Fine Arts | Modernism & Anti-modernism in American Art (UG)
A447 | 24837 | Burns


This course surveys the tumultuous era of the early twentieth
century, when art (along with society and culture more generally)
oscillated between the poles that defined the modern (speed,
progress, technology, machines, the future) and the anti-modern
(tradition, nostalgia, handicrafts, history, roots). During the
decades 1900-1940, Americans made and re-made art in an energetic
quest to express what they believed to be authentically modern,
and/or authentically American, while struggling to define both
personal and national identity through their work.  In this course
we will discuss the rhythms of modernism and its antithesis in both
visual and material cultures:  painting, sculpture, photography,
design, and commercial art, and we will examine a range of topics,
including: art in the metropolis, organicism and abstraction, New
York Dada, the cult of the machine, radicalism and the arts,
regionalism in the heartland, art of the New Deal, and surrealism,
American style.

Course format: lecture-discussion.  Course work:  reading notes,
short reports, research paper, quizzes.