The end of World War II brought thousands of young servicemen back to America to pick up their lives and start new families in new homes with new jobs. With an energy never before experienced, American industry expanded to meet peacetime needs. Americans began buying goods not available during the war, which created corporate expansion and jobs. Growth everywhere. The baby boom was underway... The purpose of this web and library guide is to help the user gain a broad understanding and appreciation for the culture and history of the fabulous fifties (1950s). In a very small way, this is a bibliographic essay. While there is no way we can link to everything, we have attempted to find areas of special interest and to select information that we hold dear today - ART & ARCHITECTURE:
"Painting is a state...self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is." Jackson Pollock There was a fresh artistic outlook after World War II ended and the artistic world reflected this outlook. Abstract expressionism like Jackson Pollock , Barnett Newman , Willem de Kooning , Clyfford Still and Franz Kline received official recognition at the New York Museum of Modern Art. These artists, referred to as the New York School, were generally experimental. Other abstract artists rebelled against the self-absorption of the New York School and delved into existentialism. Mark Rothko used large scale color blocks to create an overpowering material presence. Painters like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns , also abstract artists, did not want the viewer to rely on what he saw to interpret a painting. African American artists John T. Biggers, Romare Bearden and Henry Clay Anderson presented a different view of American life. Part of the 1950's boom in consumerism included housing. People could afford single family dwellings and suburbia was born. A small suburban community called Levittown was built by William Levitt for returning servicemen and their families. An...
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