Seeing America – Periods: 1877-1898




John Gast, American progress, 1872, oil on canvas, 29.2 x 40 cm (Autry Museum of the American West)
A period of technological and commercial success, the Gilded Age was also an era of immense social problems.

1877 – 1898






Grafton Tyler Brown, View of the Lower Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
In order to capture the beauty of America’s national parks, Brown faced the prejudices of the lawless West.

“Leave it as it is”




Jacob August Riis, "Knee-pants" at forty five cents a dozen—A Ludlow Street Sweater's Shop, c. 1890, 7 x 6", from How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York, Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1890 (The Museum of the City of New York)
Riis snapped photos of the urban poor during midnight police raids—but only because he cared.

How the Other Half Lives


View of the National Mall showing the Washington Monument in the center. Robert Mills and Lietenant Colonel Thomas Lincoln Casey, Washington Monument, completed 1884, granite and marble, Washington, D. C
Unlike the other monuments on the Mall, this monument tells us virtually nothing about the man it commemorates.

Soaring above politics


Remington mourns the decline of the cowboy by depicting the very thing that destroyed his iconic lifestyle.

The closing of the frontier