How does American art, literature, and music change during the 1920's?
And how did this mass of entertainment available during that period (radio, magazines, and movies) affect our culture?
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Because radio grew in leaps and bounds and the cinema was very developed in the 1920s, as well as in literature, there was a general leveling of the field to all, rich, poor, educated or not in the availability of these popular artifacts of culture. No longer was high art only for the wealthy and connected and many new heroes and "stars" were identified from a vast population that were in the concert halls, movie houses and listening to their wireless sets. For the first times in any great amount celebrities also endorsed products from makeup and clothing to food and automobiles as part of their conquest of the American psyche and mood of the times. 1925 saw the famous Paris Arts Decoratifs Exhibition and the new streamlined modern designs quickly filtered into the everyday and decorative aspects of life.The design was often metal, simpler, less rooted in the revival of old style and also was often cheaper to produce. Industrial style itself became a hallmark of the American aesthetic of the times. People saw their cars, washing machines, small appliances, telephones and so forth ,which were ten years earlier a rarity, become ubiquitous and the design was functional and admired for the underlying usable simplicity. This was a decade of a very forward push to become new and use the fresh geometries and machine-age style was developed first more in Europe with the Bauhaus, De Stijl and other art groups. These design approaches were quite quickly absorbed as well as the American factory and creative workshops of a multitude of goods that steadily became more affordable to the masses, thus losing the heavy aspects of earlier style that was Victorian and Edwardian. There was an overall relaxation of fashion as well especially in women's clothing that shows the optimism and new woman of the 1920s that have gained the vote and thus a new position in everyday life as well as civic life.
The 1920's and the early 20th century in general was a time of great change and evolvement for American arts. Many new and aspiring artists, musicians, and writers emerged from the 20's and left an impression that is still felt today. A lot of stories and poems that were written during that time period include works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, and Edith Wharton. Popular musicians of the time performed a lot of jazz and paved the way for big band music. Artists include Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, and Duke Ellington.
Hope this helps!
Music is the easiest of these. This is the Jazz Age and jazz (of a sort) becomes accessible to white audiences. Largely, this is through the efforts of white artists and composers (think Gershwin).
Literature -- this is a boom time in American literature but it's hard to categorize. You have high brow stuff like e.e. cummings and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but then you have less literary stuff like Dashiell Hammet. You'll hear a lot about the Lost Generation of people writing about feeling disaffected after WWI.
Art -- it's getting to be more modern. The big event often mentioned is the Armory Show in NYC in 1913.
The new media make it so these new trends can go national instead of being more or less compartmentalized by regions like things tended to be before.
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