Eugene O’Neill and the Ashcan Artists

The Influence of the New York Art Movement on the Plays

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About the Book

Eugene O’Neill lived with the artist George Bellows for a short time in the first decade of the twentieth century. He also met Robert Henri, the leader of what later became known as the Ashcan School, and John Sloan, who etched O’Neill at the Lincoln Arcade studio on Upper Broadway. These visual artists made a profound impression on the future playwright, and when O’Neill began writing plays in 1913, he drew upon the images he had first seen on canvas or paper. This book presents the centrality of New York City on Eugene O’Neill’s imagination—the notorious Tenderloin section, Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, Fifth Avenue, and Gramercy Park—and it does so through the brushes, pens, plates, and stones of the Ashcan artists. The sixty images herein reveal the shared aesthetic sensibilities between all the respective artists and foreground the honest, unflinching, and simple beauty that O’Neill sought to portray in all of his dramatic works: from the early one-acts with the Provincetown Players, to the Broadway blockbusters in the 1920s, and culminating with the posthumously-produced plays he wrote in near seclusion to conclude his career.

About the Author(s)

Zander Brietzke has taught at Lehigh University, The College of Wooster and Columbia University. He is also a former production assistant, stage manager, and assistant director. He lives in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Zander Brietzke
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 60 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9467-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5448-5
Imprint: McFarland