New York City
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather
The writer Tom Wolfe said of New York that "Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather." Many major American cultural movements began in the city. The Harlem Renaissance established the African-American literary canon in the United States. The city was the epicenter of jazz in the 1940s, abstract expressionism in the 1950s, and the birthplace of hip hop in the 1970s. The city's punk rock scene was influential in the 1970s and 1980s, and the city has long had a flourishing scene for Jewish American literature.
Avant-garde artists like Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp and Marc Chagall fled Europe following the outbreak of World War II. These artists arrived in the United States, where a subculture of surrealism and avant-garde experimentation developed in New York City, becoming the new centre of the art world.