1. List and describe three of the technological breakthroughs or discoveries that changed art during the Modern Era, 1800-1945. Indicate specific ways in which these changed the form and/or content, themes, purposes/functions of art, and the lives of artists. Photography
Use of metal in construction
There have been many inventions since the 19th century that has been incorporated in the artistic realm. Photography has created a new genre of art available to people. This invention allows people to see an image as it was meant to be which may have been something that could only be seen in the moment, like a fox and kits playing in the forest. Lights have affected almost every part of the average person’s everyday life and similarly, lighting has made artwork change and created new options of expression. In ways of architecture, lives and structure have been improved by the production and use of metals in structure and the evolution of architecture that was started in the Crystal Palace. The first true photograph was captured in 1826 with a camera and plate exposed to the sun for eight hours. The creation from this highly impractical form of photography was called a Heliograph.
Joseph Nicephore Niepce’s correspondent was able to create a more reasonable medium for the film upon Neipce’s death. The silver iodine coated copper plate, named a daguerreotype after the inventor, gave hope for the creation of photography by allowing a picture to be captured in 10-20 minutes. Before this time only the rich could afford to have portraits done and could only be done by paint (Getlein 197-98). Camera and film was created in more of a form known to us in the middle 1880’s. Film was an important creation, as it allowed an image to be replicated, unlike the daguerreotypes, which were positives and allowed no way of copying. Photography was able to become a hobby and to advance after the creation of the Kodak Camera in 1888 (198-99). Because of this creation the artistic world changed to be able to include photojournalism, movies and artistic photography.
Film and cameras have completely changed the way images are captured and who can afford it. During modern times, we can now afford to take pictures of whatever we would like so the content for photographs is now only limited to our own morals and what is available on the physical plane. This invention allowed many people to share images of the world that many people would not be able to see otherwise and enabled any person who is willing to try, a chance to become an artist. The availability of electricity and the invention of the first functioning light bulb in 1820 by Warren De La Rue (The History of the Light Bulb 1) changed the way art is seen and creates. Light can be the focus of the artwork or change the way the art is seen. The best example of light in artwork is photography.
The addition of a light bulb to create a flash while taking pictures has allowed different environments for photography by allowing pictures to have a good light source in the front to counteract any negative lighting, like from the back or too little lighting to allow the film to develop properly. This allowed artists more freedom to take picture wherever they are inspired and in normally inadequate lighting. This also prevented the light from behind the subject from being too strong to create the subject as a shadow, thus allowing breathtaking photographs that would have not been able to be captured otherwise. In other ways, lights have been the focal point of art in modern The first example of metal being used as a construction material for true structures was in England around 1851. Joseph Paxton used his plans for greenhouses and magnified them into a building that spanned over 13 acres, showing the world the first glimpse of modern architecture.
Because of the use of pre fabrication, also a new concept, this building was able to be constructed in 16 weeks. (Getlein 295) The uses of metal in construction also lead to a new concept design for buildings: skeleton and skin. Skeleton and skin constructed involved a frame with covering over it. In the Crystal Palace, the skin was glass and in modern housing you have drywall, wood, and metal or plastic siding. The idea for modern buildings is just about the same, using metal as the sturdy skeleton with glass as the main covering but using the more modern element of concrete as a secondary structural base and covering. Through the creation of the Crystal palace, the ideas of architecture were changed forever.
The metal structure allowed architects in modern times to create towering skyscrapers that would not have been possible using previous materials and allowed the shape of buildings to change as metal is more flexible has a strong tensile strength (Piggott 78). This allowed the creation of amazing bridges that are supported minimally by vertical bases and buildings that can take almost any shape. The Sydney Opera house is an amazing structure that is meant to resemble sails, and is constructed of metal rods, to support the specialized concrete called ferroconcrete (Getlein 300). This multipurpose building would have never been thought of as a possibility without the use of a metal skeleton and continues to allow architects more creativity to build structures with intricacy and still have the structural security needed.
Getlein, Mark. Living With Art 9th Edition. McGraw-Hill, 2010: 197-99, 300. Print Piggott, Jan. Palace of the People: The Crystal Palace at Sydenham, 1854-1936. K. Hurst &Co. 78-79. Print Unknown. The History of the Light Bulb. Arizona State University. http://invsee.asu.edu/modules/lightbulb/meathist.htm. Website
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