Classics/Art 329 Lectures 13-15

Lecture 13: America in the 1920s and 1930s

A. The Revolution of the 1920s

    1. Emancipation of women- smoking, drinking, dancing, The Dolly Sisters

    2. The Automobile

    3. Clara Bow and "It"

     Clara Bow the "It" Girl

    4. The Saxophone

    5. Crooning vs. the microphone and megaphone

    6. Getting modern- post World War I attitudes

    7. The Roaring '20s- Sex, Prohibition

B. 1920s and 1930s

    1. The Housework Revolution

        a. Commercial laundries, electricity, department stores, readymade clothes

        b. The Icebox

        c. Linoleum

        d. Women freer until married [view this drawing of "The Ideal Woman - 1926 A.D."]

        e. Cosmetics--rouge, lipstick, facial creams, miracle cures, pogo sticks

        f. The Cult of the Sun-  Auguste Rollier's Heliotherapy clinic 1924

        g. Attitudes towards the beach

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C. Art Deco 1925-1932

   Typical Art Deco designs     Typical Art Deco Designs
                      Typical Art Deco designs

    1. 1925 International Exposition of Decorative Arts in Paris

    2. René Lalique [view an image of Lalique's L'Exposition d'Arts Decoratifs, Paris, 1925]

    3. Sumptuous materials- ivory inlay, lacquered wood, chrome

    4. Modern materials

    5. Cubist and Egyptian influences- 1922 Howard Carter and Tutankhamun [view an image of Howard Carter's The Pyramids and The Great Sphinx]

    6. Craftsmanship and quality

    7. South American/Mayan architecture

    8. Bolder attitude to the nude female form

D. The Modernistic Style of the 1920s in Mainstreet America

    1. Machine reproductions of Deco patterns

    2. Glitzy, stylized, ahistorical [view images of Art Deco and Modernisitic designs:           Main Street, Columbia, MO, Miami Beach Art Deco Home, and
         Modernistic Storefront]

E. Influences on Art Deco

    1. Art Nouveau

    2. Bauhaus

    3.Machine aesthetic  

F. The Skyscraper

    1. The Both-And- Style-- Gothic, classical, Deco skyscrapers

    2. Louis Sullivan- The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered 1896

    3. Wainwright Building, St. Louis- 1890 ahistorical

    4. Iron, steel, glass, reinforced concrete

    5. 1916- the zoning setback ordinance

    6. William Van Alen (1882-1954)- the Chrysler Building, New York City

   7. The Empire State Building 1930- Raymond Shreve, William Lamb, Arthur Harmon [view an image of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building]

Lecture 14: America in the 1930s--Responses to the Depression

A. The Great American Depression 1929-1940

    1. The Herbert Hoover Years 1929-1933

    2. Hitting rock bottom- the stock market crash of 1929 

   3. End of  overly costly design

    4. FDR- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

B. Depression Modern Style-

    1. Streamline, simplify and curve

          Streamline, simplify and curve      still photo from King Kong shows The Beast atop the Empire State Building

2. Radio City Music Hallin New York City- Samuel Rothafel (Roxy)

    3. Frank Lloyd Wright- Johnson's Wax Factory 1936-1939, Racine, Wisconsin

    4. The Industrial Design of Raymond Loewy [view an image of the elegant Raymond Loewy and a salon he created and Contributions of Raymond Loewy]

5. Blonde, portholes, form expressing function

    6. Cult of the Airplane and the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers look- [view an image of Busby Berkeley's film Golddiggers of 1935]

          a. Flying Down to Rio (1933)

          b. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers- perfect Depression Modern paired dancing, curvolinear patterns matched to her clothing as it swirls, Ginger most effective matching his steps like a synchronized water ballet, highly impressive in slow motion [view an image of Fred Astaire and Hermes Pan]

    7. Jean Harlow
        picture of Jean HarlowJean Harlow "Beauty and the Beast"

C. Busby Berkeley (1896-1976) and the transformation of the movie musical

    1. Daredevil dance designer- develops overhead shots, complex drilling patterns

    2. Pure escapism- removal of the stage from the movie musical

    3. Sex, closeups, cosmetics, racism

    4. Sadistic and sexist treatment of women- humiliation

    5. The Mayan setback look= Deco-dent Style!

    6. Films Include: The Golddiggers of 1933, Footlight Parade (1934), The Gang's All Here (1943)

    7. NOT a complex choreographer- was song and dance man


Lecture 15: The Great Popular Dancers

A. Anna Pavlova-1881- 1931 Russian popularizer of  Ballet across the world,  dies for her art

B. Origins of Tap

    1. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson- 1878-1949 clarity of steps, slow pace, stair dance, shuffle dancer, grandson of slaves rises to superstar [view an image of Bill Robinson and Shirley Temple]

    2. Nicholas Brothers (Fayard Nicholas 1914-2006 and Harold 1921-2000)- flash dancing, acrobatic dancing, leaps and somersaults, slip and slide on Bakelite floors, Dorothy Dandridge-her life and tragedy

    3. Ray Bolger-1904- 1987 rubber legged dancer, always appears to have legs separately controlling him and about to fall over, famous for leg muscle control and incredible splits.

     4. Hal Leroy 1913- 1985

          a. Legomania- rubber legged legend faster than the eye could see, had longest legs in dancing

          b. One of few non- blacks admitted to Harlem Hoofer's Club- admired by Bojangles

     5. Paired Dancing- Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1930s- curvolinear patterns