U_intro_text                            U_Wild_2nd_Presb

              U_urban views                                    John Caspar Wild, Second Presbyterian                                         

                                                                                                                      Church, ca. 1840                                                                                                                                

During the last quarter of the 19th century, the United States was transformed from an agricultural to an industrial society and saw the rise of large cities. Their growth was powered, in part, by the influx of people leaving the countryside to work and live in the city, as well as by a steadily rising number of European immigrants.


U_Burck Forest Park                 U_rickly-wc              U_Kerasek Lafayette Square

Jacob Burck, planing Trees in Forest              Jessie Beard Rickley, Urban Landscape,               Dawson Dawson-Watson, River

                    Park, 1938                                                                          n.d                                                               

The newly wealthy businessmen and industrialists adopted the attitude of noblesse oblige and provided financial support to cultural institutions such as museums and symphonies in an effort to educate the urban working population. Simultaneously, American artists responded to an ever strengthening wave of nationalism and strove to cast off previously dominant European influences to develop a uniquely American style of art. In this environment of rapid social, economic and cultural change, the new American cities became a prime subject for artists.

Painting the American landscape was a well-respected genre by this time, but while earlier artist-explorers created charming, if often homogeneous, city views that extolled the nation’s progress in taming the wilderness, later artists glorified specific aspects of each city’s urban landscape, from the city parks to the factories lining the rivers. Even today, artists still find

U_Jones_riverfront                   U_Conway Broadway and Olive                 N_Conway Elsah Bluffs

Joe Jones, St.louis Riverfront, 1932                        Fred conway, Rainy Night, Grand and                      Gustav Goetsch, Breweries on

                                                                                                                olive, no date                                                      the  River, ca.1950