Style: Style refers to both, unique visual elements or techniques that characterize an individual artist's work, as well as the particular movement or school with which the artist is associated.
19th C. European and British (1800-1900): all media. 19th Century European and British art consists of various artistic movements in Europe including Rococo, Classicism, Revolutionary art, Spanish art, Romanticism, the Barbizon School, Realism, Orientalism, Idealism, Victorian, Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Naturalism, Art Nouveau and Symbolism. The 19th Century was a time of changing ideas revolving around the purpose of art, the appropriate choice of subject matter, the attitude between the artist and the public, the artist's relationship with nature and new technology's influence on art.
19th C. / Early 20th C. American (1800-1900): all media. 19th Century American art consists of various artistic movements in America including Rococo, Classicism, Revolutionary art, Romanticism, Realism, Idealism, Impressionism, Neo-impressionism, Post Impressionism, Naturalism, Art Nouveau and Symbolism.
Abstract Art (1900-1950): all media. Any form of art that does not represent reality convincingly, but instead distorts it. In this movement, artists began with a known visible object and abstracted it to produce a more simplified form. Pioneers of the Abstract Art movement include Kandinsky, Malevich and Mondrian.
Abstract Expressionism (1940-1960): all media. The Abstract Expressionists were based in New York City and were often referred to as the New York School. They were influenced by the ideas of Surrealism and aimed to make abstract art that also possessed expressive and emotional qualities.
Academic art (18th century): painting, works on paper, prints and sculpture. This term refers to art created according to the official academies of traditional painting and sculpture which flourished in Europe from the 17th to the 19th centuries.
Action Painting (1945-1960s): painting, works on paper. Closely associated with abstract expressionism, action painting focused on the spontaneity of applying paint to the canvas. Instead of focusing on the final image, this style of painting was much more interested in the act of painting itself. Jackson Pollock is one of the most well known action painters.
Aesthetic Movement (1870s-1880s): painting, prints, works on paper. This movement emphasized the beauty of all objects for everyone to take pleasure in, not just the elite.
African-American Artists: all media. An African-American artist is an artist who is American born, but whose ancestors were of African descent. Their art during the 18th and 19th centuries reflected early African artistic traditions, but progressed and merged with western fine art styles during the 20th century.
American Impressionism (1890s-1920s): painting, prints, works on paper. Not only did Impressionism flourish in Europe, but it also influenced American artists. They employed the same techniques and subject matter. Notable American impressionists include William Morris Hunt, John La Farge, Joseph Foxcroft Cole, George Inness, Alexander Wyant, and Dennis Miller Bunker.
American Regionalism (c. 1930s): painting, prints, works on paper. This movement was primarily composed of Midwestern rural artists who appeared around the 1930s.
Ancient Art & Antiquities: paintings, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Ancient Art and Antiquities refers to art from the beginning of civilization through the Dark Ages, ranging from Western Europe to the Caspian Sea including the cultures of Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Near East.
Antebellum Era (1820-1850): painting, prints, works on paper. This movement refers to American art created before and leading up to the Civil War.
Art Brut (c. 1950): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Invented by Jean Dubuffet, Art Brut was created as "raw" art by individuals who existed completely outside of society and the world of art schools, galleries and museums.
Art Deco (1920-1939): all media. This term refers to the movement characterized by the use of bold materials, patterns and designs. Art Deco took characteristics from many previous movements and influenced a wide variety of media.
Art Nouveau (1880-1914): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. This movement pervaded a variety of mediums, but was most prominent in architecture and design. Distinctive by an organic, asymmetrical, decorative style, Art Nouveau can be characterized by flowing lines, shapes and forms.
Arte Povera (1960s-1970s): painting, works on paper, sculpture. This term refers to the Italian art movement in which artists worked outside of the traditional art-making mediums. Instead, they used materials which could be acquired for free or very inexpensively. It literally means "poor art" but, in actuality, it does not denote an impoverished art, but an art made without boundaries.
