Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Jerry W. McRoberts


"American Arts and Artists of the Twentieth Century: 1900-1941" is a prepared course of study developed for the high-school or junior-college-level humanities student. One to three literary, musical, and visual artists were selected to represent a decade. Because of the amount of material to be covered, and because of the limited time in which to present it, the first four decades of the twentieth century are considered.

The study consists of fifty, one-hour sessions which are divided into two units: "The First Two Decades: 1900-1918"; and "Between the Wars: 1919-1941." Each unit is made up of individual lessons devoted to an artist, which discusses important aspects of his life, educational background, and style, along with significant examples of his art. Following each unit and lesson is a list of resources and materials which contain recommended reading and possible audio/visual aids. Suggested assignments are also included in each unit and in some lessons.

In essence, this course of study attempts to understand certain artists and their works and to relate them, whenever possible, to aesthetic and expressive values, including those of the artist and his sponsoring culture.

The artists considered in this project are as follows:

1900-1918: Willa Cather, Scott Joplin, John Sloan, John Marin, Charles Ives, Robert Frost

1919-1941: Charles Sheeler, Sinclair Lewis, Edward Hopper, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Edward "Duke" Ellington, George Gershwin, Stuart Davis, Alexander Calder. Grant Wood, Aaron Copland, John Steinbeck

This course is designed so that it can be altered--by either adding or omitting material--to best suit the needs of the instructor.