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French Literature of the 19th Century: Emile Zole, J.K. Huysmans and Claude Debussy
Comparison between Emile Zola and J.K Huysmans
Emile Zola and Joris Karl Huysmans shared not only friendship but also had a symbiotic relationship based on their pioneering writings in French literature. According Finke, both writers were born in France with Zola being the oldest of the duo (17) Friendship between Zola and Huysmans was majorly fostered by their recognition for each other’s work. Numerous publishers had rejected Huysmans’s first book Le drageoir aux épices that was a compilation of poems. Consequently, Huysmans was forced to fund the publishing of his book and opted to use his initials J-K as the name of author. Coincidentally, Zola was among first writers to complement his work and thereafter became his mentor. Similarly, Zola was impressed by Huysmans review of his L’Assommoir. The two authors were further connected by their isolated views of naturalism. Referring to writings by Finke, as naturalists, these authors held the view that one’s behaviors and capability were based on their genetic disposition and the social factors inherent in the society such as poverty and education (22). Their naturalist view contradicted the widely accepted literary genre that was predominantly accepted by most literary scholars who were adherents to the genre of realism. In addition to having a common literary genre, examination of the authors work revealed an overriding factor, which was a cultured interest in paint artists. At the peak of his writing career, Huysmans shifted his writing themes to impressionist art. He became an art critic and occasionally defended paintings by several impressionists. Subsequently, Zola’s work also documented artists of his time. One artist who was predominantly conspicuous in Zola’s work was Cézanne. Cézanne was Zola’s childhood friend. Zola wit fully integrated numerous artists in his serialized works, in particular the novel titled A Rebours , through real life characterization. However, the relationship between the authors appears to deteriorate and a rift occurs after Huysmans denounced his naturalist views and converted to a decadent writer. His book titled À rebours, which most scholars argued was more of symbolists than of naturalists in style, marked his transition from naturalism to decadent believer.
During 1860s and 70s, Zola used his articles which were being published in newspapers to defended the works of Cézanne, Manet, and other artists. Zola used the main protagonist of his novel “L’Oevre” to employ his reality novel. His childhood friend Cézanne was depicted in the book by the character of Claude Lantier. However, Cézanne was not impressed by Zola’s book because of the instability of Claude’s character, which Cezanne interpreted as a mock of his emotional character. Similarly, in his novel titled A Rebours, Huysmans also used his character, Des esseintes to critic the paintings by Cézanne, Moreau, Redon and others paintings. Jean des Esseintes owned a massive collection of painting by Moreau.
In his book titled A Rebours, Huysmans mentioned the following poets, Verlaine, Corbiere and Mallarme. Although in his book it is the protagonist Des esseintes who critics the writings of the poets, in actual sense Des esseintes reviews portrayed Huysmans interpretation of various poems. The protagonist presented his arguments for and against the literary styles, on account of his personal judgment. However, Huysmans was cautious to demonstrate his immense respect for these poets.
Poets who were mentioned by Huysmans in his novel A Rebours
According to Huysmans, Stephane Mallarme was a French poet and a famous critic. He was distinguished by his symbolist style of poetry (p. 64). His work transcended beyond the genre of symbolist and had fundamental impact on other schools of literary works that included the following, surrealism, futurism, and cubism. It was arguably agreed that the works of symbolist Charles Bauedelaire inspired most of Mallarme’s works.
Tristan was a French poet who died at the tender age of 29 years. The poet remained obscure in the literary world until Paul Verlaine who published his first poem noticed his work. There still exists debate whether he was a symbolist or surrealist. His only published work appeared in the Les amours jaunes that appeared in 1873
Together with stephane Mallarme and Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine are considered as the founder of the decadents school of writers. He was also recognized as the key proponents of symbolism. Verlaine had issues with maintaining a positive public opinion. He had struggled with alcoholism and numerous divorces. Despite his challenges, the public was fond of his theatrical behaviors.
Des Esseintes endeavored to acquaint himself with the finest poets and writers of his time and further understand why the public was so fixated at their writings. He began by criticizing the poem “Reve Familier” by Paul Verlaine. He observed that the collection of poems by Paul Verlaine reflected the personality of the poet. The sonnet “Reve Familier” vividly demonstrated Verlaine’s style as criticized by Des esseintes .True to Des Esseintes opinion, the poem narrates the author’s desire to meet a girl of his dreams. The irony of his situation was articulately shown by his dream of possessing his dream lover. It only goes further to indicate the author’s emotion towards his love partner. Des Esseintes goes on to marvel at the poet’s talent and prowess in prose writings.
Among the numerous poems presented at his library, Des esseintes identified the poet named Mallarme, he was struck by one of his poem titled “Hérodiade,”. He felt comforted by the words being uttered by woman in Mallarme’s poem. He got inspiration from the author’s choice of words and theme which contradicted the prevailing conditions of his era which he described as being money oriented. He was peculiar of the author’s ability to be versatile with numerous literature techniques. Comprehensive examination of the poems by Mallarme confirms des esseintes compliments.
