The Modern World During and After the World Wars, C. 1914–1960

Modern Art Until C. 1960

Who were “The Eight”?

“The Eight” was a group of American realist artists with diverse styles—Robert Henri (1865–1929), Arthur B. Davies (1863–1928), William Glackens (1870–1938), Ernest Lawson (1873–1939), George Luks (1867–1933), Maurice Prendergast (1858–1924), Everett Shinn (1876–1953), and John Sloan (1871–1951)—all of whom were rejected by the National Academy for a spring exhibition in 1907. In response, they had their own show at the Macbeth Gallery in New York City in 1908. Many of these artists went on to be known as members of the Ashcan School, a group who made gritty, realistic paintings of urban life. Their one and only show as “The Eight” received mixed reviews, with some critics feeling that the underbelly urban life was not appropriate subject matter for art, but it went on to make a major impact on American realism in the twentieth century. Though some use the terms “The Eight” and “Aschan School” interchangeably, they are not exactly the same.


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