Ashcan School (1910s): painting, works on paper. This movement is characterized by depicting scenes of daily life in poor neighbourhoods. It became prominent in the early 20th century in the United States. Notable artists associated with this movement include Robert Henri, Arthur B. Davies, Maurice Prendergast, Ernest Lawson, William Glackens, Everett Shinn, John French Sloan, and George Luks.
Barbizon School (1830s-1870s): painting, prints, works on paper. The Barbizon School included a group of French painters who believed in realism in art as opposed to the Romantic Movement during the mid-19th century.
Baroque (1620-1715): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. In the visual arts, Baroque was a period dominated by exaggeration and detail. Artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Caravaggio, and Cortona are known for their dramatic works associated with this movement.
Bauhaus (1919-1933): all media. This term refers to the art and architecture school in Germany that operated in the early 1900s, and had a profound influence on art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design and typography. The Bauhaus style, pioneered by modern architect Walter Gropius, became one of the most well-known currents in Modernist architecture.
Bay Area Figuration (1950s-present): painting. This mid-20th century movement embodied a group of artists from the San Francisco Bay Area who deserted Abstract Expressionism and instead turned to figuration in art.
BritArt (1992-present): all media. BritArt refers to the group of young artists based in the United Kingdom. They received their name from the Saatchi Gallery exhibitions starting in 1992 which originally brought them to fame.
Byzantine (867-1453): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Byzantine refers to the art from the Eastern Roman Empire. The majority of these works have a religious context and are characterized by strong colours and figures.
California Style (1920s-1950s): painting, works on paper. This term refers to the artistic movement in California. Artists of the California style were impacted by earlier modern movements and adapted those influences into their own style.
Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368-1644): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, prints, and works on paper created at the time of the Chinese Ming Dynasty.
Chinese Qing Dynasty (1644-1911): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, prints, and works on paper created at the time of the Chinese Qing Dynasty.
Chinese Modern Period (1911-1945): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, prints, and works on paper created at the time of the Chinese Modern Period.
Chinoiserie: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. A term which refers to the western interpretations of Chinese fine and decorative art in a variety of media.
Civil War/Reconstruction (1850-1877): painting, prints, works on paper. This movement refers to the group of artists who depicted the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods in their work. Notable artists include Conrad Wise Chapman, Winslow Homer, James Hope, Thomas Nast, and William Aiken Walker.
COBRA (1948-1951): painting, works on paper. This term refers to the European avant-garde movement active from 1948-1951. The name was created from the initials of the members’ home cities of Copenhagen (Co), Brussels (Br), and Amsterdam (A). They had an expressive style which focused on social and political issues.
Colonial Period (1600-1763): painting, prints, works on paper. Art during the Colonial Period in North America did not possess the high quality of other arts at this time. The 17th century painters were naive and unknown, but often created charming landscapes and portraits.
Colour Field Painting (Late 1950s-1960s): painting. This term refers to an off-shoot style of Abstract Expressionism distinguished by areas of flat single colours. They differed from the Abstract Expressionists in that they eliminated the personal subject matter and gestural paint application associated with the previous movement. Some of the colour field painters included Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Clyfford Still.
Conceptual Art (1960s-1970s): all media. Conceptual art refers to art created primarily for the ideas and concepts involved instead of aesthetic pleasure.
Constructivism (1913-1930): all media. This term refers to the branch of abstract art founded in Russia. The constructivist members believed that art should directly reflect the industrial world. Therefore, the movement dismissed "pure" art in favour of art as an instrument for socialist society.
Contemporary (1945-Present): all media. Contemporary art, or works created post-World War II, is recognized as one of the most creative periods in art history. Media includes paintings, works on paper, photographs, sculptures, video & sound art and installation.
Contemporary Realism (1960s): painting, photography, prints, works on paper. This term refers to the post-abstract movement which focused on a straightforward and realistic approach to art. Notable artists of this period include William Bailey, Neil Welliver and Philip Pearlstein.
Cubism (1908-1920): all media. This term refers to the movement dominated by the geometric reconstruction of object utilizing flat surfaces and blocks of colour. It was one of the most popular movements of the 20th century founded by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in 1907. The birth of Cubism was influenced by the later works of Cézanne.
