An Artist in America

An Artist in America

Book - 1983
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Publisher: Columbia : University of Missouri Press, 1983.
Edition: 4th rev. ed.
ISBN: 9780826203946
0826203949
9780826203991
082620399X
Characteristics: xx, 395 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

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mikelindq Nov 06, 2013

Less a broad memoir or autobiography than a collection of well-written descriptions and accounts of his wanderings throughout the U.S., highlighted by anecdotes about some of the characters he meets and some of the adventures he has, but most of all it's his very opinionated and not always complimentary views of the various regions of the U.S.A., circa 1937. One highlight is his detailed, riveting description of a holy rollers camp meeting - one of the best accounts I've ever read. He largely downplays or omits the details of his notorious fights with the left and the art establishment about regionalism/realism vs. modernism, although his opinions of both come across loud and clear. Provides good account of the commissioning and execution of some of his murals, and the reception they received, especially the Indiana State Fair mural and the Missouri State Capitol mural. Contains two afterwords, published roughly 14 and 31 years after the main volume (1937). One of the afterwords contains a reprint of the homophobic letter he released upon his departure from New York explaining his reasons for his return to his home territory of Missouri --- its bigotry is shocking by today's standards.

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