High Culture in the Age of the City

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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I. High Culture in the Age of the City a. In the early 19th century, most cultural activity attracted people of widely varying backgrounds and targeted people of all classes.

b. By the late 19th century, elites were developing a cultural and intellectual life quite separate from the popular amusements of the urban masses.

A. The literature of the Urban America a. Critics claimed that American life, despite it glittering surface, was essentially acquisitive, and corrupt, with little cultural depth.

b. One of the strongest impulses in late nineteenth and early-twentieth-century, is that American Literature was the effort to re-create urban social reality.

i. Stephen Crane, who although best known for his novel of Civil War, the Red badge of Courage, Crane a created a sensation in 1893 when he published Maggie. A girl of the streets.

c. Other critics of American society responded to the new civilization not by attacking it, but by withdrawing from it.

B. Art in the Age of the City a. American art through most of the 10th century had been overshadowed by the art of Europe.

b. In 1900, a number of American artists, although broke from the Old World traditions and experimented with new ideas.

i. Winslow Homer was vigorously American in his paintings of New England maritime life and other native subjects.

c. Ashcan school produced work starlings in it naturalism and stark in its portrayed of social realities of the era.

i. John Sloan portrayed the dreariness of American urban slums.

ii. The Ashcan artists were also among the first Americans to appreciate expressionism and abstraction; they showed their interest in new forms in 1913 when they helped stage the famous and controversial "Armory Show." C. The impact of Darwinism a. The most profound intellectual development in the late 19th century...