One component of the lecture that peaked my interest was the early medicinal advertisements. They seemed to be contradictory to the symptoms or ailments they were trying to alleviate such as the “asthma cigarette” and many of them like heroin and cocaine are dangerous drugs with severe side effects. However it is evident that the manufacturers were willing to say anything to sell their product and at the time many of these narcotics were thought to be completely safe. After researching these drugs I discovered that in the 1800’s, drug companies like Merck and Bayer were modifying purified plants products and investigating their use as painkillers. Heroin was one of the leading prescriptions to alleviate the symptoms of painful respiratory diseases that ran rampant in this era like tuberculosis and pneumonia, which were fatal before vaccines and antibiotics. The habit-forming aspects of these drugs were not clearly mapped until the early 20th century. These old advertisements lead me to ponder the drug commercials commonly seen today. There are so many side effects listed for current drugs on the market, some extremely serious, but yet people are prescribed these medications everyday. It illustrates the effect that strict regulations and government agencies like the FDA can have on advertising and public products.Brittany Tyson
I was very interested in Charles Dana Gibson’s sketches of women. I was impressed with how unique yet schematic each image was. He was able to draw such beautiful women that all looked quite different. This made me wonder if he drew from life, or just made up different faces. I was not able to find any information about this on the Internet. His “Gibson Girl” kind of reminded me of Barbie, and early sketches of Barbie. Gibson created the “Gibson Man” to keep the Gibson Girl company, which of course made me think of Ken. Perhaps this is because they both portray smart, beautiful women. I thought it was unique that Gibson chose to portray the woman as strong and independent during the Victoria Era. I also think it is interesting to note that he eventually married Irene Langhorne, who was a sister of Nancy Astor, the first woman to serve in as a Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons. Perhaps Langhorne was as independent and powerful as Astor, and served as his inspiration for the Gibson Girl.
One of the topics I found interesting last class was that of Ruskin’s Credo (Arts & Crafts movement). Those who promoted this movement believed that society had lost its creativity and individualism due to the industrial revolution, where things were machine made. I feel that when they would create these rooms they wanted to create a setting in which they felt completely comfortable in. It created a private world they could live in. This very thought reminds me of how a person’s room can truly give you an idea of the person’s personality and their interests. I believe this want of having things hand crafted is still popular today with things like Do it yourself projects and places like etsy.com where you can purchase handmade goods. Even though I mainly use the computer to design I also really enjoy doing things with my hands, which is why I chose to take printmaking classes. Elina Diaz
Among the many things that I found interesting in this lecture was when you were speaking about Addictions. You used an example of a student coming to class high. You spoke about how you don’t look down on someone getting high but there is a time and place for that and in class, it shouldn't be happening. I respect the fact that you didn't completely avoid the realism of young people’s drug use. You said in other countries and other times, there was a day of the year that people smoked weed and then that was it. It was part of ritual and tradition. I thought this was interesting because it shows how the abuse of drugs has led them to be viewed as “bad” and “addicting,” but in past generations, people smoked but it was in moderation and they limited themselves. If you think about these drugs being prescribed as treatments, you realize they aren’t “bad,” it’s the way we uncontrollably use them that makes it bad.
