The Art and Technologies of Modernity in late 19th-Century France
Tuesday, Thursday: 11:00 - 12:30PM
What form can be given to modernity? What were the national, colonial, class and gender politics of modern self-fashioning in late 19th-century French art? On what basis should we evaluate avant-garde practice? This class will focus on the period from the 1860s to 1900, considering not only the avant-garde painting movements typically called Impressionism and Post-Impressionism but also the broader visual culture of late 19th-century France. Thus the course will examine orientalism and primitivism as well as the impact of technological transformation, mass production, universal exhibitions, and reproductive technologies such as photography and the illustrated press.
This is a rich and fascinating period of art-making as well as cultural and technological transformation. This class will necessarily focus on the case-studies that I find most illuminating: for instance, the art of painters Manet, Monet, Degas, Cassatt, and Seurat and sculptors Bartholdi and Carpeaux, the Eiffel Tower and the Universal Exhibitions of 1889 and 1900. But many artists and much art will not be covered extensively, including perhaps some of your favorites, for example, Renoir or Van Gogh. What will receive more extensive consideration than usual are sculpture and new technologies, including photography, photosculpture, industrial construction, and mass entertainments such as the Universal Exhibitions and wax museums.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical areas (A) and Chronological period (III).