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Roaring Twenties Project

Topic 5: Art

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Significant societal changes happened in America between World War I and The Great Depression. This time period is referred to as the Roaring Twenties. After World War I, Americans were no longer focused strictly on world affairs. Instead they turned their attention to problems on the homefront.

Materialism, hedonism, and individualism pervasive in the Roaring Twenties found reflection in the writings of  F. Scott Fitzgerald. His masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, depicted the 1920s' era which Fitzgerald dubbed the "Jazz Age."  Zelda Fitzgerald, Scott’s free spirited wife, was the ultimate Flapper and his chief inspiration. The African-American artistic movement flourished during the period's Harlem Renaissance in New York City. Black writers, such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, helped promote social integration by challenging racial stereotyping.

Modern, streamlined, geometric Art Deco Design was the defining style of the Roaring Twenties. Surrealist Art, born in the era, exercised the artist’s unconscious by moving beyond traditional aesthetics to irrational thought and dreamlike states.  Sadly, the Roaring Twenties came to a cataclysmic close on "Black Tuesday," the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

Please follow the link to read background information about the decade. Introduction to the 1920s

The Task

You will work with a group and create an art exhibition that will be displayed to the class. Each member of the group will be responsible for explaining their work of art and the 1920s style it reflects.

Phase 1- Learn about the art of the 1920s.

View the slideshare above and create an outline detailing the artists and styles of the 1920s. Your outline should be no longer than 1-2 typed pages.

Phase 2- Styles

You will research the various art genres of the 1920s and create an exhibit of posters explaining each genre. Chose one artist for each genre and include photos of some of their art that you like the most.

  1. Modernism
  2. Abstract Expressionism
  3. Surrealism
  4. The Harlem Renaissance
  5. Art Deco Design (Chrysler Building and the Empire State Buildings)
  6. Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright Link to buildings.


Complete the outline for Phase 1 using Microsoft Word. Your font must be Times New Roman size 12. In addition, you will create your own individual work of art based on one of the genres of the 1920s. Use whatever art medium you are comfortable working with. Turn in your outline and original work for a grade by Friday January 7th. This will count as a test grade. As a group you will now produce an art exhibit using the posters from Phase 2 and your own original works of art. The exhibit will be shown to the class on Friday January 14th in the Little Theater.


This project is based on the original work from copyright 2004 all rights reserved. Latest update 11/20/12