Social Studies - 2017-18

USII.6c - Art, Literature, and Music from the 1920s and 1930s

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the social, economic, and technological changes of the early twentieth century by

c)  examining art, literature, and music from the 1920s and 1930s, with emphasis on Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Georgia O’Keeffe, and the Harlem Renaissance.

Blooms Level: Analyze

Adopted: 2008


Big Themes/Concepts: Culture, Society, Continuity vs. Change, Identity, 

Music, art, and literature shaped popular culture in different eras in history. 

The Harlem Renaissance displayed a great amount of racial and social pride from the African Americans.


The 1920s and 1930s were important decades for American art, literature, and music.

The leaders of the Harlem Renaissance drew upon the heritage of African American culture to establish themselves as powerful forces for cultural change.

Who were the leaders in art, literature, and music during the 1920s and 1930s?

What were the contributions of these leaders?

How did the Harlem Renaissance influence American life?


Cultural climate of the 1920s and 1930s

·  Art:Georgia O’Keeffe, an artist known for urban scenes and, later, paintings of the Southwest

·  Literature: F. Scott Fitzgerald, a novelist who wrote about the Jazz Age of the 1920s; John Steinbeck, a novelist who portrayed the strength of poor migrant workers during the 1930s

·  Music: Aaron Copland and George Gershwin, composers who wrote uniquely American music

Harlem Renaissance

African American artists, writers, and musicians based in Harlem revealed the freshness and variety of African American culture.

·  Art: Jacob Lawrence, a painter who chronicled the experiences of the Great Migration through art

·  Literature: Langston Hughes, a poet who combined the experiences of African and American cultural roots

·  Music: Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, jazz musicians; Bessie Smith, a blues singer

The popularity of these artists spread beyond Harlem to the rest of society.

Analyze and interpret primary and secondary source documents to increase understanding of events and life in United States history. (USII.1a)

Sequence events in United States history. (USII.1c)

Interpret ideas and events from different historical perspectives. (USII.1d)


Georgia O'Keeffe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Harlem Renaissance, Jacob Lawrence, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Bessie Smith. 

Updated: Aug 17, 2017