The Ashcan School

A maverick group of painters in New York City set the foundation for depicting life in the changing, surging metropolis.

c. 1908 - 1940

videos + essays

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George Benjamin Luks, <em>Street Scene (Hester Street)</em>
George Benjamin Luks, Street Scene (Hester Street)

Visiting the Lower East Side in 1905

Bellows, <em>Return of the Useless</em>
Bellows, Return of the Useless

The New York based ashcan artist George Bellows tackles the horrors of the First World War

John Sloan, <em>Movies</em>
John Sloan, Movies

When movies were new and lights transformed the darkened city streets.

George Bellows, <em>Pennsylvania Station Excavation</em>
George Bellows, Pennsylvania Station Excavation

George Bellows, Pennsylvania Station Excavation, c. 1907–08, oil on canvas, 79.2 x 97.1 cm (Brooklyn Museum), a Seeing America video Speakers: Dr. Margarita Karasoulas, Assistant Curator, American Art, Brooklyn Museum and Dr. Steven Zucker Additional resources This painting at the Brooklyn Museum Smarthistory images for teaching and learning: More Smarthistory images…

George Bellows, <em>Both Members of This Club</em>
George Bellows, Both Members of This Club

The violence and physicality of this boxing match reflect contemporary racial tensions in pre-WWI New York.

The Ashcan School, an introduction
The Ashcan School, an introduction

These painters wanted to create a new art, rooted in the raw, visceral, day-to-day reality of New York City.

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