I enjoyed the discussions on lithography-- literally drawing on stone. I've always been amazed by this process, so I wanted to name drop the inventor: Alois Senefelder, who discovered lithography in 1796. What's fascinating about the process is that it's based on the simple fact that oil and water do not mix. By chance, Senefelder hit upon the technique while experimenting with an etching process. He perfected the technique, and it then quickly spread throughout Europe.Here's a great print commemorating lithography: Senefelder Receives the Secrets of Lithography, by Warrington Colescott.It's also interesting to note that without lithography, there probably would be no photography. We saw Niepce's View from the Window at Le Gras a couple of weeks ago. Well, Niepce was looking for ways to quickly reproduce etchings without tracing them. So he tinkered with lithographic techniques until he hit upon the right chemicals that allowed him to fix his images.Finally, to chime in on the discussion that we had at the beginning of class with regards to the designer/artist, artist/designer, high art/design... In my career as both, understanding form and function has been key. Van Gogh's Sunflowers-- as beautiful as they are-- have no function. A designer, by definition and nature, must deal with form and function. As beautiful as van der Rohe's Barcelona chair is, it still functions as a chair.Now, whether form follows function, or function follows form... Eddy
I found the part of the lecture about posters and flyers to be the most interesting. Ads for things such as the typewriter and medicinal treatments were works of art. Different from ads today, these ones capture the eye due to their inventiveness and elaborate colors. The covers to the Saturday Evening Post are satirical yet detailed enough to draw in the reader. I also enjoyed our discussions of the Victorian age. I have always loved to learn about this era and discussing the lavish style the furniture was created in was very entertaining. It was also fun to see what kind of criticisms the pieces were given by artists of that time. Many were so negative and it just points to how some things are not appreciated during the era they are created in.
Last class we touched on the work of Edmond Dulac. I suppose what got my attention was the intricacy of his work married with his use of color and medium. However, the primary purpose of his work was for the publishing of magazines and as illustrations in children’s storybooks. This makes me wonder why? If his work is so thrilling and detailed, why do we only want to see it in a book? Why don’t we want to hang his illustrations on our walls of our homes and offices? This reminded me greatly of an art exhibition my family held recently in Trinidad. My cousin and artist Daniel O’Brien did a series of work for the exhibition under the context of Trinidadian folklore. Each piece told a fascinating story. His work was done first by hand and then inked and rendered on the computer. The level of detail he but into each piece was mind blowing. I, on the other hand did a painting of a banana tree in my backyard that had no story behind it. it just was what it was and for some reason it was the only piece that got any bids in the show. It’s a question that has remained with me, why is the art we choose to see on a daily basis so not complex but rather simple and one-dimensional? Below is a link to the works of Daniel O’Brien- scarinly comparable to the work of Edmond Dulac. Daniel O'Brien
What interested me most about last week’s class was the discussion on Harper’s dynasty. It’s really interesting that something that was created such a long time ago still has a big presence in today’s society. Harper’s magazine has lasted a long time and has branched off into creating Harper’s Bazaar, which is their fashion magazine. It’s really interesting to think that one magazine can sway popular opinion and influence people. Harpers magazine talked about fashion, literature, politics and much more and it had a great women following. It’s the oldest general interest monthly magazine in America. It was designed to be great literature at an affordable class. It’s really interesting to see how this magazine influenced many more magazines to come about since this was the first one and now there are millions of magazines. Sarah Fischer
For my comment this week, I would like to discuss the part of class on the creation of the typewriter. More specifically, I want to compare the influence the creation of the typewriter and the Guttenberg Press on design. Both very similar concepts but one made more compact and modern. I believe that the Guttenberg Press has stood the test of time and is still the most influential on design and is still influential to this day. People still practice the art of the moveable type press today. The typewriter is a much more linear form of design. You must start at the top and type your way left to right all the way to the bottom. With the moveable type press the focus is on formatting and the typography, where the typewriter brings the focus to just what is being said. The moveable type press encompasses everything that is typography. The typewriter is the basic version of that, made easier to bring the trade to the masses. Here is a video about moveable type press and the people that still practice it. It is truly a dieing art that lies at the core of graphic design.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6RqWe1bFpM- Adam Berger
My dream is to start my own magazine. So whenever I get the chance to learn more about magazines I jump. The Harper's Brothers and Saturday Evening Post are what stick out to me about the last lecture. Old magazines are beautiful. The hand-illustrated covers were so intricate and detailed. Now covers like that are only found on the literary side like New York Magazine. It's fascinating to think about how the camera and photography took over the features and popular culture magazines and look at their evolution. Harper's Weekly was a newsy magazine and drew in its readers with it’s illustrations by Thomas Nast. On the other hand, the Harper’s Bazaar magazine was a fashion and gossip magazine for the upper class which was purchased by Hearst in the early 1900’s and is still published today as an icon for women’s fashion. To be able to have that sort of a legacy blows my mind and I can only dream of that kind of success.
