Depressing Art


In an article for The New Yorker, Caleb Crain writes about the art that arose from overwhelming suffering and poverty of The Great Depression.

From the invention of the screwball comedy to the self-conscious prose of James Agree, Crain explores the various—and at times conflicting—efforts artists used to deal with the realities of the era.

Of this, Crain explains, “The classic Depression argument about art was between those who regretted its compromise by politics and those who regretted its failure to take politics into account—between those who cried ‘agitprop’ and those who cried ‘escapism.’”

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Hans Kulla-Mader studied writing at Sarah Lawrence College and is currently living in San Francisco. More from this author →