Dada (1916-1924): all media. This term refers to the cultural movement that began in Switzerland during World War I. Encompassing all of the arts and concentrating on anti-war statements, the Dada movement aimed to destroy the traditional values in art. Its leading artists included Duchamp, Picabia and Schwitters, and it formed the base for Surrealism.
Der Blaue Reiter (1911-1914): painting, works on paper. This term refers to the movement organized by Vasily Kandinsky in Munich, Germany. Der Blaue Reiter, "The Blue Rider," consisted of a group of nine artists who shared an interest in the power of colour.
Die Brücke (1905-1913): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to the German Expressionist counterpart of Fauvism. Die Brücke artists believed in the bridge between modernity and barbarism and depicted this irony with bright, raw colours.
Dutch School (1600-1670): painting, prints, works on paper. Artists of the Dutch School focused on portraying their national pride through genre scenes, portraits, still life, landscapes, townscapes, and seascapes. Unlike the other movements of the 17th century, the Dutch school artists had more freedom and flexibility in what they created.
Early Republic (1790-1820): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to art created during the Early Republic in North America. The majority of these works were landscapes and genre scenes.
École de Paris (1910-1950): painting, prints, sculpture, works on paper. The École de Paris was a group unified in their rebelliousness against academism. Unlike the majority of schools at the time, they did not adhere to a specific style and technique.
Earthworks / (1960s-1980s): sculpture and installation. In the late 1960s and 1970s, sculptors began to take art back to nature. They worked outdoors using what they found to fashion earthworks and Land Art. Leading artists in the Land Art movement include Robert Smithson, Richard Long, Michael Heizer and Dennis Oppenheim.
Emerging Artists: all media. Emerging artists are young artists with specialized training in his or her field. They are at an early stage in his or her career with a modest independent body of work, but lack the exposure of an artist with a more mature career.
Expressionism (1905-1925): all media. This term refers to the movement which manipulates the visual elements of an image to convey intense subjective feelings. In expressionist art, color is highly intense, brushwork is free and application of paint is heavy and textured.
Fashion Photography: photography. This term refers to the genre of photography entirely devoted to recording clothing and other fashion objects.
Fauvism (1905-1908): painting. This term refers to the movement identified by its high energy and brilliant colors which conveyed an intense visual experience. Originating in France, around 1905, Henri Matisse and his followers combined bold primary colors with dynamic brushwork, winning the label of Fauves, or "Wild Beasts." Fauvism is often seen as a combination of the Post-Impressionism of Van Gogh and the Neo-Impressionism of Seurat.
Fluxus (1960s): all media. Fluxus, literally meaning “to flow,” refers to the movement during the 1960s which combined a variety of techniques and media in the visual arts, music, literature, and design.
Folk Art: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Folk art refers to regional handicrafts, ornamental works and fine art produced by people with no formal art training.
Found Object: sculpture, installation. This term refers to objects found by an artist in his or her environment and presented as a work of art completely unaltered or combined and/or modified to create a final piece.
Futurism (1909-1918): all media. This term refers to the Italian movement influenced by Cubism in the early 1900s. Futurism attacked everything that was old and promoted the modern world of industry and technology. The leading artists of this movement included Balla, Boccioni and Severini.
Geometric Abstract Art (20th century): all media. Geometric Abstract Art refers to the form of abstract art based on the use of simple geometric forms. Kandinsky was the forerunner of this non-objective painting style. Other followers include Kasimir, Malevich, and Piet Mondrian.
German Expressionism (Early 20th century): painting, prints, works on paper. German Expressionism encompasses the Die Brücke eand Der Blaue Reiter movements in Germany.
Gilded Age (1877-1900): painting, prints, works on paper. The Gilded Age took place during the post-Civil War and post-Reconstruction eras in the United States. During this period, Americans saw extraordinary growth. Artists such as John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Albert Pinkham Ryder created some of the most celebrated works of this time.
