1998 32¢ Ash Can Painters
Celebrate the Century – 1900s
Issue Date: February 3, 1998
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 11 ½
An important art movement developed at the beginning of the 20th century in New York City with a group of American painters known as “the Eight.” Along with Robert Henri, who brought the group together in 1907, the Eight included Arthur B. Davies, William Glackens, Ernest Lawson, George Luks, Maurice Prendergast, Everett Shinn, and John Sloan. Because they painted realistic, and sometimes shabby, scenes of city life, they were given the name “Ash Can Painters.”
Their work was a reaction against the tradition of “art for art’s sake.” Although differing in artistic styles, their direct, spontaneous portrayals of real-life subjects and everyday events were revolutionary for their time.
George Bellows later joined this group of artists. He became well known for his portrayals of action and sports scenes. One of his most famous paintings, Stag at Sharkey’s was inspired by the professional prize fighting he saw at a club near his studio in New York City.
The Eight held their only exhibit together in 1908. Some members of this group also helped organize the controversial Armory Show of 1913. The works and exhibits of the Ash Can Painters made a lasting and important contribution to the acceptance of realism in American art.