De esseintes praised writings by Tristan corbiere, especially his poetic works. He noted that the author employed unfamiliar form of writing The protagonist marvels at his style, which he argues that was not French. He labels his style to be of Negro origin. He considered his style as rugged hard. However, he classified his poetry style as highly exquisite yet entertaining. Writings by corbiere explicitly differ with conventional works of other established writers in the history of France.
Claude Debussy’s Music
Although Claude Debussy music rose to fame during a period which dominated by symbolist artists and writers, his music’s style was considered belonging to a movement which was known impressionism. He thus practiced impressionist music, which was known for its lack of conciseness but rather vogue. Wenk wrote that Debussy intentionally structured his music to rhyme and invoke the same feelings and perceptions that the paintings of the symbolists’ artist did (p. 35). His music seemed to resonate with the themes of Zola and Huysmans works which were labeled as naturalism and to some extent symbolism. Claude Debussy was certainly an impressionist who also intricately shared the principles of symbolism. Classification of Claude Debussy’s music into today’s genre comprises of various categories. These include orchestral, ballet, chamber and solo piano. Some of his famous compositions were jeux, which was composed from 1912 to 1913 as a ballet. He also composed Noctumes, which was written from 1897 to 1999, and lamer composed between 1903 to 1905. Both of two compositions were orchestral.
Literature works of Zola and Huysmans mainly campaigned and complemented artists whose works depicted inclination towards to symbolism and impressionism. The two writers conspicuous discussed the paintings of the following artist, Edouard Manet, Paul Cezzane, Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon. These artists were unified by their philosophical and literature view of symbolism and impressionism. Although independent of each other’s work, music composition by Claude Debussy had similarity with the works of these men who had been mentioned by Zola and Huysmans in their books. The effect of Claude Debussy’s music was to reinforce the already established genre view of symbolist and impressionist using his style of vaguely composed music.
Debussy’s music could be conceived as an extension of literary works by symbolist poets of his time. Debussy’s music and poems by established poets such as Mallarme and Verlaine exhibited unprecedented collaboration among creative artists of the 20th century. Several compositions by Debussy reveal that his music was greatly inspired by the poet Mallarme. Although Debussy was an impressionist, his music was synonymous with symbolist’s poems. In his compositions such as the apparition, he directly used poetry text by Mallarme. He was an ardent follower of Mallarme’s works. Another poet whose work could be strongly associated with Debussy’s music was Paul Verlaine. Debussy composed a third of his work with reference to text by Paul Verlaine. Debussy borrowed greatly from texts and phrases from Verlaine in his composition of the following songs, ariettas oubliees, trios melodies, fetes galantes and petite suite. According to Wenk, through his interaction with poets such as Mallarme, Debussy’s was able to relate creatively to the reality depicted by poet’s work into his music’s tone (p.56). Debussy works fused with Huysmans writing only after the latter became a decadent. Later works of Huysmans could be categorized as either symbolist or Romantic. His work thus was filled with numerous aesthetic symbols that to some extent identified with impressionist music of Debussy. Des esseintes love for the most lavish and cozy life further relates to impressionist overriding theme of modernism.
Huysmans, Joris-Karl. Against the Grain. Middlesex, England: The Echo Library, 2006. Print.
Finke, Ulrich. French 19th Century Painting and Literature: With Special Reference to the Relevance of Literary Subject-Matter to French Painting. [international Symposium, Held from 26 to 29 November 1969 in Manchester.]. Manchester: Manchester U.P, 1972. Print.
Wenk, Arthur. Claude Debussy and the Poets. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976. Print.
Dada Art Movement
Dada art movement is the greatest art movement that affected art; nevertheless, the two other major movements of the historical avant-grade, surrealism and Russian constructivism were more well-known. It changed the way people’s view of art, or the way the artists produce their work and how they send the message through their work. Dada art movement provided a chance to express their feelings at the hard time, while the situation was difficult because of the World War 1 at the beginning of twentieth century (Gualdoni, 2008). Therefore, this research paper will focus on the art movement. The paper will introduce the Dada art movement, formulate the problem focused on by the research, and identify the motivating factors behind the research on the Dada art movement. Furthermore, the research design and methods used will also form an integral part of this paper. The part of the world where the movement is found will also be presented including the related literature and concepts about similar research that have been previously done about the art movement. Like other research papers, this paper will include the aims and objectives of the research done about the Dada art movement.
