USII.5c Art, Literature & Music of the 1920s & 1930s, including the Harlem Renaissance

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the social, economic, and technological changes of the early twentieth century by
c) examining art, literature, and music from the 1920s and 1930s, emphasizing Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, and Georgia O'Keeffe and including the Harlem Renaissance.

Who were the leaders in art, literature, and music in the 1920s and 1930s? What were their contributions?

The 1920s and 1930s were important decades for American art, literature, and music.

Cultural climate of the 1920s and 1930s




•Art—Georgia O’Keeffe, an artist known for urban scenes and, later, paintings of the Southwest



• Literature—F. Scott Fitzgerald, a novelist who wrote about the Jazz Age of the 1920s;

John Steinbeck, a novelist who portrayed the strength of poor migrant workers during the 1930s

• Music—
Aaron Copland and George Gershwin, composers who wrote uniquely American music
 Music by George Gershwin
"I Got Plenty O' Nuttin' from "Porgy and Bess."
More Gershwin Clips

Fanfare for the Common Man - Aaron Copland

How did the Harlem Renaissance influence American life?

The leaders of the Harlem Renaissance drew upon the heritage of black culture to establish themselves as powerful forces for cultural change.

Harlem Renaissance
African American artists, writers, and musicians based in Harlem revealed the freshness and variety of African American culture.

• Art—
Jacob Lawrence, painter who chronicled the experiences of the Great Migration north through art
See Migration Series

• Music—Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, jazz composers; Bessie Smith, blues singer

Listen to the music of Duke Ellington
Birmingham Breakdown

Read more about Duke Ellington

Popularity of these artists spread to the rest of society.

• Literature—
Langston Hughes, poet who combined the experiences of African and American cultural roots
Learn  more about Langston Hughes
Learn  more about Langston Hughes

From Busboy to Poet
"Langston's Early Years"

Langston Touches the Soul
"Langston Hughes, Man of the People

Play that Tune, Speak the Word!
"A Renaissance Man"