Gilded age

DEFINITION

A term based on the word "gilded" or covered with gold, it refers to a period of extravagance in America between the end of the Civil War and the end of the 19th Century. It was a time when America changed from an agricultural to industrial based society, which meant the growth of a middle class and big fortunes for some industrial tycoon families such as Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Astors, Carnegies and Forbes. Painters and sculptors reflected this era through idealized and expansionist themed genre, portraits, monumental statues and industrial scenes. Examples are works by Thomas Eakins, Eastman Johnson, Winslow Homer, Augustus St. Gaudens, Daniel Chester French, John Ferguson Weir and Albert Pinkham Ryder. Source: Shirley Glubok, "The Art of America in the Gilded Age".

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