Gothic (1100-1600): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Gothic art refers to the medieval movement found in a variety of mediums ranging from architecture, sculpture, panel painting, stained glass and manuscripts. Often, gothic works told both Christian and secular narratives through imagery.
Graffiti (1980s-present): painting, works on paper. This term refers to the movement founded during the 1980s where graffiti art, or images and letters usually spray-painted on property, became an art form worthy of display in galleries and exhibitions.
Hard-edge Painting (Late 1950s): painting. Hard-edge Painting refers to the movement consisting of rough, straight edges that were geometrically consistent. It is characterized by rich solid colors, neat surfaces and a collection of multiple forms on the canvas. It is often associated with Geometric Abstraction, Post-Painterly Abstraction and Color Field Painting.
Harlem Renaissance (1920s-1930s): all media. The Harlem Renaissance was a time of flourishing art, literature and drama during the 1920s and 1930s, in which African-American novelists, poets and painters produced works focusing on their own culture instead of European and white American society. While the movement was centered in Harlem, New York City, it affected many urban centers throughout the United States.
Hudson River School (1825-1875): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to a group of American painters during the mid-19th Century who demonstrated a common belief and outlook on life. Their inspiration was rooted in aesthetics and romanticism as seen through their depiction of landscapes in the Hudson River Valley, Catskill Mountains, Adirondack Mountains and White Mountains of New York and New England.
Impressionism (1874-1876): paintings, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Impressionism is the term applied to an art movement in France during the late 19th century that focused on landscapes and scenes of everyday life. The movement was very anti-academic in style, and often disobeyed the traditional rules of the Salon. It can be identified by their treatment of light, color, and brushwork. Leading artists of this movement included Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas and Manet, among others.
Indian and Southeast Asian Mughal Period (16th-19th centuries): painting, works on paper. This term refers to paintings and works on paper created during the Mughal Period in India and Southeast Asia.
Indian and Southeast Asian Rajput Painting (16th Century): painting, works on paper. This term refers to paintings and works on paper created during the Rajput Period in India and Southeast Asia.
Islamic Art: all media. Islamic art includes arts produced from the 7th Century to present time by people who have lived in territories inhabited by culturally Islamic populations. It encompasses a variety of media including architecture, calligraphy, painting, ceramics, metalwork, woodwork, glass and jewelry from all over the Islamic world.
Japanese Muromachi Period (1392-1568): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, prints, and works on paper created during the Japanese Muromachi Period.
Japanese Momoyama Period (1568-1603): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, prints, and works on paper created during the Japanese Momoyama Period.
Japanese Edo Period (1603-1868): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, prints, and works on paper created during the Japanese Edo Period.
Japanese Meiji Period (1868-1945): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, prints, and works on paper created during the Japanese Meiji Period.
Kinetic Art (1960s): sculpture. Kinetic art refers to artworks that contain parts that can be moved by hand, air or motion. Artists known for kinetic art include Naum Gabo and Alexander Calder.
Latin-American Artists: all media. Latin-American art covers nearly 500 years of artwork ranging from the Colonial period through the 21st Century. Some prominent Latin-American artists include Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Matta, Wifredo Lam, Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, Fernando Botero, Claudio Bravo, Joaquín Torres-García and Rufino Tamayo.
Les Nabis (1891-1899): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to the group formed as an offshoot of Symbolism. The artists saw themselves as initiators of art as found in the soul of the artist. They believed that a painting should be balanced and, as a result, single colors and patterns were separated by strong contours. Members of this movement included Paul Serusier, Pierre Bonnard, and Édouard Vuillard.
Lyrical Abstraction (1960s-1970s): painting. After World War II, artists in Europe believed that it was their duty to develop a new concept of humankind. This distinctive approach to painting became known as Lyrical Abstraction, or "art informel," and returned to the origins of art expressed through a simplistic manner.
Magic Realism (1943-1950s): painting. This term refers to the genre in which artists depicted extreme realism in the most ordinary subject matter. Also, magic realism is often associated with the Post-Expressionist movement.
