Some Modernists in Modernism (Pre 1945)


Richard Wagner (1813–83)

Ada Lovelace (1815 –1852)

John Ruskin (1819–1900)

Florence Nightingale, (1820 –1910)

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 –1900)

Mary Jane Seacole (1805 –1881)

Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906)

Virginia Woolf (1882 – 2 1941)

Charles Darwin (1809–82)

Gertrude Stein (1874 –1946)

Henry Van de Velde (1863 –1957)

Rosa Luxemburg (1871- 1919)

William H. Bradley (1868–1962)

Dorothy Richardson (1873 –1957)

Charles Baudelaire ( 1821 –1867)

Emily Carr (1871 –1945)

Édouard Manet ((1832 –1883)

Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861 –1937)

Hubert Henry Harrison (1883 – 1927)

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879)

Henri Bergson (1859–1941)

Harriet Powers (1837-1911)

Carl Jung (1875–1961)

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926)

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939)

Marie Curie (1867 –1934)

Stéphane Mallarmé (1842–98)

Käthe Kollwitz (1867 –1945)

Karl Marx (1818–83)

Sonia Delaunay (1885 –1979)

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

Natalia Goncharova (1881 –1962)

Albert Einstein (1879 –1955)

Elsie de Wolfe (1865? – 1950)

William Morris (1834 –1896)

Ogura Yuki (1895 – 2000)

Marcel Duchamp (1887 –1968)

Berthe Morisot (1841 –1895)

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)

Madeleine Chéruit (died 1935)

Eric Gill (1882 –1940)

‘Nella’ Larsen (1891 –1964)

Edward Johnston (1872 –1944)

Jeanne Paquin (1869–1936)

Peter Behrens (1868 –1940

“Coco” Chanel (1883 –1971)

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 –1928)

Nina Genke-Meller (1893–1954)

El Lissitzky (1890 –1941)

Hannah Höch (1889 –1978)

László Moholy-Nagy (1895 –1946)

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887 – 1986

Giorgio de Chirico (1888 –1978)

Olga Rozanova (1886- 1918)

Max Ernst (1891 –1976)

Nadezhda Udaltsova (1886 – 1961)

Paul Gauguin (1848 – 1903)

Alice Meynell (1847 –  1922)

Edward Hopper (1882 –1967)

Vanessa Bell (1879 –1961

Francis Picabia (1879 –1953)

Jean Rhys, CBE (1890 – 1979)

Georges Pierre Seurat (1859 – 1891)

Pan Yuliang (1899–1977)

Xul Solar (1887 –1963)

Suzanne Valadon (1865 –1938)

Jan Zrzavý (1890 –1977)

Natalie Barney (1876 –1972)

Filippo Marinetti (1876 –1944)


Some Ideas of Modernism?

  • Impressionism (19th-century)
  • The Harlem Renaissance (1920s and 1930s)
  • Futurism (early 20th century)
  • Art Nouveau (early 20th century)
  • Cubism (early-20th-century)
  • Photography (19th Century)
  • Film (Before 1945)
  • The Arts and Crafts Movement (1850 – 1915)
  • The Great Exhibition (1851)
  • Art Deco (1920s- 1940s)
  • Futurism (early 20th century)
  • De Stijl (1917 1931)


Modernism–A Working Definition

Modernism is a cultural movement which rebelled against Victorian mores. As we have discussed in class, Victorian culture emphasized nationalism and cultural absolutism. Victorians placed humans over and outside of nature. They believed in a single way of looking at the world, and in absolute and clear-cut dichotomies between right and wrong, good and bad, and hero and villain. Further, they saw the world as being governed by God’s will, and that each person and thing in this world had a specific use. Finally, they saw the world as neatly divided between “civilized” and “savage” peoples. According to Victorians, the “civilized” were those from industrialized nations, cash-based economies, Protestant Christian traditions, and patriarchal societies; the “savage” were those from agrarian or hunter-gatherer tribes, barter-based economies, “pagan” or “totemistic” traditions, and matriarchal (or at least “unmanly” societies).

In contrast, Modernists rebelled against Victorian ideals. Blaming Victorianism for such evils as slavery, racism, and imperialism–and later for World War I–Modernists emphasized humanism over nationalism, and argued for cultural relativism. Modernists emphasized the ways in which humans were part of and responsible to nature. They argued for multiple ways of looking at the world, and blurred the Victorian dichotomies by presenting antiheroes, uncategorizable persons, and anti-art movements like Dada. Further, they challenged the idea that God played an active role in the world, which led them to challenge the Victorian assumption that there was meaning and purpose behind world events. Instead, Modernists argued that no thing or person was born for a specific use; instead, they found or made their own meaning in the world. Challenging the Victorian dichotomy between “civilized” and “savage,” Modernists reversed the values associated with each kind of culture. Modernists presented the Victorian “civilized” as greedy and warmongering (instead of being industrialized nations and cash-based economies), as hypocrites (rather than Christians), and as enemies of freedom and self-realization (instead of good patriarchs). Those that the Victorians had dismissed (and subjugated) as “savages” the Modernists saw as being the truly civilized–responsible users of their environments, unselfish and family-oriented, generous, creative, mystical and full of wonder, and egalitarian. These “savages,” post-WWI Modernists pointed out, did not kill millions with mustard gas, machine-guns, barbed wire, and genocidal starvation.

From: http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/moddef.html

Prepared by Professor Catherine Lavender for Honors 502 (The American Experience–Social Sciences), The Honors College of The College of Staten Island of The City University of New York, Fall Semester 1998. Send email to lavender@postbox.csi.cuny.edu
Last modified: Friday 25 August 2000.

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