For some, it was a patriotic reaction against the avant-garde experimentations of contemporary European artists, especially Parisians such as Picasso and Braque with Cubism and Max Ernst and Andre Breton with Surrealism. Of this movement Benton wrote: "The name Regionalism was taken, I believe, from a group of southern writers, poets and essayists, who in the late twenties called themselves 'agrarians.' These, turning from the over-mechanized, over-commercialized, over-cultivated life of our metropolitan centers, were seeking the sense of American life in its sectional or regional centers. Neither Wood, Curry, nor I ever held ourselves, either in space or time, to any American region...
(We) thought of ourselves simply as American or Americanist painters, sectional at one moment, national and historical at others.
Yet, with the rise of totalitarian governments in Europe, who used such realist and figurative art as propaganda, Regionalism came to be seen as politically problematic and retrogressive.
It would be soundly rejected in the rise of Abstract Expressionism in the 1940s.
The most famous Regionalist painters, Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood, were all associated with specific regions of the American Midwest.
This gave their art a local character that suggested its authenticity.
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In a full-immersion baptism, the preacher stands in a large wooden stock tank, gripping the shoulder of a young woman dressed in white, ready to lower her into the water.
On the left, worshippers stand in attendance, dressed in their Sunday best, as a man reads from a prayer book.