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This is a highly subjective question, but here are a few of my favorites.
No list of American literary works would be complete without the addition of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(1884). Twain's novel is generally considered the advent of modern American literature. Prior to that, Herman Melville's Moby Dick (1851) certainly deserves mention. Others include F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925), John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (1939), J. D. Saliinger's The Catcher in the Rye (1951), and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1960). My own favorite American novel is Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (1961).
Among the most famous American paintings include Grant Wood's American Gothic (1930), Winslow Homer's A Fair Wind (Breezing Up) (1876), Gilbert Stuart's George Washington (unfiniished, 1796), and Mary Cassatt's The Boating Party (1894).
In my opinion, the best American painter was the American realist Edward Hopper. His "Nighthawks," showing people sitting at a coffee-shop counter at night, must be known to everybody, but there are many other great Hopper paintings.
Any list of great American literature should include Theodore Dreiser's novels An American Tragedy and Sister Carrie. It should also include some of the tales of the world-famous genius Edgar Allan Poe. Emerson and Thoreau were among our greatest nonfiction authors.
One of my favorite American literary works is The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. I love his always morose style.
In terms of American art, one must recognize the unusual works of Thomas Kuntz. Most recently, such as "Chamelon Box" or "Berlin Couple". Always an interesting treat of modern American to view.
In terms of Impressionist artists, I'm a fan of William Merritt Chase. A few favorites are his self portraits and the portraits of his wife "Mrs. Chase in Pink".
Photography- William Wegman's photography was made famous for taking pictures of the intelligent dog, the Weimeriner dog. Jackson Pollock was a famous abstract expressionistic painter. Andy Warhol was a famous pop artist. Georgia O'Keefe was famous for her flower paintings. http://www.okeeffemuseum.org/
I hope these are some great ideas to help you start!
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