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Architecture Subject Overview

Modernist architecture and design represented a utopian vision of how the built environment could be adapted to the needs to modern industrial society. Industrialization had…

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Expressionism

Expressionism was one of the foremost modernist movements to emerge in Europe in the early years of the twentieth-century. It had a profound effect on…

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Spencer, Penelope (1901–1993)

The career of the English “creative” dancer, choreographer, teacher, and dance writer Penelope Spencer spanned the period between the World Wars. Spencer’s versatile training and…

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Synaesthesia

Synaesthesia is the confusion or conflation of sensory modalities, where one sense is experienced or described in terms of another as in Charles Baudelaire’s simile…

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Hoffmann, Josef Franz Maria (1870–1956)

Josef Hoffmann was an Austrian architect and designer who proved instrumental in formulating the aesthetics and theory of modernist design. Among the most progressive architects…

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Ballets Russes

Founded by the Russian impressario Sergei Diaghilev in 1909, the Ballets Russes played a role of fundamental importance in the development of early twentieth-century modernism.…

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The Oshogbo Group

Between 1962 and 1966, after Nigeria gained Independence from Britain, a group of artists emerged in the Yoruba town of Oshogbo in southwestern Nigeria. They…

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Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove

The Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove is part of the story of Nigerian Modernism. Situated on the outskirts of the city of Osogbo in Southwest Nigeria,…

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Monte Verità (1900–)

During the first two decades of the 20th century, Monte Verità, a hill on the west side of Ascona in southern Switzerland, was the site…

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Hellerau

Founded in 1909 as Germany’s first ‘garden city’, Hellerau is a district of Dresden located in the wooded countryside north of the city. Developers Karl…

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Craig, Edward Gordon (1872–1966)

Edward Gordon Craig was one of the leading figures of modernist theater. His books, stage designs, manifestos, and collaborations all contributed to an understanding of…

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Nazi Modernism

Nazi Modernism is not a contradiction in terms, even if Nazi-era rhetoric and propaganda directed against Entartete Kunst powerfully suggested that this was the case.…

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Art Nouveau

From the 1880s until the mid-1910s, Art Nouveau was the dominant style in art, architecture, and design in Europe, with innovative and thoroughly modern production…

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Ziegfeld Follies (1907–1931)

Named after its founder, Broadway impresario Florenz Ziegfeld (1867–1932), and inspired by the Folies Bergères in Paris, the Ziegfeld Follies (1907–1931) remains one of the…

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Klimt, Gustav (1862–1918)

Gustav Klimt had an indelible influence on the artistic and cultural innovations that occurred in Vienna at the turn of the century. He was a…

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Russian Modernism (1890–1934)

Russian modernism arose as a rejection of positivism and the realism of the major nineteenth-century Russian novelists such as Lev Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Ivan…

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Cunningham, Merce (1919 – 2009)

One of the twentieth century’s most influential dancers and choreographers, Merce Cunningham re-defined the genre of modern dance. He began his professional career as a…

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Expressionism

Expressionism was one of the foremost modernist movements to emerge in Europe in the early years of the twentieth-century. It had a profound effect on…

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Fokine, Michel (1880–1942)

Michel Fokine’s seventeen works for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (1909–29) revitalized ballet in the early twentieth century. In Fokine’s most successful works, the body became…

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Music and Dance

The histories of modernist music and dance are vast and inextricably related, so much so that it is as daunting to consider them in tandem…

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Diaghilev, Serge (1872–1929)

Impresario, critic, curator, and founder-director of the Ballets Russes (1909–1929), Serge Diaghilev was a towering figure and pioneer of early 20th-century modernism. Through his various…