20 Famous American Artists You Should Know

By Margherita Cole on November 17, 2021

Famous American Artists

Compared to countries like Italy and France, American art is still relatively new. Over the course of a couple of hundred years, however, there have been quite a number of influential artists that have originated from the States, or immigrated there at some point in their lives.
How many American artists do you know? While many of us are familiar with household names like Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keeffe, other names have not received the same level of recognition. Thomas Cole and James Whistler, for instance, are two early American painters that captured real-life settings and figures with beautiful accuracy and style. Likewise, Augusta Savage and Jacob Lawrence were major figures in the cultural “golden age” of the Harlem Renaissance in the early 20th century.

Here, we will take a look at the names and lives of 20 famous American artists.

Brush up on your art history knowledge by learning about these 20 famous American artists.

THOMAS COLE (1801–1848)

Thomas Cole Portriat

Portrait of Thomas Cole, 1845 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

British American painter Thomas Cole is known for capturing the beauty of American landscapes, particularly those located around the Hudson River Valley in New York State. Additionally, he is often referred to as the father of the Hudson River School, a mid-19th century art movement led by a group of landscape painters who depicted the Hudson River Valley and the surrounding areas. The work from this school offers a realistic snapshot of American wilderness during the 19th century.

Famous works of art: The Oxbow (1836)


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