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In this incisive, abundantly illustrated study, Julie Wosk explores for the first time how the visual arts reflected the explosive psychological impact of the Industrial Revolution on English and American society. Wosk reveals the ways artists and designers responded to the hopes and fears for the first industrial age, and how their work continues to illuminate our own visions of technology and culture.
Wosk also reveals the striking ability of artists to capture the drama and the dangers of the new technologies, seen in their images of factories spewing smoke, steam boilers bursting, trains crashing, and comic views of people-turned-automatons. Their art dramatically mirrored widespread feelings of disorientation—the phenomenon sociologists have called "breaking frame."
Wosk demonstrates the startling impact of new technologies on the decorative arts and industrial design. While critics anquished, manufacturers using new materials poured out elaborately ornamented machine-made copies of original works of art. The new simulations spurred dramatic design debates—debates which have resurfaced during our postmodern era. She also highlights how artists' responses to a world newly transformed by technology prefigured the fear and pride, resistance and accommodation to technological achievement, that are still felt over a century later.
|1||The Traumas of Transport in Nineteenth-Century Art||30|
|2||Art, Technology, and the Human Image||67|
|3||Technology and the Design Debate||105|
|4||The Anxiety of Imitation: Electrometallurgy and the Imitative Arts||126|
|5||The Struggle for Legitimacy: Cast Iron||145|
|6||Classicizing the Machine: Ornamented Steam Engine Frames and the Search for an Industrial Style||178|
|Afterword: Into the Twentieth Century||211|