What new visual art form rose to prominence during the Great Depression? In a country plagued by economic crisis, what new art forms rose to prominence? We have all heard of photography, but what new form did it take during this time? The answer may surprise you. This new form of art was influenced by the Depression era’s dissolution of class distinctions and the rise of popular culture. The 1930s brought us photojournalism magazines and movies.
The Great Depression was a time of economic hardship and a nation reshaping. Pop culture, mass production, and consumption all played a part in this process. Many new forms of visual art emerged during this time. One such new genre was regionalist art, which aims to depict rural life scenes and American folklore. John Steuart Curry, Thomas Hart Benton, and Grant were the pioneers of regionalism. These artists favored a more humanistic approach to the subject matter.
Another new genre of popular art emerged during the Great Depression: comic books. These comic books were popular during the Great Depression, and often starred pulp characters. Famous pulp fiction authors such as Raymond Chandler (whose novel “Farewell My Lovely” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1931) and Dashiell Hammett (whose thriller, The Thin Man, was one of the most popular books of the 1930s) enjoyed widespread popularity during this time.