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Art History & Practice

American Impressionists, American Realists: In Search of the New

In the midst of great social and technological changes between the Civil War and World War I, two groups of American artists stood out from the rest: the Impressionists and the Realists. This program combines archival footage and photographs, as well as images of the paintings involved, to portray this vibrant era in American history and art. 1994. 22 min.

American Photography, A Century of Images: Photography Transformed, 1960-1999

Photography becomes a powerful tool for political and social change as elections become engineered by the camera and the Civil Rights movement is brought to the American public. Apollo 8 sends the first photos of the whole earth even while uncensorsed photos are shown daily of the Vietnam War, but 2 decades later censorship of the Gulf War is once again practiced. The film concludes by asking how historic photos can be preserved when they are deleted to save hard drive space.

American Photography, A Century of Images: The Developing Image, 1900-1934

Covers the development and beginning definitions of artistic photography, the advent of photojournalism, time motion studies on film, government censorship of war photos during WWI, the development of the first tabloids, print advertising, and the use of pictures to create "stars" like Valentio and Babe Ruth. An episode from a 3 part video series covering the whole range of photography in the United States during the 20th century. Dist.: PBS. 1999. 60 min.

American Photography, A Century of Images: The Photographic Age, 1935-1959

The impact of wirephotos on newspapers, the Hindenburgh disaster documented in photos, the advent of the photo essay as exemplified by Life Magazine, the documentation of the Dust Bowl by Roy Stryker of the Farm Security Administration, Ansel Adams develops landscape photography, war photojournalists bring World War II home to the American public and personal home photography becomes the rage. An episode from a 3 part video series covering the whole range of photography in the United States during the 20th century. Dist.: PBS. 1999. 60 min.

American Visions: The Guilded Age.

Examines the many sides of America in the 19th century: the extravagant mansions of Newport's tycoons, the triumph of the Brooklyn Bridge, the haunting realism of Civil War photography, and the artistic creations of John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Thomas Eakins, John Peto, Winslow Homer, John Robling, Louis Sullivan,Isabella Stewart Gardner, and Bernard Berenson. Written & presented by Robert Hughes. 1997. 58 min

American Visions: A Wave From the Atlantic.

Waves of immigrants in the early 20th century bring both their old culture and a thirst for the new. The tenements are documented by photographer Jacob Riis and the socially conscious Ashcan School. Then, after the historic 1913 Armory show, artists like Joseph Stella, Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, forge a modernism that is uniquely American. Also presents the work of Robert Henri, George Bellows, Marcel Duchamp, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Georgia O'Keeffe, Mabel Dodge Luhand, Marsden Hartley and Frank Lloyd Wright. Written & presented by Robert Hughes. 1997. 58 min

American Visions: Streamlines and Breadlines.

Examines the mythic images of the 1920's and 30's as skyscrapers rise in New York and the rural heartland is idealized by Regionalists like Thomas Hart. Artists of the WPA celebrate the worker as hero, while Jacob Lawrence tells stories of black America, and ambitious New Deal projects like Hoover Dam project self-confidence in hard times. Also examines the work of Raymond Hood, Edward Hopper, Stuart Davis, and Grant Wood. Written and narrated by Robert Hughes. 1997. 58 min

American Visions: The Age of Anxiety.

This final segment explores how American art has reflected the upheavals of the last 25 years. Hughes traces the evolution of abstract art and minimalism and considers the spiritual richness of earth works, in which nature is the artist's medium. He ends the series by profiling a wide range of contemporary artists including Edward Kienholz, Donald Judd, Richard Serra, Walter De Maria, Robert Smithson, Bruce Nauman, Richard Diebenkorn, Philip Guston, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Susan Rothenberg, Eric Fischl, Louise Bourgeois and James Turrell. Written & presented by Robert Hughes. 1997.

American Visions: The Empire of Signs.

After the post-war era, Hughes traces the development of abstract expressionism and the life of Jackson Pollock, and explores how artists as different as James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, David Smith, Willem De Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Romare Bearden, Joseph Cornell, Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns reacted to the new consumer culture. Written & presented by Robert Hughes. 1997. 58 min

American Visions: The Promised Land.

Early settlers in the "Promised land" strive to carve out an identity in a virgin land while in the West, Spanish missions use art to convert the natives. In the East, plain Protestant settlers are suspicious of art's pleasures while in Virginia, an exiled aristocracy, strives to recreate its ideal of England. Written & presented by Robert Hughes. 1997. 58 min

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