At the beginning of 20th century, modernist movement was the most known movement; the movement got effected by social, political, and cultural occurrences of the time. Then the Dada art movement was established. World War 1 was the main reason to start this movement (Dickerman & Witkovsky, 2005). The establishment of Dada was majorly for artists to bring out their ideas and opinions about the World War I and the roles that they had to play during the war. The domain of this research was focused on the identification of the effects that the Dada art movement had on art. There are a number of previous findings in this domain which include: the movements changed the direction of the road that arts used to take, they increased the range of creativity among artists globally, and the movements provided a chance for people to express their feelings at the hard times such as during the World War I. Besides, the other finding from related literature is that the movements such as the Dada art movement used everything from glass to plaster to geometric tapestries to wooden reliefs. In this respect, the research problem is this case is the effect of the Dada art movement on art. The research approach towards the problem of the effect of Dada art movement on art is that the research came up with possible ways of redeeming art to its original nature before invasion by the art movements. The objective of identifying the effects of Dada art movement on art was to come up with possible ways and solutions of redeeming art and obtain more information about the movement in terms of where the movement started and what cities it passed by, when it started and when it ended, who started it and examples of Dadaists by the time, how the movement started and the major reasons behind the starting of the movement (Dickerman & Witkovsky, 2005).
In this case, the research problem focused on the effect of the Dada art movement on art and also to obtain more information about the Dada art movement. This was worthwhile studying because the information obtained can be useful for future research on the same. In addition, the findings will be useful or rather beneficial to various educational institutions who will want to venture into arts and find about the evolution of arts. The research questions that were used during the research included where the movement started and what cities it passed by, when it started and when it ended, who started it and examples of Dadaists by the time, how the movement started and the major reasons behind the starting of the movement (Holmes, 2006).
The concerns and interests that motivated this research included the rich history of the Dada art movement as one of the greatest art movements in the world. The contribution to knowledge that the research aimed at was to obtain relevant and important information that could be used for history and arts in educational institutions. This topic was chosen for this research because of its rich history and ready research contents and respondents made it easy for collection of information.
Research design and research methods
The objective of this research was to identify the effects of the Dada art movement on arts. Besides, the research focused on obtaining more information about the Dada arts movement regarding when it started and when it ended, who started it and examples of Dadaists by the time, how the movement started and the major reasons behind the starting of the movement. Therefore, a number of research methods were used during the study. The different methods which were used for primary data collection were observation method and personal interview. To begin with, in the observation method, the investigator collects data through observations. In this case, the researchers spoke to various artists concerning how the Dada art movement came about and how it ended. Besides, the researchers observed the behaviors of the artists to assess how heavy the impact of the Dada art movement was on arts (Panneerselvam, 2004). At the end of the study, based on the direct observations, the researchers were able to determine the standard amount of time that artists took doing their work and compared it to the period before the inception of the Dada art movement. Secondly, the other method that was beneficial during the research was personal interview. This is a data collection method which mostly uses questionnaire. As a method of data collection, this method comprises of the researcher, the respondent and the interview environment (Panneerselvam, 2004). In this case, the respondents of the study who were artists were met with questionnaires with questions that sought responses to the effect of Dada art movement on art and more information about the movement. The environment is defined in terms of place, time and several factors which influence interviewees. However, the methods faced various challenges during the research. In some occasions, the observation method provided false impression. On the other hand, for the personal interviews, it was an uphill task getting information from the respondents due to their lack of cooperation.
Presentation of the part of the world studied
The research was done among artists in major European countries such as Zurich where the Dada art movement started and Paris where the movement ended. The research established that at the beginning of 20th century, modernist movement was the most known movement; the movement got effected by social, political, and cultural occurrences of the time. Due to the World War I, several artists came together in Zurich. The research also established that World War I was the main reason to start this movement. The research also found out that as a movement, Dada was a channel through which artist brought out their grievances and opinions. Artists wanted to express their emotions in unusual way by using “anti-art”. It started by a group of young artists and writers, and there were many refugees artists, it was an informal international movement. They appeared to protest over the conditions in that time, Dadaists were against violence that Europeans faced during World War I (CSUSM).
Related literature, concepts and theoretical focus
Previous research on Dada art movement was done by Frances Elizabeth Urquhart. She articulates that though deliberately difficult, intentionally irritating, Dada exploded into the world as a reaction to the horrors of modernity within war-torn Europe, and is often written off as nihilistic, destructive, or mad. She adds that despite its frequent association with negativity, Dada’s unrivalled energy and complex relationship to mindsets continued to fascinate, demonstrable by the movement’s enduring position as a subject of academic research, and its constant presence at exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide. Similarly, she also established that the movement greatly affected art across the world.
Aims and objectives of the research
This research aimed at contributing to knowledge by obtaining relevant and important information that could be used for history and arts in educational institutions. The reserch also aimed at benefiting researchers who would want to do a similar research on the same domain in the future.
CSUSM. (n.d) . Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://public.csusm.edu/vsar404truax001/historypaper.html
Dickerman, L., & Witkovsky, M. S. (2005). The Dada Seminars: [papers and discussion that took place at the Center in three seminars between November 2001 and May 2003]. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art [u.a..
