Who are the Top 30 American Visual Artisans of the 20th Century?

Who are the 30 most influential American visual artists of the 20th Century? Who made it to No. 1? List a few of your favorites then compare notes with our picks. This list has not been compiled scientifically, though. There are bound to be disagreements and we would like to foster debate. Who was ranked too high or too low? Who did we leave out? Please give us your opinions in the comment box below.

30. Peter Max

Pete Max on the cover of "Life" magazine

Pete Max on the cover of "Life"

Peter Max's Liberty Overpaint

Peter Max's Liberty Overpaint

Arguably the leading the New Age art guru of the Cosmic 60's.

29. Mary Louise McLaughlin and Maria Longworth Nichols

An example of Rookwood pottery

An example of Rookwood pottery

Maria Longworth Nichols

Maria Longworth Nichols

Pioneered Art Pottery at the turn of the century at "Rookwood Pottery" works in Cincinnati, Ohio.

28. Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein

"Blam"

"Blam"

"Ben Day Dot" artist whose cartoonish mass media works often incorporated words like "Zoom" and "Pow!" Probably overanalyzed by the experts, produced color and bold graphic art for fun's sake.

27. Charles & Henry Green

Mahogany Libary Table by Charles & Henry Green

Mahogany Libary Table by Charles & Henry Green

Charles & Henry Green

Charles & Henry Green

Green & Green of Pasadena, Calif. produced one of the most beautifully crafted and designed lines of furniture in any century. Mission oak type construction blended with Art Nouveau and Art Deco lines. Distinguished by rounded treatment of edges and corners with noticeable square pegging in darker woods like ebony.

26. Donald Deskey

Donald Deskey

Donald Deskey

A desk by Donald Deskey

A desk by Donald Deskey

Leading American Art Deco/Art Moderne Designer who streamlined designs and pioneered the utilization of cork-lined walls, copper ceilings, movable walls, pigskin-covered furniture, linoleum floors, Bakelite, Formica, Fabrikoid, brushed aluminum and chromium-plated brass.

25. Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth's "Christina's World"

Andrew Wyeth's "Christina's World"

Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth

Realism painter whose intense and moving photograph-like images draw record crowds when he exhibits. A true American "Grass Roots" artist.

24. Eero Saarinen

Eero Saarinen

Eero Saarinen

The Ingalls Hockey Rink by Eero Saarinen

The Ingalls Hockey Rink by Eero Saarinen

Architect and city planner famous for the TWA Terminal at Kennedy International, the Chicago Tribune Tower and the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Many of Saarinen's designs have almost no straight lines, just flowing streamlined curves. 1960's type Futurism on a grand scale.

23. Robert Rauschenberg

"Retroactive 1, 1961" by Robert Rauschenberg

"Retroactive 1, 1961" by Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg

An artist and idea man who advanced numerous working methods including combining various types of art. A witty non-conformist who inspired many, including Warhol.

22. Jim Henson

Jim Henson and the Muppets

Jim Henson and the Muppets

Kermit the Frog artisan who adapted the ancient art of puppetry (Muppetry) to modern mediums like television.

21. Harley Earl

Harley Earl's 1956 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket

Harley Earl's 1956 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket

Harley J. Earl

Harley J. Earl

From GM's "Art & Color Design Studio," revolutionized car design by introducing flowing shapes and later aircraft tail fins.

20. Hans G. & Florence Knoll

Hans and Florence Knoll

Hans and Florence Knoll

A Florence Knoll lounge chair

A Florence Knoll lounge chair

Husband and wife team followed in the footsteps of Knoll’s father’s pioneering modern furniture design and interior architectural planning.

19. Charles Eames

The Eames lounge chari and ottoman

The Eames lounge chair and ottoman

Charles Eames

Charles Eames

Remember those futuristic fiberglass and cast aluminum stacking chairs from the 50s and 60s? He invented them. Eames was a tireless experimenter in plastic, metal, plywood and other materials; and in bold new forms he introduced to his innovative body contoured furniture.

18. Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper

"Night Hawks" by Edward Hopper

"Night Hawks" by Edward Hopper

Stark realistic painter of American vistas, often depicted in a somber mood and devoid of life even when characters are introduced to his work; as in his famous diner painting "Nighthawks."

17. Willem de Kooning

"Unititled XXV" by Willem de Kooning

"Unititled XXV" by Willem de Kooning

Willem de Kooning

Willem de Kooning

Abstract expressionist leader rivaled perhaps only by Jackson Pollack, de Kooning is famous for the action and figurative imagery he introduced into his modern art paintings.

16. Theodore Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Theodore Seuss Geisel

Theodore Seuss Geisel

The Cat in the Hat by Theodore Seuss Geisel

The Cat in the Hat

May of 1954, Life published a report concerning illiteracy among school children citing that "children were having trouble to read because their books were boring." Less than a year later, Theodore Seuss Geisel's "Cat in the Hat" would change all that. Artist and poet of the classic, "The Grinch That Stole Christmas."