Last class session I was most interested by the lecture on children's books, most particularly the works of Edmund Dulac. Although Walter Crane was the most influencial illustrator of children's books, I was more intrigued by Edmund Dulac's unconventional style. His unique designs and use of color sucks you into that fantasy and transports you to another world. While some of the images appear to look bizarre, grotesque, and borderline risque' for a children's book, you cannot ignore the haunting beauty of it all. After doing additional research on Dulac, I discovered that he expanded his career outside illustrating books which included newspaper caricatures (especially at The Outlook), portraiture, theatre costume and set design, bookplates, chocolate boxes, medals, and various graphics. On that note, he was also famous for designing postage stamps for Great Britain which includes stamps to commemorate the coronation of King George VI and also for the 1948 Summer Olympics. I find it amazing that he can expand his talents outside illustrations and show off his work through different artistic outlets. Here is a link for one of the coronation stamps he designed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stamp_UK_1953_1shilling3d_coronation.jpgTashina Arota
I thoroughly enjoyed the emphasis on posters and advertisements from last lecture. For my design classes I have had to design concert posters and advertisements for different products and many of my teachers emphasize small type and for the illustrations or photography to do most of the talking. Its amazing to see how design has changed in the past and type has been lost. I like the way the old advertisements looked with the large type and elaborate designs to compliment the message. All posters.com has some great old posters to look at as examples: http://www.allposters.com/-st/Concert-Poster-Posters_c17941_.htm- James Ahearn
I really enjoyed the discussion on wallpaper, and the comparison to ambient music. I myself listen to music very often and it really means a lot to me. I also really likes to decorate my walls. I have a lot of posters in my room, and they really tell a lot about me. I have animals, event flyers and tickets, beach scenes, trippy posters, and abstract graphic designs. It’s interesting because some people enjoy empty walls. I think that’s boring, and shows you have a simple personality. I have always had the tendency to fill up my space. I feel like it’s because I am a passionate person. Except, I would disagree that they would emit ambient music. Since I have a lot of colorful things hanging up and also a lot of concert flyers, it would be more like energetic music that makes you want to dance. Kateryna Gontaruk
For last week’s class, I found the most interesting thing was when you were speaking about the typewriter. I really want to talk something about Chinese printing. There are four greatest inventions in ancient of China. Printing is one of them. The earliest form of printing is woodblock printing. And the earliest surviving woodblock printed fragments are from China and are silk printed with flowers in three colours from the Han Dynasty. It is before 220 A.D. And the earliest example of woodblock printing on paper appeared in the mid-seventh century in China. Around 1040, the first know moveable type system was created by Bi Sheng in China. At first people use clay type, and then they use more durable type from wood. Copper moveable type printing originated in China at the beginning of twelfth century. It was used in large scale printing of paper money issued by the Northern Song dynasty.Xiaodong Chang
My comment was deleted last week but I just wanted to make sure you saw it. My favorite thing about this lecture was the advertisements. I find them so much more aesthetically pleasing and significant than the typical advertisements of today. The utilization of space, patterns, curvilinear lines and contrast show acute attention to detail and accurately portray the feeling of the art nouveau era. These to me are so much better looking and significant than a random photograph. The attention to detail and intricacy is a lost art today, often overlooked. They also remind me of the beautiful old artistic maps we looked at a few weeks ago because nowadays, art in unexpected places just seems like a waste of time. I also like the style of Charles Dana Gibson because his pieces are so pretty and original. Gibson was very good at portraying a good amount of detail with not a lot of marks or lines, an ability I’m very jealous of as an artist. Bailey Murray
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