Mannerism (1520-1600): painting, prints, works on paper. Mannerism refers to the style developed during the 16th Century, characterized by its focus on space and light, dramatic use of color and distorted space and perspective. It began around the end of the High Renaissance and lasted until the arrival of Baroque in 1600.
Medieval (476-1453): painting, works on paper, sculpture. Medieval art covers over 1000 years of art history through Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It covered a variety of media and included many major art movements such as Early Christian Art, Celtic Art, Pre-Romanesque art and Carolingian art, among others.
Metaphysical (1917-1920): painting, works on paper. Metaphysical refers to the art movement created by Italian artists Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carra. Painters focused on a realist approach to dream-like views of Italian cityscapes. It also helped paved the way for the development of Dada and Surrealism.
Militaria: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Militaria refers to artifacts or replicas of military items which are collected for their historical significance such as helmets, uniforms, armour, coins or awards.
Military Art: all media. This term refers to art documenting military scenes.
Minimalism (1960s-1970s): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. This term refers to the simplicity found in the use of basic shapes to create an image of great beauty. Minimalism was mostly three-dimensional, but Frank Stella’s paintings were a hallmark of this movement. Other important minimalists include Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris and Richard Serra.
Modern (1880-1945): all media. The term Modernism generally refers to new forms of art that are more appropriate to the present time. Modern art has been identified as the succession of art movements by critics since Realism and culminating in abstract art up to 1945. By that time, Modernism had become a dominant idea of art and the Modernist viewpoint was theorized by the American art critic Clement Greenberg.
Mono-Ha (1960s-1970s): sculpture. Mono-ha refers to the Japanese group of artists working in the 1960s and 1970s, who used both natural and man-made materials in their work. They are best known for actually rearranged materials to achieve a final product instead of creating works from scratch.
Native American: all media. Native American art covers a vast time period and a variety of media created by artists of Native American descent.
Naturalism (1870s-1890s): painting, works on paper. Naturalism refers to the realistic portrayal of objects in a natural setting. Some of the best known Naturalist artworks were of beautiful landscapes created after the Renaissance.
Neo-Classicism (1750-1880): all media. This movement, founded as a reaction against the Baroque and Rococo styles of the early 18th Century, desired to return to the purity of the ancient arts of the Roman and Grecian cultures.
Neo-Dada (1950s): all media. Neo-Dada refers to art work created during the 1950s resembling the original Dada movement in its methods. Neo-Dadaists used modern materials and popular imagery to deny the traditional and accepted ideas of aesthetics. Notable artists during this movement include Jasper Johns, Yves Klein, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Jim Dine. They also helped pave the way for the Pop Art and Fluxus movement.
Neo-Expressionism (Late 1970s-1980s): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to the revival of expressionism in the 1980s. Neo-Expressionism took place in many countries and cultures, but the leading artists in the United States were Philip Guston and Julian Schnabel.
Neo-Figurative Art (1960s): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. This term refers to the revival Expressionist movement in the form of figurative art that emerged in the 1960s in Mexico.
Neo-Impressionism (1886-1906): painting, prints, works on paper. Neo-Impressionism refers to the late 19th century movement led by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Their works were innovative for their time and altered the use of color and line, compared to their Impressionist ancestors.
Neo-Romanticism (1880-1910): painting, prints, works on paper. Neo-romanticism refers to the movement based on the revival of romanticism in art and literature.
Neue Sachlichkeit (1910s): painting, prints, works on paper. Neue Sachlichkeit, the German art movement, was formed out of defiance against expressionism. It ended with the rise of the Nazis and covered a wide variety of media including the visual arts, literature, music and architecture.
New Realism (1950-1960s): all media. This term refers to the movement founded by art critic Pierre Restany and painter Yves Klein which is often compared to the New York Pop Art movement for its critique of commercialized objects. Leading artists of this movement included Arman, Cesar, Christo, Tinguely and Daniel Spoerri.
