"The Little Renaissance."
In the second decade of the twentieth century, the American arts experienced what historians call "The Little Renaissance," a period of awakening among practitioners of all the arts and among the reading, viewing, and listening public. New styles and new ideas were born in literature, painting, sculpture, photography, music, and theater that would affect those arts for the rest of the century—and new art forms, including film and modern dance, came into their own. Behind these changes were artists, many of them young and college-educated, who discussed spirituality and the new psychology of Sigmund Freud and who believed that meaning lay in the expression of the inner self. Photographer and gallery owner Alfred Stieglitz spoke for most of the painters, writers, playwrights, and dancers of his time when he explained that his art was "the subconscious pushing through the conscious, driven by an urge coming from beyond its own…trying to live in the light, like the seed pushing up through the earth." This new wave of creative talents thought that their work could solve social and political problems; painter Robert Henri believed that art would "keep government straight, end wars and strife, [and] do away with material greed."
The Political Climate.
The trust busting of the previous decade, along with ongoing...
(The entire section is 2168 words.)
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