The development of the arts in America -- music, dance, architecture, the visual arts, and literature -- has been marked by a tension between two strong sources of inspiration: European sophistication and domestic originality. Frequently, the best American artists have managed to harness both sources. This website touches upon a number of major American figures in the arts, some of whom have grappled with the Old World-New World conflict in their work.

See specific fields of distinctively American arts by clicking titles on the left.