Old Masters (14th to Early 19th centuries): painting, prints, works on paper. Masterpieces by the most famous Western artists from the 14th to the early 19th centuries including Raphael, Cranach, Titian, Velazquez, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Hals, Reynolds, Canaletto, Gainsborough and Fragonard. Subject matter usually included still lifes, landscapes, genre paintings, portraits, religious and historical themes.
Op Art (Late 1950s-1960s): all media. Op Art contrasted its Abstract Expressionist ancestor by creating a nonobjective art based entirely upon patterns of lines and colors which affected the viewer’s perception. Leading artists of this movement included Bridget Riley, Jesus Raphael, Soto and Victor Vasarely.
Orientalism (1838-1890s): painting, prints, works on paper. Orientalism can be characterized by work influenced by the artistic styles and motifs of the Far East.
Outsider Art: all media. Outsider art refers to art created outside the boundaries of traditional culture. Broadly, it includes folk and primitive art as well as works created by the mentally ill, disturbed individuals or prisoners.
Photojournalism / Documentary: photography. Photojournalism refers to the use of the photography to tell a story. Often, photojournalists are in the presence of war, rioting or other risks while documenting events.
Photo-Realism (1960-1970): painting. This phrase refers to the genre of painting which resembles photography. It became a dominant movement during the late 1960s and 1970s.
Photo-Secession (1902-1917): photography. To raise the standards of photography as an art form, a group of photographers started the Photo-Secession movement led by Alfred Stieglitz. The members of this group believed in showing a pure image, ultimately leaving the photographs unaltered with the exception of cropping.
Pop Art (Late 1950s-1960s): all media. This term refers to the art movement which took its style and subject matter from popular culture. Its sources were movies, television, comic books and advertisements. Pop art is epitomized in the works of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg.
Portraiture: paintings, photography, works on paper, sculpture. Any work representing a person.
Post-Impressionism (1880-1900): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to the movement branching off of Impressionism in 1910. Post-Impressionist artists came to reject Impressionism's emphasis on the strong depiction of light and color and instead developed more abstract styles. Artists such as Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac were highly influential post-impressionists who paved the way for many of the early 20th century’s modern painters.
Post-Minimalism (Late 1960s): all media. This term refers to a varied approach to Minimalism which challenged the idea of art as static and durable. Eva Hesse is known for her malleable enabling the pieces to take on different dimensions.
Postmodern: all media. The postmodern art movement was formed as a contradiction to typical modernism. It encompassed movements such as Installation art, Conceptual Art and Multimedia. It also branched out into diverse and unknown media such as bricolage, collage, simplification, depictions of popular culture and performance art.
Post-War European Figuration (Post World War II): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Postwar European Figuration included artists such as Francis Bacon, Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, René Iché, Marino Marini and Henry Moore.
Pre-Raphaelite (1848-1860s): painting, prints, works on paper. Considered to be one of the first avant-garde movements in art, the Pre-Raphaelites sought to reject the traditional and academic styles of Raphael and Michelangelo. Some notable Pre-Raphaelite artists include James Collison, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Primitivism: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Many modern European artists became fascinated with the tribal arts from Africa, the South Pacific, Indonesia and early European folk art. These artists were interested in primitive art as a way to search for a simpler and more basic way of life, differing from that of the west. Notable artists such as Picasso and Gauguin, as well as artists in the Expressionist movements, were prominent in this movement.
Propaganda: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Propaganda, or political art, refers to artworks created for the purpose of political awareness often focusing on themes relating to socialism, World War I, and World War II.
Purism (c. 1918): painting, works on paper. Purism refers to the art movement established around 1918 in France by Amédée Ozenfant and Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, who believed in the power of art to change the world.
Rayism (1909-1913): painting, works on paper. Rayism refers to the abstract style of painting developed by the Russian artist Mikhail Larionov.
Realism (Mid-19th Century): painting, prints, sculpture, works on paper. This term refers to a group of painters in France, known as the Barbizon School, who pioneered a naturalist philosophy that art should reflect ordinary life. Images of peaceful and contented country life grew out of this movement. However, the defining moment for Realism came after the Revolution of 1848 in France when artists such as Gustave Courbet and Honoré Daumier turned their attention to the working-class and poor.
