies the cruelty of life, that is, if economy fails, everyone has to work for their country.

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Secondly, the other major southern artwork during the 1930s and 40s is Parkville, Main Street, by Gale Stockwell. Stockwell was born in Missouri in 1907. His painting is a drawing of dark and gloomy Main Street with tall trees in Parkville, Missouri in 1934. In the painting, a young boy and mother is walking walking down Main Street. They are trying to shop in the stores that are lined up on Main Street, but can not find any open because of the Great Depression. The stores are dark inside inferring it is closed. Stockwell added accent to this gloomy painting by using brilliant reds, greens, and blues. Stockwell wanted to show the difficulty of shopping due to the stores being out of business because of the Great Depression. By looking at this painting, mom and her son are going back home. Also, empty streets represents the hardships of the economy in the commercial heart of the city, Main Street. However, old cars, colorful stores, and a factory with smoke expresses a cheerful image of Parkville, Missouri, despite of hardness faced because of the Great Depression.

In conclusion, most of the southern artworks during the 1930s and 40s were related to the Great Depression, unlike other artworks of different time periods. The major southern artworks were Oyster Shuckers by Catherine Howell, and Parkville, Main Street by Gale Stockwell. Both of them expressed the hardships that American citizens faced due to the Great Depression such as working hard despite old age and unable to buy necessities due to stores being out of business.

Works Cited

America After the Fall- Painting in the 1930s03:24

America After the Fall- Painting in the 1930s

“The 1920s Arts and Entertainment: Headline Makers.” U*X*L American Decades, Encyclopedia.com, www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/culture-magazines/1920s-arts-and-entertainment-headline-makers. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.

Reporter, Daily Mail. “Images That Changed America: Startling Pictures of Deep South Farmers Living in Crippling Poverty That Helped Persuade the Wealthy Elite to Back Roosevelt's New Deal.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 8 July 2013, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2358008/The-Deep-South-1930s-Remarkable-color-photographs-capture-daily-life-African-American-laborers.html. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.

Sarudy, Barbara Wells. “It's About Time.” 1930s America's Great Depression - 1934 Public Works Art Project, 1 Jan. 1970, bjws.blogspot.kr/2012/10/1930s-americas-great-depression-1934.html. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.

“Search Collections.” Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery, www.americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=23073. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.

“Search Collections.” Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery, www.americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=23073. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.

Villarreal, Ignacio. “Major Southern Commissions of the 1930s-1940s at D. Wigmore Fine Art in New York.” Major Southern Commissions of the 1930s-1940s at D. Wigmore Fine Art in New York, artdaily.com/news/50375/Major-Southern-Commissions-of-the-1930s-1940s-at-D--Wigmore-Fine-Art-in-New-York#.WPQekojyjIU. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.

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