6.2- Influences on Early Modern Art


World War 1 1914-1918


The Allies [audio:theplayers.mp3]

Russia, France, Britain
The Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey (Ottoman Empire)

By the end of the war 24 countries were involved including Australia, Japan and South Africa. Over 15 million dead.

WW1 considered the first Modern War [audio:modernwar.mp3]

Modern Weaponry

In the end, the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungarian Empire ceased to exist and the Soviet Union was born out of the Russian Empire. The League of Nations was created in order to prevent the outbreak of another global conflict. The way the end of the war was addressed actually created situations which ultimately led to World War II.

The Great Depression 1929—33 [audio:GreatDepression.mp3]

  • The longest and most severe Depression
  • Started in the United States
  • Impacts were felt in all of the industrialized world, particularly
  • Germany and Great Britain
  • The stock market was reduced to 20% of it’s 1929 value

The election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal

  • Taxes
  • Social Insurance
  • Social Welfare programs
  • Industrial Regulation
  • Public Works
  • Deficit Spending

The Works Progress Administration [audio:wpa.mp3]

Fascism in Europe
The seeds for WW2 were being planed soon after WW1

Benito Mussolini (Italian) [audio:Mussolini.mp3]

  • Invented fascism
  • Opposed to socialism and labor unions
  • Created a dictatorship
  • Dissenters were eliminated

Adolf Hitler [audio:hitler.mp3]

  • Germany’s economy was in ruins after WW1
  • Workers earned practically nothing, and bread prices kept rising
  • 1921 — Hitler creates the National Socialist Party of the German Workers — Nazi Party for short
  • 1934 Hitler becomes the president and chancellor of Germany
  • Convinced that the Bolsheviks were responsible for Germany’s terrible economy
  • Jews became the primary target to eradicate the economic problems
  • Nazi Party created the justification for geographic expansion to make room for the superior Aryan race

Francisco Franco (Spanish) [audio:franco.mp3]

  • Spain’s king was overthrown in 1931
  • A new coalition government was established in 1936
  • Franco formed a group — “Falange’ to overthrow the new government
  • The Spanish Civil War ensued
  • The Soviet Union supported the new government
  • Hitler and Mussolini supported Franco

Picasso’s Guernica was an artistic response to a German attack on the town of Guernica which killed thousands of innocent civilians. https://www.pbs.org/treasuresoftheworld/guernica/gmain.html



Industrialization led to immigration from non-industrialized countries.
In predominately Protestant America there was an influx of Catholics
Other world religions were introduced through immigrant populations
America and Europe

This inspired a Christian fundamentalism movement



1900-1910 3 Inventions dominated the first decade

  1. The Airplane In 1903 the Wright Brothers made their first powered flight in North Carolina
  2. Radio Broadcasting 1906
  3. Automobile 1908 the development of assembly line production


  1. Television — 1925
  2. Talking Movies — 1928
  3. Penicillin — 1928


  1. Jet engine — 1930
  2. Electron microscope — 1933
  3. Electric guitar — 1935
  4. Helicopter — 1939


Antoni Gaudi (Spanish) 1852-1926 [audio:Gaudi.mp3]

  • Casa Mila
  • Art Noveau extended — innovative use of concrete

Optional video:

International Style and Bauhaus

A style that was embraced in the first half of the 20th Century, that had wide acceptance by Western architects. The style relies upon slender steel posts and beams and concrete reinforced by steel.

Walter Gropius (Germany) 1883-1969
Directed the Bauhaus, An art school in Dessau, Germany
Optional video:

Hitler closed the Bauhaus, Gropius moves to America to the Architecture Department at Harvard


The Bauhaus ideal was to interconnect art, science and technology so that no divisions between art, architecture and functional objects exists. Bauhaus artists were known for their furniture designs. https://www.museumfurniture.com/bauhaus/

Le Corbusier (French) 1867-1959 [audio:LeCorbusier.mp3]

  • Called his houses, “Machines for living’
  • Started a revolution in domestic architecture
  • Savoye House

Optional video looking at Savoye House in detail
Optional video — a tour of Le Corbusier’s many works

Frank Lloyd Wright (American) 1867-1959 [audio:FrankLloydWright.mp3]

Houses should blend with the terrain. Wrights houses are more personal, less sterile and more organic.
Optional video:

4 Responses to “6.2- Influences on Early Modern Art”

  1. Nicole Wade writes:

    I love Gaudi! His works are so organic, as if they are intended to be exactly where they are!

  2. The Influence of The Great Depression on the Arts | Taylor Stebbins writes:

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  4. Influences of The Great Depression | Jill's Blog writes:

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