Gualdoni, F. (2008). Art: The twentieth century. Milano: Skira.
Holmes, E . (2006). Academic evergreen . Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://academic.evergreen.edu/curricular/flatart/pdf%20handouts/Art%20History%20Lecture%20PDFs/dadapaper.pdf ·
Panneerselvam, R. (2004). Research methodology. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India.
Illegal Use of Intellectual property
The online project by Michael Mandiberg is unique and fascinating. The project manifests great lengths of originality, authorship and object hood. However, these are not his original works. Mandiberg is presenting the work of Evans. This form of ownership is being described presently as illegal. This is because the current artist assumes all the benefits accrued from the sale and use of these art pieces. Evans is among the great artists who revealed to the world how life in Alabama was. Through this art piece, the world has come to understand that people in Alabama were living in destitution and misery. In addition to making these photos available, Mandiberg has corrupted its protection. This allows anybody to print the photos and sign as their authentic work. This is inconsiderate of him as the poor people are not honored in any way through this work. Evans should still be honored as he greatly contributed to the history of the world through his artistic work. Mandiberg has made to the public available, a once protected by copyright artwork. This has watered down the efforts to bring originality to the main author. Such artworks have thus lost the original taste to the audience. Mandiberg’s actions are not a mere work of appropriation but it is in its true sense, a work of forgery. This bears a challenge to authorship and originality. By this act, Mandiberg is eroding away the previous culture of artwork. He is introducing a new form of culture where the audiences have the option of authenticating another work without any honor to the previous artist. This alienates the former authority copy write had over the documents that were protected through it. By assuming authorship of the art works, Mandiberg implies that the original author’s occupation was provisional; a culture that believes that when one author dies, another one is born to take the position.
Mandiberg is killing the authors. Mandiberg fails to give credit where it is due. He is acting against the rule of authorship. This rule gives credit where necessary. In addition to this, the author has the liberty to edit and change the art without any required permission. In addition to his actions, he has made this work available to all internet users. He is openly stealing from Levine and Evans. The income that Evans and Levine were supposed to enjoy is straight away channeled to Mandiberg. Mandiberg’s actions are not a mere work of appropriation but it is in its true sense a work of forgery. This bears a challenge to authorship and originality. By this act, Mandiberg is eroding away the previous culture of artwork. He is introducing a new form of culture where the audiences have the option of authenticating another work without any honor to the previous artist. This alienates the former authority copy write had over the documents that were protected through it. Visitors in his website can print any desirable image and authenticate them by adhering to the set rules rather than the copyright rules. This implies that another connotation to the authenticity is introduced.
The artwork loses the comprehensibility and transmissibility it previously had. This was obtained through the cultural order of the times. It further loses authenticity. This implies that liberty through its ethical and social importance has been separated from the social order. In addition to that the utilitarian value has been eroded. Aesthetic pleasure is therefore derived from the quotation rather than the hereditary tradition. Mandiberg joins the revolutionary artists who have brought some new kind of life though appropriation and quotation. By allowing the audience to have the art pieces and authenticate them, Mandiberg is said to increase its market value. This is however contradicting. This is because the artwork loses its economic value. The printed version receives an appraisal of the market value.
The Deaths and the King’s Horsemen
The native Yoruba Ritual covering funeral rites puts Elesin in a state where he is required to voluntarily commit suicide based on his position as the dead king’s servant (Soyinka 2). A colonial official by the name Simon Pilkins tried to intervene based on his perception that the rite was barbaric. Eventually Elesin commits suicide. His son Olunde takes responsibility for his father’s reluctance and disobedience to culture. Olunde commits suicide to restore his family’s honor.
The world of the play differs from our world because people no longer believe in superstitions and how these superstitions can affect our lives. The current world has seen erosion of traditions which is made worse through interaction of cultures. I would stage the play emphasizing that the sins and shortcomings of our fathers should not be revisited. Our fathers’ errors must not be transferred to punish future generations. The play is worth presenting to modern audience but only to give insight into the past and how to rectify shortcomings carried through to the modern society. Even though the modern world has experienced mixed culture due to globalization and improved communication, such a play is worth their attention because it will act to highlight clear cultural borders and appreciation. Such plays will act to connect modern societies to their roots that are being eroded and ignored. Current legislations and modern restriction have ensured everyone carries their burdens including repercussions from sins.
This play was important as it taught the Yoruba about the world of the living, the world of the dead and the world of the unborn. It focused on the transition of the three worlds, and the pathway on which members of the different worlds interacted. The weakness of the play lies in insisting descendants of the community or family should take responsibility and suffer because of the mistakes of their fathers (Soyinka 5). It is shameful to commit suicide because the act does not correct existing mistakes.
The play intends to enhance the importance of tradition and provide an analysis of unusual circumstances of the past. The elements of love are intended to bind people through the good and bad times.
