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 Floor 2
Modern Art

 Floor 1 / Renaissance / Early Italian

Anyone who says: "I don't like modern art", probably doesn't understand the technical meaning of what they are saying. Most people use the term pejoratively to describe some sub-class of 20th century art they don't like. Scholar's, however, have named the period from about the time of the American Revolution (about 1750) to the start of the 20th Century (in 1901) as the period of "Modern Art". In any case most people who say they don't like modern art adore it; it includes some of the most popular art ever created.

Now the same person who says they don't like modern art might well be reluctant to say: "I don't like 20th century art", because most people do like much of 20th century art and they probably have no objection to any art before 1901. In fact, in common parlance "modern art" really refers to abstract expressionism; so if you want to look at what most people object to it will not be found on this floor, you'll have to look in the basement of this museum and you will find it along will the rest of 20th century art that most people love.

The modern art you will meet on this floor mostly follows a couple of traditions: the romantic and the neo-classic. Romantic art specialises in glorifying even the most unpleasant human experiences, like war; its subjects range from the poor and country life to views of nature and the aristocratic personages of the day.

The neo-classic tradition tries to go back to invented ideals of Greek and Roman austerity and simlicity of form. It's subjects are drawn primarily from Greek and Roman myth, history, and the Bible.

While these two traditions did not end around 1850, a new esthetic was added into the artistic mix. The last fifty years of the period saw many changes in artistic purpose. Art began to move away from an almost photographic representation of reality (which started in the renaissance) and evolved toward other things: e.g. a representation of the artist's feeling about a subject, or a concentration on providing the impression of the way light played with the object, and to some extent toward the idea of art-for-art's-sake.

 

To get a feeling for art from the modern period here are a series of thumbnail pictures from the museum.

Click on a thumbnail to visit the museum gallery with pictures from that period. See if you can find the picture you clicked on.

 

Date

Europe   

England

New World

 MUSIC 
 1500

 See Floor 1
 

Colonial Art

Goto American Colonial Art
Copley
Goto American Colonial Art
West

 Monteverdi
Lully
Purcell

 1600

 

See Floor 1 

Goto Blake
Blake
Goto English Conceptual Art
Hogarth
 

Vivaldi
Telemann
JS Bach
Handel

 1750

  Romanticism /
Neo-Classism

goto Rmanticism/Neo-Classism
Friedrich
goto Rmanticism/Neo-Classism
JL David

  

 English Portrature

Goto English Portrature Gallery
Gainsborough
Goto English Portrature Gallery
Reynolds

 Pre-Civil War

Goto American Pre-Civil War Art
Cole
Goto American Pre-Civil War Art
Catlin

Haydn
Mozart
Beethoven
Berlioz
Schubert
 1850

Impressionism

Go to Impressionistic Art Gallery
Manet
Go to Impressionistic Art Gallery
Piassarro

English
Romantic Landscapes

Go to English Romanticism
Copley
Go to English Romanticism
Turner

Post-Civil War

Goto American Post-Civil War Art
Eakins

Verdi
Wagner
Brahms
Tchaikovsky
 1880

Post Impressionism

Go to Gallery of Post Imressionistic Art
Munch
Go to Gallery of Post Imressionistic Art
Klimt
      

 Pre-Raphalites

Goto Gallery of English Conceptual Art
Rossetti
Goto Gallery of English Conceptual Art
Leighton

Puccini
Mahler
Debussy
R Strauss
Schoenberg
Ravel

 

Visit the museum 2st floor where all the modern art is located.

 

2003-02-28