John Steinbeck’s Storied Artists: Monterey County Art in American History

American History Comes Alive in John Steinbeck Video

What did America’s Great Depression and San Francisco’s Beat Generation have in common? The unblinking eye of California’s most celebrated author, John Steinbeck, and the gallery of artists around him who lived and painted American history as it happened. Their striking stories are revealed in Steinbeck’s Storied Artists, filmed near John Steinbeck’s former home in Pacific Grove, California. How did the young John Steinbeck and his struggling artist friends survive the Great Depression? How did the aging author influence the later Beat Generation he claimed to dislike?  How have succeeding post-Beat generations of Monterey County artists found impetus and inspiration for their art in Steinbeck’s damning vision of California’s Great Depression? Explore a neglected nook of American history—the world of John Steinbeck’s storied artists—with Steve Hauk, a Monterey County writer who relates amazing anecdotes about John Steinbeck, William Saroyan, and the storied artists who knew and followed them. As Steve shares tales confided to him by friends and family of John Steinbeck and his boisterous circle during a fateful period of American history, Shelley Cost—a Monterey County artist and art conservator—restores a Great Depression-era painting by John Steinbeck’s bigger-than-life friend, the California artist Armin Hansen, uncovering warm, vibrant colors and John Steinbeck-style characters obscured by layers of varnish and decades of exposure to the sun.

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