Soyinka, W. Death and the king’s horseman. New York: W.W. Norton, 2002. Print.
Midwestern Contemporary Art
Being the largest museum in the nation that deals in the collection and the exhibition of modern art, the Midwestern Contemporary Art (MCA) has been dedicated to the development of a new building that will be essential in the development of its expansion goals and objectives. In his reign as the chairperson of the museum, Peter and Catherine Smith pledge $5 million to help in the construction of new building. However, after disappointing and distasting years of leadership considering the opposition from Keith Schmidt, Peter decided to relinquish his position as the chairperson of the museum and he together with his wife Catherine they disappeared failing to honor the $5 million pledge. There have been suggestions that the couple should be sued on legal grounds since pledges are legally binding and failure to honor them may lead to the collapse of bankruptcy of the museum. There are members of the museum’s board who have argued that a law suit will cost the museum additional expenses while at the same time developing a negative reputation of the company to potential and existing donors.
Goals of the original negotiations
In the original negotiation, the board members considerd that it was important for the museum to develop expansionist ideas on how to improve on the capacity and the ability of the organization to operate in accordance with the demands of different technological improvements. The construction of this building could only be made possible through a process of resource mobilization. Nonprofit organizations such as MCA acquire most of its finances from donors and pledges from different individuals within the organization or from members of the public. This means that for the organization to experience any form of growth, it would be important for the board members to seek ways of rallying identified personalities and organizations to contribute towards the reject. Peter and Caroline Smith pledged to donate $5 million to MCA to help in building an extension of the museum. Inasmuch as there are board members who have demanded the need for a legal suit to compel the couple to honor their pledge, there is need to consider non legal measures of acquiring the financial pledges.
How to collect the $5 million pledge from the Smiths
The Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) is the only approach that can be used in the acquisition of the pledge without involving legal procedures. Through this approach it will be easier for the organization to reach an agreement with the Smiths where none of the parties feels oppressed or exploited (Brett, 2007). One of the approaches that can be used is by developing an agreement with the smiths on the possibility of honoring their pledges in installments. This will provide the family with a perfect opportunity on how to ensure that they are honest in terms of keeping promises. When this approach is used as a BATNA, it will reveal to the Smiths that the organization is not entirely interested in the objectives of the negotiations but on the determination on the best course of action that can be taken to realize an objective within a specific time frame (Brett, 2007).
The possible effects of the failure by the Smiths to honor the pledge may also be used as an effective way of ensuring that the couple pays the money in a manner perceived as polite. Such an explanation will, provide the couple with an alternative of setting the terms of payments according their desires. This is aimed at minimizing the possibility that an unfavorable agreement or one that is not in favor of their best interest (Schneider & Honeyman, 2006). By setting the terms and conditions it will also be possible for the Smiths to give some suggestions on how the money that are to donate will serve the organizations. Providing their terms of agreement will give them a sense of authority on the nature of expenses that the organization must be involved in (Thompson, 2013).
Through BATNA it will be possible to develop a plethora of alternatives that would not be possible through the legal procedures. This will permit flexibility and provide more rooms for innovation. When the Smiths will understand that they are in possession of a strong BATNA they will operate in accordance with the powers provided since they possess a great alternative that they could choose or resort to if the organization fails to help them reach a reasonable agreement (Thompson, 2013).
For the Smiths to be able to honor their pledge, it will be important for the organization to develop packages on how to ensure mutual benefits. These benefits will include payments of the pledge in installments to increase the possibility that the money will be paid at the comfort of the couple. The organization will benefit by receiving the money while the couple will benefit by developing a long-term plan on how to the deliver the payments (Schneider & Honeyman, 2006).
Brett, J. M. (2007). Negotiating globally: How to negotiate deals, resolve disputes, and make
decisions across cultural boundaries. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Schneider, A. K., & Honeyman, C. (2006). The negotiator’s fieldbook: The desk reference for the
experienced negotiator. Washington, DC: ABA Section of Dispute Resolution.
Thompson, L. (2013). The truth about negotiations. Upper Saddle River, N.J: FTPress.
Contributions of Dorothea Lange in the American Depression-era
The study of women and photography art has lagged behind compared to that of male photographers in the last century. However, women photographers have greatly been recognized today as most published research works have concentrated on women photographers. Prominent women photographers have been revisited in many websites and journals; heroines such as Cunningham have been widely acknowledged. This is contrary to previous assertions that most female photographers did not have much impact during the pre-1900 photographic era.
Women have been playing active roles in photographic art despite not being credited its invention. To a greater extent, women have been on the forefront in printing, publishing, and taking photographs for their spouses. Studies reveal that notable women photographers include Talbot, the wife of the inventor of the Talbotype process, who wrote of her own experiments with photography as early as May 1839 (Bill n.p). Similarly, Anna Atkins, in the early 1840s, created an outstanding series of photo grams of plant specimens. Significantly, many women photographers pursued themes that touched on real issues that affected the society. In the United States, for example, a lot of activities happened during the Depression-era. During the period, women photographers like Dorothea Lange were participated in documenting such occurrences. The paper discusses the contributions of Dorothea Lange in the Depression-era, highlighting how she revealed the plight of displaced migrant workers and promoted the figure of women in society.
