The Influence of The Great Depression

American Farm” painted in 1936 by Joe Jones

American Farm was created in 1936 during the Great Depression by Joe Jones. This artists work fits perfectly within the time of the depression. It was based off of how the artist portrayed the depression to be. The painting is reflecting the distress of the Great Depression and how it affected families and there farms. Jones wanted to portray that as Noah’s Ark story where the barn and windmill, overlooking a ravaged landscape, have survived a disaster. Looking at this painting this is what I think the great depression might have looked like, the land all dried up and nothing to eat and no water. This painting would not be in my home it should be in a museum so people can learn about that time.

Painting of Farmworkers By
Clyfford Still

The Painting of Farmworkers is By Clyfford Still and is now held in the Clyfford museum in Denver, Colorado. He wanted to show the hard work farmer did in the depression and how hard it was. I think he explained that through the way he painted the arms of the men. He painted them like they dragged on the ground from tiredness and working in the fields all day long. Looking at this painting it makes me feel grateful that I am where I am today because of people like farmers who worked incredibly hard during times of need for the people of America. The coloring is very natural and the texture of the painting looks like pencil line instead of brush strokes. I choose the painting because I though I would match really good with my theme and I thought it was a very odd way of painting at the time. It is a complete different style from the other two I choose. Like the first one I think this is a great painting to have in a museum not my house. The Great Depression is something we all should learn about and be able to hopefully never live through again.

Thomas Hart Benton- Prodigal Son, America, 1936

Prodigal Son was created in 1936 during the Great Depression by Thomas Hart Benton. The painting is a biblical story of how a father who has the heartbreak of seeing his son go into a far country of sin. Then when the son returns bearing the consequences of his own action, his father meets him with all the riches he has and absolutely over joyed to see his sun. I think the artist chose to paint this during this time in his life and with everything going on in the world is because not many people had a lot of thing back then and many people where leaving there families to find something bigger and better. Not a lot of people realized how much they had at home until they left it. I love the story behind this painting because it is about forgiveness, love and family. During this time in the depression that is the number one thing that most people needed. The artist captures that in the photo the business man coming home to his family after he lost everything and that is all he has left. I love the cartoonish feel the painting has and the dessert colors and look. The style to me looks a lot like the first painting I choose. It has more of a fictional look to them I think they are beautiful and belong in a museum not my house because people need to learn about this time in America and the art.

Eastburn, Victoria “Still Life” March 30, 2012, Accessed March 30 2019

Whitney Museum of Art, “American Farm” Accessed March 31, 2019

Kuritz, Paul “Thomas Hart Benton The Prodigal Son” July 5, 2012, Accessed March 30, 2019


Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. This post was a good representation of The Great Depression’s influence on Early Modern art. It was a darker time for people and I think the paintings you chose really captured that darkness. The last painting you chose by Thomas Hart Benton really caught my eye, because the lines and shaping reminded me as a cartoon almost and the color that was used was very similar throughout the whole piece. Even though it is simple, it still gives a back story of what it was like to live in that time period and to show the sadness of everyone and everything. Nice work.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website at
Get started
%d bloggers like this: