Springfield, Ohio — For many years, modernism was considered the only art movement of the
early-20th century worth mentioning.
The most influential critics and curators of the post-World War II era, when looking back on the
decades immediately preceding, preferred work by those who eschewed representation and
wholeheartedly embraced stylistic experimentation and the era’s industrial influence.
Any artist who didn’t just wasn’t keeping up with the times.
In more recent years, however, nationally recognized art historians such as Michael Hall have
aggressively challenged this idea, particularly in relation to regionalism, or American scene
Hall thinks that work by the artists of the movement, who often focused on the locations and
denizens of rural America, is as essential to a full understanding of 20th-century art history as
the work of Picasso or Pollock.
In the catalog created for the Springfield Museum of Art exhibition “Authentic Narratives: Ohio’s
Regionalists, 1915-1950,” Hall explains: “The myriad