15. Maxfield Parrish

"Cinderella" by Maxfield Parrish

"Cinderella" by Maxfield Parrish

Maxfield Parrish

Maxfield Parrish

Painter and illustrator whose framed prints of young maidens set off by soft blue & white scenery and Neoclassic elements were among the most popular images in American homes during the first half of the century.

14. Gustav Stickley

Gustav Stickley

Gustav Stickley

The Stickley Chair

The Stickley Chair

Arguably, the most innovative American furniture artisan of the 20th century. Practically invented mission oak and many other complimenting lines of Arts & Crafts aesthetics.

13. Thomas Hart Benton

"The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley" by Thomas Hart Benton

"The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley" by Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton

American regionalist painter focusing on rural and small town American "characters," often in a comical light.

12. Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe

"Red Poppy" by Georgia O'Keefe

"Red Poppy" by Georgia O'Keefe

Imitative Realist whose sensuous and spiritual depictions of naturalistic southwestern desert terrain became one of the most popular lines of poster and print images hanging in American homes from the mid 1960s on.

11. Jasper Johns

"Three Flags" by Jasper Johns

"Three Flags" by Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns

Moved from abstract expressionist work to, like Warhol, a painter of everyday things as an expression: flags, beer cans, coat hangers etc. Pop Art pioneer.

10. Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

"Fallingwater" by Frank Lloyd Wright

"Fallingwater" by Frank Lloyd Wright

Invented a new type of suburbia with his broad eve. Deep porch, clean wood Prairie homes. Master designer and pioneer of Mission oak type furnishings. A true genius with wide ranging talents that made him a celebrity architect.

9. Jackson Pollock

Untitled (Green Silver)" by Jackson Pollock

Untitled (Green Silver)" by Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollack

Jackson Pollack

The guy who, amongst other techniques, splattered and poured paint onto a canvas from overhead and called it art. Thing was, it is. Surprisingly, Pollock's work is almost impossible to duplicate. An artist who assaulted the bounds of art and got away with it, brilliantly.

8. Jerry Siegel and Joseph Shuster

Jerry Siegel and Joseph Shuster

Jerry Siegel and Joseph Shuster

Action Comic and Superman

Action Comic and Superman

In 1933 the two self-described "bespectacled, introverted, inhibited boys pooled their talents and dreams to create a revolutionary new type of duel-personality comic book hero they called "The Superman."

7. Alfred Stieglitz

"The Steerage" -- by Alfred Stieglitz

"The Steerage" by Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz

His commonplace street scenes of New York, portraits of subjects like Georgia O'Keefe and other images are regarded as one of the highest expressions of photographic art. Steichen and Weston also deserve mention here, however in addition to making art with his camera, Stieglitz was one of the great sponsors of 20th-century movements like cubism and other forms of modernism.

6. Louis Comfort Tiffany

Louis Comfort Tiffany

Louis Comfort Tiffany

"Tulip Table Lamp" by Louis Comfort Tiffany

"Tulip Table Lamp" by Louis Comfort Tiffany

The son of a jeweler turned artist had as much to do with beauty and innovation in stained glass, art glass and electric lamps as Monet had influence over canvas and oils.

5. Alexander Calder

"The Star" by Alexander Calder

"The Star" by Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder

Abstract artist famous for the development of "mobile" and "stabile" sculpture and producing art on a monumental scale.

4. William Van Alen

William Van Alen with his wife

William Van Alen with his wife

William Van Alen's Chrysler Building in New York City

William Van Alen's Chrysler Building

Art Moderne/Deco architect and designer of New York's zigzag moderne Chrysler Building. Along with Shreve, Lamb and Harmon's Empire State Building, both built around 1930, it remains one the most magnificent and influential works of art extant.

3. Andy Warhol

"Campbell's Soup Can" by Andy Warhol

"Campbell's Soup Can" by Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

The guy who did the Campbell's Soup Can in 1962. Warhol moved on to idolize screen personalities like Marilyn Monroe in later work. One of the most trend-setting personalities of the "we" and "me" decades. Truly a Pop Artist for the time capsule.

2. Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell

"Rosie the Riviter" by Norman Rockwell

"Rosie the Riviter" by Norman Rockwell

American illustrator most famous for his Saturday Evening Post magazine covers and the “Four Freedoms” poster series that inspired Americans to support the WWII effort by purchasing bonds.

1. Walt Disney

Walt Disney's Pluto and Mickey Mouse

Walt Disney's Pluto and Mickey Mouse

Walt Disney

Walt Disney

Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Snow White, Bambi, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Cinderella, the first theme park, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. What do you get when you combine artistic flair, unparalleled imagination, technical genius, inventiveness, brilliant business savvy and add in a good work ethic, too. You get the "Wonderful World of Disney!" He practically invented the art of making art fun, especially for kids.

— by Wayne Mattox Antique Talk

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