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Modern Life and Its Discontents: Art


Modernism: Modernism cannot be defined as an aesthetic position but must be understood as an extended historical moment in which various aesthetic issues develop in counterpoint with the emergence of modern culture (characterized by the formation of the nation-state, of the concept of the individual, and of industrial and consumer capitalism).

from: Encylcopedia of Aesthetics, 1998.


Postmodernism: If postmodernism in the arts has stood in some ambivalent position toward modernism—on the one hand, desiring clear separation from some region of modern art, while on the other, working within the aesthetic legacies that modernism had set up—postmodernism as an academic philosophical position directs its ambivalence toward modernity (the structures, processes, and myths of modern life).

from: Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, 1998

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Key Artists - New

Sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh, 1887

Credit: Rogers Fund, 1949,

View of the Domaine Saint-Joseph, Paul Cézanne, late 1880s

Credit: Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1913, http://www.metmuseum.or

Violett, Vasily Kandinsky, 1923

Credit: Bequest of Blance Risa Sussman, 1991,

Boating, Édouard Manet, 1874

Credit: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929,

Haystacks in Brittany, Paul Gauguin, 1890

Credit: Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington,

Still Life with a Guitar, Juan Gris, 1913

Credit: Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998,

Two Women on the Shore, Edvard Munch, 1898

Credit: Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982,

Boats on the Seine at Chatou, Maurice de Vlaminck, 1906

Credit: Robert Lehman Collection, 1975,

Wapping, James McNeill Whistler, 1860-1864

Credit: Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington,

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Notable Research Databases

Art Full Text is a great resource for scholarly research on all periods of art, art history, and individual artists.

The BHA is a good source for art-related books and articles covering European and American visual art.

ARTstor is a collection of over 1.5 million images with strong coverage of art and architecture from a wide variety of countries and time periods.

Fine Arts Faculty

Janalee Emmer



Fine Arts Librarian

Ben Daigle



Art Courses in Connection

ART 111 - Survey of Art History II

ART 345 - Modern Art

ART 347 - Contemporary Art History

Citation Styles

Citation styles typically used in art history research and art criticism: