1918 – 1940


In France
1870-1940 Third Republic

In the United States
1877-1900 Gilded Age
1900-1920 Progressive Era
1900-1920 “Roaring” Twenties
1920-1941 New Deal

Significant Dates

1905 Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946) opens the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession at 291 Fifth Avenue in New York. Stieglitz becomes one of the first important American advocates for modernist painting, sculpture, and photography.

1908 A group of eight realist painters of urban life, later known as the Ashcan School or "The Eight" come to prominence. Painters of the “Eight” include William Glackens (1870–1938), Robert Henri (1865–1929), George Luks (1867–1933), and John Sloan (1871–1951).

1913 The International Exposition of Modern Art (the "Armory Show") is held at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York. It is the first major exhibition that introduces the American public to European modern art.

1917 Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) exhibits Fountain, a signed, inverted urinal, at the Society of Independent Artists in New York.

1922 The Musée de Luxembourg in Paris is dedicated specifically to the collection of art from other countries, including American art.

1924 André Breton (1896–1966) issues the first Surrealist manifesto.

1929 The Museum of Modern Art opens in New York.

1930s Grant Wood (1892–1942), John Steuart Curry (1897–1946), and Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975) begin to paint scenes of rural American life in a style that is influenced by modernism. Their paintings later come to exemplify the Regionalist style.

Significant artworks

In France
Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917
Fernand Léger, The Railway Crossing, 1919
Henri Matisse, The Yellow Odalisque, 1926
Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937

In the United States (Base Lafayette)
Alexander Archipenko, Standing Figure, 1917
Frank Burty Haviland, Street Corner with Fallen Tree, circa 1920
Cyrus Edwin Dallin, The Vision (Charles Lindbergh), 1927
Alexander Calder, Kiki of Montparnasse, 1929-30
Arthur B. Davies, Bacchus as a Child, 1925
Norman Bel Geddes, Soda King, 1935
Alexander Hogue, Survivors of the Drought, 1936
Henri Goetz, Portrait of Bossuet, 1939