MODERN ART & MUSIC AND MOVIES & RADIO (1918-1939) Eastview High School – AP European History McKay et al, 8 th ed. – Ch28, The Age of Anxiety
How does art and music reflect the changes in society as a consequence of World War I and how do these changes represent the Age of Anxiety?
What is the impact of movies and radio on post World War I society and how do political leaders use these media to their advantage?
Architecture and Design
“ Modernism" in art and music meant constant experimentation and a search for new forms of expression.
Architecture and design
The new idea of functionalism in architecture, exemplified by Le Corbusier, emphasized efficiency and clean lines instead of ornamentation .
Le Corbusier – “a house is a machine for living in.”
Le Corbusier (1887-1965)
The United Nations building in New York was designed by Le Corbusier.
This became known as the international style of architecture which became prominent in capitalist countries.
The Chicago school of architects, led by Sullivan, pioneered in the building of skyscrapers.
This building – the Carson Priere Scott building in Chicago, is representative of the new techniques in architecture which feature clean lines.
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright designed truly modern houses featuring low lines, open interiors, and mass-produced building materials.
The Bauhaus Movement
Germany was the leader in modern architecture.
The Bauhaus school under Gropius became the major proponent of functional and industrial forms .
It combined the study of fine art with the study of applied art.
The Bauhaus movement stressed good design for everyday life .
Bauhaus Architecture & Design
The Trocadero in Paris is typical of the Bauhaus style of architecture. The building faces the Eiffel Tower.
French impressionism yielded to nonrepresentational expressionism , which sought to portray the worlds of emotion and imagination, as in the works of van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, and Matisse .
Cubism – Picasso
Cubism, founded by Picasso , concentrated on zigzagging lines and overlapping planes.
This image is titled, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon .
The painting is of five women in a brothel in Barcelona, but the work is considered a revolutionary upheaval in art because it broke free of established rules and gave the viewer a new perspective.
Non -representational art turned away from nature completely; it focused on mood, not objects .
Dadaism and surrealism became prominent in the 1920s and 193Os.
Dadaism delighted in outrageous conduct. (DALI)
Surrealists, inspired by Freud , painted wild dreams and complex symbols.
Guernica (1937) Picasso’s great mural Guernica unites cubism, surrealism, and expressionism .
The concept of expressionism also affected music, as in the work of Stravinsky and Berg .
After the experience of the First World War, when irrationality and violence seemed to pervade the human experience, expressionism in opera and ballet flourished.
One of the most famous and powerful examples was the opera Wozzeck , by Alban Berg (1885-1935).
Some composers, led by Schonberg , abandoned traditional harmony and tonality.
Movies and Radio
The general public embraced movies and radio enthusiastically.
The movie factories and stars like Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, and Charlie Chaplin created a new medium and a new culture.
Movie-going became a form of escapism and the main entertainment of the masses.
Radio, which became possible with Marconi’s “wireless ” communication and the development of the vacuum tube, permitted transmission of speech and music, but major broadcasting did not begin until 1920.
Then every country established national broadcasting networks; by the late 193Os, three of four households in Britain and Germany had a radio .
Great Britain created a middle way between private ownership and government (state) ownership of their radio network (BBC).
Dictators and presidents used the radio for political propaganda.
Movies as Political Propaganda
Movies also became tools of indoctrination.
Eisenstein used film to dramatize the communist view of Russian history .
In Germany, Riefenstahl created a propaganda film for Hitler.
Questions for your review
What are the characteristics of the Bauhaus movement?
Describe how Picasso’s “Guernica” portrays the brutality and darkness of the 20 th century.
Who is considered a leader in the surrealist movement?
Who is Schonberg and what is his significant contribution to music?
What do you know about “Birth of a Nation”?
How is the BBC unique in its formation and management from private networks?