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How and why did early American abstraction develop?

Option A

Choose one of the following artists for an examination of their stylistic development into abstraction:

Arthur Dove

Stanton Macdonald-Wright

Marsden Hartley

Max Weber

Georgia O’Keeffe


Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper examining your selected artist’s development into abstraction that responds to the following:

How and why did early American abstraction develop?

What subjects were present in your artist’s abstract works? Describe with at least one example from the artist.

Why did the artists choose to work in this style? To what influences were they responding to from Europe, and how was their own exploration of abstraction meaningful to them?

What is your own response to the artist’s work?

Format your paper according to appropriate course level APA guidelines.

Submit your assignment to the Assignment Files tab.


Option B

Imagine you are working in a historical society dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance.

Create a 700- to 1,050-word overview of the Harem Renaissance that can be used as a handout at your historical society. Include the following in your overview:

An overview of the history of the Harlem Renaissance; what developments in American history led to the emergence of the Harlem Renaissance? How does the Harlem Renaissance continue to be relevant to our society?


  • Discussion of at least two visual artists associated with the Harlem Renaissance whose work, in your estimation, is representative of this cultural era.
  • An examination of at least two representative works from your selected artists which includes a description of style of the artist; why did the artists choose these artistic styles? How is their work related to the abstraction of the early modernists during this same time period? Is it also abstract? How would you describe it in your own words?
  • An examination of the artistic choices involving media, techniques, and subjects of your selected artworks. Was the cumulative effect of the artist’s choices successful? Why or why not?
  • An analysis of your selected artworks in their historical and social context; what meaning did your artists bring to their work and why? To what social or historical forces were they responding?

Inclusion of at least two images of artwork from your selected artists.

You may submit your overview as a Microsoft® Word document with images. Or, you may use another document creation tool if you have access to the Adobe Creative Suite.

Cite your images according to appropriate course level APA guidelines.

Format your overview according to appropriate course level APA guidelines.


Only need one option done. Pick whichever one you would like to do.

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