1st Edition

Visions of the Industrial Age, 1830–1914 Modernity and the Anxiety of Representation in Europe

Edited By Minsoo Kang, Amy Woodson-Boulton Copyright 2008
    400 Pages
    by Routledge

    Providing a comprehensive interdisciplinary assessment, and with a particular focus on expressions of tension and anxiety about modernity, this collection examines visual culture in nineteenth-century Europe as it attempted to redefine itself in the face of social change and new technologies. Contributing scholars from the fields of history, art, literature and the history of science investigate the role of visual representation and the dominance of the image by looking at changing ideas expressed in representations of science, technology, politics, and culture in advertising, art, periodicals, and novels. They investigate how, during the period, new emphasis was placed on the visual with emerging forms of mass communication”photography, lithography, newspapers, advertising, and cinema”while older forms as varied as poetry, the novel, painting, interior decoration, and architecture became transformed. The volume includes investigations into new innovations and scientific development such as the steam engine, transportation and engineering, the microscope, "spirit photography," and the orrery, as well as how this new technology is reproduced in illustrated periodicals. The essays also look at more traditional forms of creative expression to show that the same concerns and anxieties about science, technology and the changing perceptions of the natural world can be seen in the art of Armand Guillaumin, Auguste Rodin, Gustave Caillebotte, and Camille Pissarro, in colonial nineteenth-century novels, in design manuals, in museums, and in the decorations of domestic interior spaces. Visions of the Industrial Age, 1830-1914 offers a thorough exploration of both the nature of modernity, and the nature of the visual.

    Contents: Preface; Part I Envisioning the Industrial: The happy marriage of steam and engine produces beautiful daughters and bloody monsters: descriptions of locomotives as living creatures in modernist culture, 1875-1935, Minsoo Kang; Adorning the landscape: images of transportation in 19th-century France, Jane E. Boyd; Armand Guillaumin: the industrial impressionist, James H. Rubin. Part II Photographing the (Un)real: Picturing the supernatural: spirit photography, radiant matter, and the spectacular science of Sir William Crookes, Courtenay Raia-Grean; Finding Florence in Birmingham: hybridity and the photomechanical image in the 1890s, Gerry Beegan; Auguste Rodin and the 'scientific image': the sublime copy versus the photograph, Natasha Ruiz-Gómez. Part III Framing the Environment: A window onto nature: visual language, aesthetic ideology, and the art of social transformation, Amy Woodson-Boulton; From will to wallpaper: imaging and imagining the natural in the domestic interiors of the art nouveau, Amy Catania Kulper; Pisarro's crowds: cityscape as wish image, Katherine Hover-Smoot. Part IV Depicting the Scientific: Victorian stain glass as memorial: an image of George Boole, Kevin Lambert; 'Some wonders of the microscope' and other tales of marvel: the popularization of science in late Victorian Britain, Gabriel K. Wolfenstein; Orreries: mechanical and verbal, Hiroko Washizu. Part V Exposing the Modern: Stripped: Gustave Caillebotte and the carcass of modern life, Paula Young Lee; Puff marries advertising: commercialization of culture in Jean-Jacques Grandville's Un Autre Monde (1844), Haejeong Hazel Hahn; 'Awful, moony light': the visual and the colonial other in Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone, Carla Spivack; Bibliography; Index.


    Minsoo Kang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, USA.

    Amy Woodson-Boulton is Assistant Professor of Modern British and Irish History at Loyola Marymount University, USA.

    '... this volume's far-reaching discussions offer fresh and often fascinating insights which will interest those concerned with modernity in general, or with the specific artists and writers covered by the individual chapters. The extensive bibliography and index make the volume particularly reader-friendly for the latter.'

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