American women and photography art data gleaned from public records establishes that women photographers found in the American West during the period between 1850 and 1950, approximately 10%. However, the number kept on rising as most women began taking active roles in voicing society concerns through photography. Nonetheless, women began taking multiple roles in the course of their photography career; such roles included employing print finishers, camera operators among others. Likewise, most women photographers were also involved in the art as amateur photographers. According to research findings, these women regularly participated in camera hubs and exhibited their works in different fine-art collections that were increasingly becoming common during the last century (Bill n.p). Women were attracted to photography the same way as other occupations such as medicine, nursing among others. Dabbling in fine art to capture landscapes and plights of people in society was considered a daring and remarkable achievement and venture at the time.
Catherine Weed has been acknowledged for many of her contributions in strengthening beliefs that women were critical in promoting photographic art in an area that was dominated by men. In fact, she wrote several materials and even lectured on the subject of women in photography beginning the year 1889. The most notable assertion was the elimination of special awards for ladies stating that “If the work of men and women is admitted to the same exhibition, it should be on equal terms” (Bill n.p). Studies have also revealed that years after 1890, there was an onset of a progressive era that greatly altered the role of women in the American society. It is during this period that many women were involved in jobs that were previously closed from them due to social, political, and economic factors. It is worth mentioning that greater female participation was witnessed in photography scene during this period. Photography became a phenomenon that appealed to many women; they began learning basics, especially from their family settings. It has been revealed through studies that majority of women began working with their family in some aspect in their photographic careers (Bill n.p).
Contributions of Dorothea Lange in Feminism Art
Dorothea was an accomplished American documentary photographer whose artworks have been displayed in many exhibitions and collections across the world. She was born on 1895 in Hoboken, her career span for many years until her ultimate death in San Francisco on 1965.
Specifically, Lange vehemently captured images of displaced farmers during the Great Depression in America. Her assertions created a strong foundation for documentary and photographic journalism. To acquire photography knowledge and skills, Lange studied photography at Columbia University in New York City. Using acquired knowledge from her study, Lange was able to travel around the world showcasing and selling her already composed photographs. She settled to work in a photography studio after running out of funds. It is at the studio that ideas and themes were manifested to her.
Helped in Policy Making by Government Agencies
Lange began taking images of unemployed men who wandered the streets of San Francisco. Such images earned her accolades as she was able to bring to light the desperation of men in society. These images were publicly exhibited and received recognition from the public on how part of the American population was suffering in the wake of the Great Depression. For instance, images by Lange led to the creation of a commission that created an agency, Farm Security Administration established by Agriculture Department. This agency was to respond to deplorable living conditions of men captured by Lange in images that often displayed actual names of immigrant workers. Her first major exhibition was held in 1934 establishing her reputation as a skilled documentary photographer. It is asserted that she later published her book that bundled most of her photographs (VanDemark 8). Meanwhile, in the course of her career, Lange received a Guggenheim fellowship that enabled her to record the mass evacuation of Japanese Americans to detention camps after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1942 (VanDemark 8). Lange is remembered for exposing the plight of sharecroppers, displaced farmers, and migrant workers in the 1930s, and since most of his activities were carried out for a government agency, her artworks informed many government policies.
Different artists employ different techniques and styles in order to compose art and communicate vividly to the audience. For that matter, Lange borrows a lot from the lexis of modernism where she uses dramatic scenes to compose visually disturbing images objects. Based on this technique, design elements do not overpower subject in the composition but instead vehemently direct the viewer to a fresh appreciation of the individual’s predicament. According to visual analysts, mature work composed by Lange proved that works of art and documents are not mutually exclusive and that they can combine to produce beautiful, moving, and campaign images (VanDemark 9). Moreover, Lange used innovative techniques proving that modern art should serve myriad purposes other than just conveying private feelings of an artist. In fact, popular modernist art should be integrated into services of popular journalism. “Lange’s works were not only useful in the Depression but also in the post-war years; they are characteristic of a lost age when a broad swath of the mass media was profoundly concerned with social issues” (VanDemark 5). Moreover, “she saw herself first as a journalist, and secondly, as an artist, and she worked with a burning desire to effect social change by informing the public of suffering faraway” (VanDemark 5).