Renaissance (1400-1600): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. The Renaissance was a time of rebirth spanning from the 15th through the 17th century. In the visual arts, it was best known for its development of linear perspective as seen through the works of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Rococo (1715-1754): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Rococo refers to the style of 18th century France characterized by elegant and ornate furniture, sculptures, mirrors, tapestries, paintings and prints.
Romanesque (1000-1200): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Romanesque refers to the art of Western Europe beginning 1000 and lasting for nearly 200 years. This style is characterized by its return to Roman construction techniques, not necessarily a revival of all Roman ideas. The Northern European and Byzantine styles were also highly influential in the Romanesque movement.
Romanticism (Late 18th- Mid-19th Century): paintings, prints, sculpture, works on paper. This term refers to the movement beginning in 1830 featuring loose, fluid brushstrokes, strong colors, complex compositions, dramatic contrasts of light and dark and expressive gestures. Artists often drew upon literary sources and social criticism for their subject matter. Romanticism later became identified with social commentary which was intended to stir public emotions especially in the works of Théodore Géricault and Eugéne Delacroix.
Russian-Avant Garde (1890-1930): all media. This term refers to the wave of modern art that flourished in Russia from 1890-1930. It encompassed a variety of movements including Symbolism, Neo-Primitivism, Suprematism, Constructivism and Futurism.
Scottish Colourists (1920-1930s): paintings. This term refers to the group of Scottish painters whose work was highly regarded in the 1920s and 1930s.
Socrealism / Socialist Realism (1930-1980): painting, works on paper. Socrealism refers to the new role of literature and art in the Soviet society. The purpose of these works was to educate the population on the importance of socialism.
Southwest Art: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. This term refers to the group of artists from the Southwestern area of the United States.
Soviet Art (1917-1932): all media. This term refers to visual art produced in the former Soviet Union. The movement was led by Kazimir Malevich, initiated to put all arts in the service of the dictatorship and strived to eliminate the conventions of bourgeois art. However, it still held on to many decadent bourgeois art forms such as Impressionism and Cubism.
Soviet Impressionism (1930-1980): painting, prints, works on paper. Soviet Impressionism began in the late 19th century when artists executed impressionistic techniques in defiance to Petersburg academism. It was similar to European impressionism in that their works remained colorful and dynamic.
Spatialism (ca. 1946): all media. Spatialism refers to the art movement founded by Lucio Fontana in New York City around the time of Abstract Expressionism. It combined ideas from Dada, Tachism and Concrete Art. One of the most notable works of the Spatialism period was Fontana’s slashed canvases.
Surrealism (1924-1940s): all media. This term refers to the movement founded by French writer André Breton. The aim of the surrealists was to discover the larger reality, or "surreality," that lay beyond tradition. Artists such as Dalí and Magritte were known for their surrealist paintings dominated by biomorphic forms.
Symbolism (1860s-1890s): painting, prints, works on paper. This movement refers to the late 19th-century movement in literature and art which focused on the world of ideas. The symbolists believed that art was the highest form of expression and knowledge. The movement rejected materialism and realism, emphasizing spirituality and imagination. Artists associated with this movement include Paul Gaugin, Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon.
Tonalism (1880s-1900s): painting, prints, works on paper. Tonalism refers to the movement beginning in the 1880s, where artists painted landscapes with a tone of mist or atmosphere. George Inness and James McNeill Whistler were two of the well known tonal artists whose compositions featured dark, neutral colors such as gray, brown and blue.
Vintage Print: photography. Vintage photographs are typically printed by the photographer at the same time as the negative. A vintage print is usually higher in value than photographs printed later from the same negative.
Western Art: all media. Western art refers to all art depicting American Western life, such as cowboys, rodeos or country scenes.
WPA Artists (1935-1943): all media. WPA stands for the Works Progress Administration, a government funded arts program with a section for artists. The artists in this group encompassed a wide variety of styles from figurative to academic to abstraction, and included almost every type of media. Artists included Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. The WPA was prominent until it was disbanded in the mid-1940s.