Skip to main content
Want more images or videos?
Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 6

William Gropper
"Unemployed" WPA American Scene Social Realism Mid 20th Century Modern

1937

About the Item

"Unemployed" WPA American Scene Social Realism Mid 20th Century Modern William Gropper (1898 - 1977) Unemployed 20 x 16 inches Oil on canvas, 1937 Signed lower right Provenance: Estate of the artist Bio Throughout his life, William Gropper used his artistic talents to protest social injustice. Born in New York City, he grew up there in poverty and left high school to work as a dishwasher and delivery boy. He eventually began a career in art and was able to study with Robert Henri and George Bellows from 1912 to 1915. He adopted their realistic painting style, and his own work expressed sympathy for common laborers and outrage at society's ills. In 1919 Gropper established a reputation as a political cartoonist working for the New York Tribune. His blunt, forceful style attracted the attention of other publications, and he provided illustrations and cartoons for a variety of magazines, from the left-wing New Masses to mainstream Vanity Fair. Like many social realist artists of the 1930s, Gropper supported liberal political causes, depicting subjects such as the plight of migrant laborers and striking factory workers. In his first gallery exhibition in 1936 at ACA Galleries, Gropper's work was so well received by critics, collectors, and artists that the following year he had two one-man exhibitions at ACA Galleries. In 1937, Gropper traveled west on a Guggenheim Fellowship and visited the Dust Bowl and the Hoover and Grand Coulee Dams, sketching studies for a series of paintings and a mural he painted for the Department of the Interior. That same year he had paintings purchased by both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Gropper exhibited at the 1939 New York World's Fair, Whitney Museum of American Art (1924-55), Art Institute of Chicago (1935-49), Carnegie International (1937-50), Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1939-48), and National Academy of Design (1945-48). He was a founder of the Artists Equity Association and member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. From 1940 to 1945 William Gropper was preoccupied with anti-Nazi cartoons, pamphlets, and war bond posters. In 1943 he was selected by the War Department Art Advisory Committee to go to Africa and make a pictorial record of the war front there. In 1944 he participated in the exhibition Artists for Victory at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, winning first prize in lithography. During the 1950s Gropper was attacked for his refusal to cooperate with the McCarthy Committee and the effect was an end to his exhibitions and commissions. Gropper’s last exhibition was in 1971. Helicline Fine Art presented a Gropper exhibition in 2022.
More From This SellerView All
  • Robert Loughlin Brute Gay LGBT Contemporary NYC Oil Male Portrait "The Smiths"
    By Robert Loughlin
    Located in New York, NY
    Robert Loughlin Brute Gay LGBT Contemporary NYC Oil Male Portrait "The Smiths" The 19 x25 oil on metal is signed and titled "The Smiths" on the ...
    Category

    Early 2000s Contemporary Figurative Paintings

    Materials

    Metal

  • Industrial Railroad WPA Mid 20th Century American Scene Rural Modern Realism
    By Louis Bosa
    Located in New York, NY
    Industrial Railroad WPA Mid 20th Century American Scene Rural Modern Realism Large oil on canvas genre painting depicting laborers working on a railroad, with rural landscape in the...
    Category

    1940s American Realist Figurative Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • NYC EL American Scene Social Realism Mid 20th Century Modern WPA Era Figurative
    By Cecil Crosley Bell
    Located in New York, NY
    NYC EL American Scene Social Realism Mid 20th Century Modern WPA Era Figurative Cecil Bell (1906 – 1970) Street Life Under the EL 22 x 30 inches Oil on canvas, c. 1930s Signed upper...
    Category

    1930s American Realist Landscape Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • Three Young Men California WPA Figurative Modern Art Gay American Scene 1930s
    By Boris Deutsch
    Located in New York, NY
    Three Young Men California WPA Figurative Modern Art Gay American Scene 1930s An artist on the WPA mural project, Deutsch was born in Lithuania and died in Los Angeles. Works of Boris Deutsch are housed in Carnegie Institute, National Museum of American Art, Los-Angeles County Museum of Art, Scribal Museum, Pomona College...
    Category