Exposed Human Suffering
The White Angel Breadlin, composed in 1933 by Lange, has often been cited as prompting her breakthrough. It can be viewed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Henry Swift Collection. This piece of work assimilated what she was working on with what was going on in the streets. Specifically, the artist uses dull black and grey colors to convey the somber mood of the situation. It is evident from the painting that objects are drawn to the lines of people waiting for compensation and food relief. An elderly man is conspicuous in the photograph; the individual is facing the opposite side and is waiting for food at the soup kitchen. The elderly man is exhibiting depression which embodies the entire surrounding and picture. Lange focused her camera on the man’s face and had to achieve and explore texture as an element in art composition. Texture as an element of design has extensively been used to produce this visually disturbing image. To achieve this, Lange has expansively managed to depict rough body surface and wrinkles manifested on the hat of the main subject. As mentioned above, Lange has employed modernist technique to create an illusion of a fence in the foreground of the scene.
In The White Angel Breadlin, Lange explores a theme of showing the plight of farm workers who remained to struggle to survive in desperate and deployable condition due to the Great Depression. Historians assert that during the 1930s, many Americans migrated from Midwest and Southwest to California (Flynn 7). The result of this migration was the creation of physical and ideological conflicts on how to deal with seasonal farm labor. According to Lange, many American immigrants faced starvation and had to line in kitchens to get soup as compensation after enduring hard labor in farms. Lange managed to communicate to the entire country and world on the effects of the depression to individual livelihood.
Enumerated Societal Problems
There were a lot of societal problems during the Depression as depicted in “Ditched, Stalled and Stranded, San Joaquin Valley, California (1936)” where the artist captures an individual whose anxious face tells it all. This photograph can be viewed at The Dorothea Lange Collection, The Oakland Museum of California. In this picture, a man seems to be beached and appear confused in his car. In addition to emphasizing to the theme of seclusion, Lange intentionally secluded a female occupant in the car. In order to achieve the intention of communication, Lange decided to catch the man unawares to persuade the audience and viewers to the true issues surrounding the image. Just like in other images, Lange uses dull colors, black and grey, to portray a gloomy mood of depression and desperation that was characteristic of the period. The texture was achieved through the depiction of rough surfaces necessitated by wrinkles on the face, clothes, and the rugged nature of the car’s interior surface. Lange tried to communicate themes of hardship and social problems using the image. Research has established that many artists tried to envisage the problems that the society faced due to the Great Depression (Flynn 4). Such problems included loss of jobs, food shortages, threats of deportation and forced repatriation.
Highlighted on Poverty
Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936) is perhaps one of the most famous photographs in her collections. It can be viewed at San Francisco History Room, San Francisco Public Library. The photograph depicts an encounter with a woman trapped in extreme poverty during the Great Depression; the female subject was recognized as an Oklahoma migrant, Florence Owens Thompson. “Lange vividly remembers her interactions with the woman because at the age of 32, the woman was already living on frozen vegetables from surrounding fields and wild birds killed by her children” (MoCP n.p). Further, it has been revealed that as a matter of concern, the female subject had sold car wheels to buy food to affirm the state of poverty at the time (MoCP n.p). At the moment Lange met the woman, life was unbearable as can be seen from her face. The state of extreme poverty is reinforced by the expressive look of the woman and her children who can do nothing but just bow down their heads. Dull colors, black and grey, have been used to convey the sad mood arising from desperation and depression from lack of food and other basic amenities.
Highlighted and Spoke against Discrimination
Lange pursued other themes that bordered on discrimination. She was instrumental in depicting scenarios of racial discrimination and thus contributed in stemming the vice. Lange is among few women who were against racial discrimination and greatly campaigned against it. Discrimination and unfair treatment of blacks is depicted in “Plantation overseer and his field hands, near Clarksdale, Mississippi (1936)” artwork where a supposedly white man is courageously and proudly showing off his property, this is based on his face and how he is resting his foot on the car.
Also, the man is also showing off for Black men who can be seen in the background. Lange uses comical relief to communicate discrimination theme to her audience as depicted by how she conveniently positions objects in the composition to fit her racial and social observation. In fact, Lange expediently contrasts the main objects of the composition and alludes to the assertion that they are from two different worlds. At the time of Great Depression, many African immigrants were employed to work on farms owned by whites. There were rampant cases of racial discrimination exhibited through poor payment of wages, harassment among other social ills. Through art, Lange was able to manifest the suffering of citizens arising from racial discrimination.
Discrimination and unfair treatment of people can also be said about the Members of the Mochida family (1942) photograph where members of a particular family are seen awaiting an evacuation bus. Comically, the individuals captured in the photograph are seen with identification tags to keep the family intact during the process of evacuation. At the time when America was considerably affected by the pangs of Depression, Mochida family was already a recognized household name in Eden town; this was partly because of the agricultural prowess of growing sweet peas. Despite their agricultural prowess, members of Mochida’s ancestry were to be interned as they were treated as lesser beings. The tags on the family and luggage echoed assertions of unfair treatment of people as they are viewed as less human. Despite the state authorizing use of this artwork, it was consequently seized for uncertainties that it would trigger global queries on how internees were treated in American soil.
