key elements and events in Art and architecture

Since early 19th century, the world has experienced a lot of social, economic and technological changes that have kept the traditions at bay. The changes have been experienced in all societies though the rate and complexity differs. Some areas of the world are more developed in terms of architectural and artistic development than the rest. In the following discussion, we focus on the key elements and events in Art and architecture from 1914-1960.

It is said that in the early 19th century, the world of art and architecture was marred with traditionalism (Flemming, 2005). Most of the designs that appeared were mostly influenced by the cultures of the people that made them. Almost all the societies in the world had certain meanings which they attached to the kind of the artistic work that they did.

However, due to the industrial revolution in Europe, many things began to change. There was great emphasis on the standardization of various architectural works due to the knowledge that was passed from the institutions of higher learning. The industrial development in Europe can therefore be said to have played a big role in the growth of art and architecture as we are going to observe later.

T he year 1914 was characterized by the presence of diversity in the development of architecture and forms of artwork. This happened especially in America as the community was trying to go through a transition period from the traditional ways to the new methods that were being borrowed from Europe (Breeze, 2003).What resulted was a mixture of culture structures such as paintings and the modern art work. This is owing to the fact that certain societies of the world will accept changes quickly while others still cling to the old way of doing things.

In 1940 for instance, it is said that the world of painting was dominated by romantic realism. This were kind of painting which were developed in specific cultures for the purpose of passing a given subjective feeling. Paintings that expressed love and affection were very common in some European countries like Rome, and also in some parts of America. Africa was not also left behind though then development seemed to lag behind. The most common kind of art in that continent was that of making sculptures using simple tools.

From early 1940’s a lot of sophisticated technology began to develop which later brought the whole revolution in the architectural industry. However, as we mentioned earlier, most of the countries in the world were being influenced by the international communities especially the European ones. For instance, America is said to have borrowed much from countries like France and England in terms of construction of modern houses and infrastructures. The main reasons that boosted this kind of influence in the learning culture from the institutions found in Europe. Majority of art and architectural students all over the world attended schools in Europe which were experienced in the two fields. Such schools include the Ecole des Beaux Arts which imparted young people from different parts of the world.

In the construction industries, most countries began moving from the conventional normal dual-carriage roads to the modern super highways which were developed with an aim of easing the congestion. This was especially in America when in 1920’s a lot of development was made as far as construction of high ways and by-passes is concerned (Bayer, 1999). On the other hand, the construction of the sky- scrapers in 1929, in New York for instance, transformed the housing industries.

One thing that was noticed in the 1930’s was the abandonment of the traditional artistry to the new era way. This meant that there was replication of one kind of artistic work from one country to another. There was call for standardization of various architectural designs. Books were developed which stipulated the procedures, criteria, materials and even the ratios which were required to come up with a given structure. This is contrary to the traditional way where we observed that every society performed their art according to their cultures. This move had greater impact in the world as this created interdependent. Those countries without the expertise had to look for assistance from the more developed ones.

From the early to late 1960’s, most of the countries of the world including the developing countries were adopting the new technology in the architectural industry. This transformed towns to cities which on the other hand helped to create employment opportunities to the citizens. The services were even made better for the general public for instance in the sky-scrappers due to presence of lifts and escalators.

In conclusion, the architectural world was marred with traditionalism in the early 20th century due to the influence of culture. The industrial revolution brought with it a lot of information and skills which was vital in the development of the modern art. Therefore, the architectural industry has been through a series of stages ranging from simple to the most complex we know of today.


Flemming, J. (2005). The Visual Arts. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Prentice Hall

Breeze, C. (2003). American Art Deco. Modernistic Architecture and Religiolism. W.W. Norton.

Bayer, P (1999). Art Deco Architecture. Design, Decoration and Details of 20’s. Thomas and Hudson.

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