    1930s American Realist Figurative Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • UNION SQUARE Depression Era Oil Painting WPA Realism American Scene Realism NYC
    By Jo Cain
    Located in New York, NY
    UNION SQUARE Depression Era Oil Painting WPA Realism American Scene Realism NYC Jo Cain (1904 – 2003) "Union Square," 24 x 36 inches. Oil on canvas, c.1940s, ...
    Category

    1940s American Realist Figurative Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • Columbus Avenue NYC c. 1920s/30s American Scene Ashcan WPA Modern 20th Century
    By Bernard Gussow
    Located in New York, NY
    Columbus Avenue NYC c. 1920s/30s American Scene Ashcan WPA Modern 20th Century "Late Afternoon, Columbus Avenue, New York", impasto oil on canvas, signed lower left, signed verso (under relining, shown in photo), and titled verso on stretcher, in maple mitered cove frame, 23 1/4" x 27 1/4", SS: 19 1/4" x 23 1/4", Relined. BIO Russian-born Gussow trained at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design. He also studied under Bonnat at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His first claim to fame was exhibiting two works at the Armory Show in 1913. Gussow exhibited at the Society of Independent Artists between 1917 and 1934 and at Salons of America in the 1930s. The Whitney Museum of American Art, for example, has his Subway Stairs. The Barnes Foundation...
    Category

    1920s American Realist Figurative Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

You May Also Like
  • Antique American Impressionist Painting Red Riding Hood Framed 19th Century
    Located in Buffalo, NY
    An original antique American painting by Samuel Knight Wright, depicting the fairytale character of "Little Red Riding Hood" on her way to gr...
    Category

    Late 19th Century American Realist Figurative Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • Untitled
    By Willard Dixon
    Located in Burlingame, CA
    These paintings that the artist calls his "NEWS series" are generally taken from small black and white newspaper photos from Willard Dixon’s daily reading of the news. He changes the images somewhat by cropping them, taking things out, adding color, etc. But the image is definitely something seen originally by someone else. “I must say”, says Dixon, “I have rather strong feelings about these images myself. I see them at least in part as an homage to the intrepid photographers on the front lines who are telling truth to the world about what’s actually going on out there.” This is 'Untitled' a 24 x 4 inch oil on canvas portrait of a young black man...
    Category

    21st Century and Contemporary American Realist Figurative Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • Blue , American Realist painter, Representational Figurative art, Portrait
    Located in Houston, TX
    Blue is painted in the style of American Realism. The painting is Representational Figurative art which is a time consuming process especially with portraits and figurative art. T...
    Category

    2010s American Realist Portrait Paintings

    Materials

    Oil, Canvas

  • Mid Century Figurative Portrait of a Boy with Toy Car
    By Ralph Edward Joosten
    Located in Soquel, CA
    Realistic mid century portrait of a boy playing with an antique toy car by Ralph Joosten (American, 1928-2009). Signed "R. Joosten" in the lower left ...
    Category

    1960s American Realist Portrait Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • Wide Eyes - The Lost One
    By Margaret Keane
    Located in Miami, FL
    The image of Wide Eyes defines Margaret Keane's signature style. However, not all of her work rises to a high level. This painting has punch and power tempered by sensitivity and com...
    Category

    1970s American Realist Portrait Paintings

    Materials

    Oil, Canvas

  • Woman in a Red Dress, Mid Century Female Illustrator/ Artist, Elizabeth Taylor ?
    By Gladys Rockmore Davis
    Located in Miami, FL
    Mid-century female illustrator/artist Gladys Rockmore Davis paints a compelling portrait of a contemplative beauty who looks like Elizabeth Taylor. Frontal and lateral forces work together in this pyramidal composition. The sitter stares down at the viewer creating a frontal tension. Her hypnotic gaze is counterbalanced by the lateral movement of her crossed hands and triggers an emotional response. Gladys Rockmore Davis is both a work-for-hire illustrator and a fine artist- She was an illustrator for clients such as Upjohn, Munsingwear, Elgin Watches, and Johnson & Johnson. Davis had a show at the prestigious Midtown Gallery and Babcock Gallery in New York. She studied at the California School of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Chicago, and Art Students League. William R. French Gold Medal...
    Category

    1950s American Realist Portrait Paintings

    Materials

    Oil, Canvas

Recently Viewed

View All