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Art Imitates Life

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Clockwise from Top Left: The Ironworkers’ Noontimes (1880), Thomas Anshutz; Gilded Age S/S 08; My Bunkie (1899), Charles Schreyvogel; Adam Kimmel S/S 10; Alexander McQueen F/W 09; War New from Mexico (1848), Richard Caton Woodville; Alexander McQueen F/W 09; Club Night (1907), George Bellows

A lot happened in the United States between the American Revolution and World War I. Throughout this complicated, transformative period, artists recorded American life as it changed around them. Many of the nation’s most celebrated painters—John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, William Sidney Mount, George Caleb Bingham, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, John Sloan, and George Bellows—captured the era and helped define the character of Americans. It’s clear by viewing recent menswear collections that designers also continue to find inspiration in the art around them. American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765–1915 is currently underway at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (through January 24th).

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