Championed Rising Status of Women in Society through Art
As a woman, Lange championed on how relationships could be strained when women changed their roles in society. This is well depicted by Argument in a Trailer Camp (1944) image that shows an argument between couples. The composition is Tempura on canvas and can be viewed at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College in Chicago. It is affirmed that psychological depth and intensity substantively characterized some of Lange’s photographs. Lange depicts strained relationships in marriages at the time of Depression using this image, this was majorly anchored on the notion that women were readily assuming roles played by men in society, and were even engaging in hard labor as workforce. From the photograph it can be witnessed that the man is a sleuth of the woman, this is because the woman is captured on the lighted foreground in respect to the man. Consequently, Lange was highlighting the power of women at the period of war relegating men below the social order. Moreover, Lange was reinforcing the fact that women could do things previously reserved for men thus making women appear more powerful.
Women have been key pillars in promoting photography art. The foundation stone had been laid by prominent women photographers like Cunningham and Lange among others. Women photographers brought to light the suffering endured by American citizens during the Depression era. Likewise, they played crucial roles in uplifting the status of women in society. This is supported by the assertion that women began picking up roles initially reserved for men. Dorothea Lange was among influential photographers because her photographs humanized negative effects of the Great Depression and highlighted the emerging role of women in American society.
Flynn, Kyle. Photographing the Great Depression: Recovering the Historical Record. Inquiry
Journal. 2009. Accessed from http://scholars.unh.edu/inquiry_2009/5
VanDemark, Laura H. Dorothea Lange: Capturing the Reality of the Great Depression and New
Deal Era. Undergraduate Research Conference. 2017). Accessed from http://commons.lib.jmu.edu/madrush/2017/greatdepression/1
Bill Jay. Women in Photography: 1840 – 1900. The British Journal of Photography, 20 March
MoCP. Dorothea Lange: Migrant Mother and the documentary tradition. Museum of
Contemporary Photography. Web. Accessed September 22, 2017.
Figure 1: The White Angel Breadline (1933)
Figure 2: In Ditched, Stalled and Stranded, San Joaquin Valley, California (1936),
Figure 3: Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936)
Figure 4: Plantation overseer and his field hands, near Clarksdale, Mississippi (1936)
Figure 5: Members of the Mochida family (1942)
Figure 6: Argument in a Trailer Camp (1944)
The facts about art are presented by an agreement between what an individual sees and his ability to interpret the massage of the picture. In most cases, the arbiters of art include museum curators who spend most of their lifetime being critical of what they see and interpret the messages therein. Art can be used to give different messages to various individual in the society and to preserve culture. However, different people have distinct interpretation of the message the artist is conveying though the pictures. In my recent search of ancient art over the internet, I came across one of the famous paintings done by the renowned Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci. The art can be found in different sites including the Italian Renaissance Organization website. The organization is known for the safeguarding of Italian culture through art, pictures, and other forms of cultural preservation. The website gives a clear image of the art that enables the audience to assess the different styles and messages that the artist conveys. As such, this study will give the researchers interpretation of Mona Lisa and the in-depth message of the art.
Fig 1: Mona Lisa art
The Mona Lisa picture is one of the unique arts that give the audience, as well as other artists, the importance of creativity in paintings and how to capture the attention of the audience. What captured my attention in the art is the beauty of the woman in the picture and the calmness in her face despite the turbulent weather behind her. In real life, anybody in the same situation would be scared and would take the picture in a hurry. However, Mona Lisa seems calm and confident in the art. The picture thus gives a sense of hope to the audience and urges them to have courage in any situation that they may face in life.
Mona Lisa’s facial features depict that of a real and mature woman. From the art, her skin appears smooth and well maintained, her hair well dressed, and her body properly covered. The picture further helps me to understand women’s dress code in ancient Italy and the importance of maintaining culture across the different generations. In my view, the art conveys different emotions including melancholy and romance. Additionally, she gives a gentle smile full of love and affection which can be interpreted as a ray of hope to the audience. The beauty of the art and the facial expression of the Mona Lisa helps me understand how love can defy other odds and stand out as the principal factor in any art. The artist is thus successful in presenting the theme of love in the art by using the natural features of Mona Lisa including the dress code and the facial expressions.
In summation, the art presents a different class of creativity among artist and their level of innovation in trying to convey different messages. The art gives me hope and helps me appreciate natural beauty especially in the ancient Italian culture. I like how the artist has used a different background to adequately portray confidence as one of the major themes in the art. The background explains a lot about the ancient Italy including the level of development and their economic activity. In my opinion, Mona Lisa is a remarkable art that enables the artist to give more messages from one picture. To me, one can derive different emotional responses more than other pieces of art I have analyzed. I think the art gives a new revolution in art and a better method of cultural preservation
Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa – Italianrenaissance.Org.” ItalianRenaissance.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Sept. 2017.