Monday, October 4, 2010

Modernism and Romanticism: A Visual Aid

I was in Normal Illinois over the weekend visiting family.  While there we went shopping and in one store, The Mole Hole, I came upon some interesting artifacts that demonstrate both ethos’s at work.

Figure 1:  Here we have 21st century Romanticism unleashed in the form of Vera Bradley products full of vibrant colors and fancy patterns.  These are different types of bags.

Figure 2:  new! Baroque, reminding us that the old Baroque Era was a Dionysian one that preceded 19th century Romanticism.

Figure 3:  Here we have Modernism in the form of monotone colors and a focus on simplicity as elegance.  Again, these are bags.  Same store, different shelves.

The Vera Bradley items took up much of the store.  The Modernistic stuff was just a small display.  Romanticism is slowly displacing Modernism.

When it comes to material culture, Apollonian perspectives strive for simplicity and regularity.  Dionysian perspectives will strive to embellish or enhance an object above and beyond some benchmark of simplicity.

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