Walt Kuhn's Show Folk
According to art blog, Tartuffe's Folly, Walt Kuhn (1877–1949) was an American painter best known for his poignant and slightly eerie portraits of circus and vaudeville performers, reminiscent of the commedia dell'arte actor portraits once popularized by the French masters. The magic and intrigue of the circus fueled his imagination and directed his career.
His figures and use of color are so wonderfully bold and brash, imagine the impact they would have had on early twentieth century audiences.
Kuhn was also one of the principal organizers of the landmark Armory Show of 1913, which introduced the American public to avant-garde European art and helped change the course of painting and sculpture in the United States.
Scroll down to see more examples of early American modernism at its finest.