Prints and People focuses on works on paper, mostly prints. Printmaking was revolutionary in making art accessible and affordable. some artists adopted drawing and watercolor painting on paper, which could be executed more quickly and less expensively than oil paintings on canvas. Unlike the multiple copies produced in printmaking, these were singular originals, yet still much more affordable than oil paintings.
In this space, we see portrayals of iconic figures and faces, portraits of children and their adults, people hard at work, and friends enjoying time together. The popular demand for prints prompted artists to create diverse images of daily life. Genre scenes, or scenes of daily activities, give us glimpses into the joys and struggles people experienced in the early 20th century. Some artists were inspired by the devastating economic conditions of the 1930s, expressed powerful political messages, and were motivated by a strong sense of social justice.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.