In the wake of World War I—and as fascism spread through Europe—one group of American artists of the 1930s reacted to social and economic upheaval by depicting the everyday lives of workers and farmers. The movement known as American regionalism idealized an agrarian—but also an ethnically homogenous—world. Grant Wood and John Curry were the epitome of populist artists, selling their affordable prints through mail-order catalogs. Their lithographs exemplify some of the contradictions Müller ascribes to populism: its antipluralism in the name of antielitism; its regional particularities subsumed within an idealized totality. If Müller defines populism as an exclusionary form of identity politics, was American regionalism populist in Müller’s sense of the term?
"Acquisitions of the Art Museum 1995," Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 56, no. 1/2 (1997): p. 36-74.