Listed: 10 American paintings before Pollock

The National Gallery recently embarked on a first: they acquired their first American painting. Men of the Docks, 1912, (main picture) may not be George Bellows’ most famous or best-regarded work; nonetheless, it’s a gritty and beautifully observed slice of New York life among the city’s dockside workers.

“In this country, we have no need of art as culture,” Bellows’ former tutor, the artist Robert Henri, pronounced. “No need of art for poetry’s sake….What we do need is art that expresses the spirit of the people today.” Bellows absorbed Henri’s lesson, and absorbed it well, at least during the first half of his career (his career took a strange turn after that, and then he died aged just 42). 

Many were part of an avant-garde circle clustered around the gallerist and  photographer Alfred Steiglitz

But until two recent exhibitions in London – a small National Gallery survey in 2011 of the Article source:

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