Browsing Theses and Dissertations by Subject "20th Century"
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AMERICAN FEMINISM: THE CAMERA WORK OF ALICE AUSTEN, ALFRED STIEGLITZ, AND BERENICE ABBOTTThis thesis explores the work of photographers: Alice Austen, Alfred Stieglitz, and Berenice Abbott in relation to the American landscape of New York from approximately 1880 through 1940. Although the artwork of Georgia O’Keeffe is not addressed specifically, her role as an artist communicating her modern self image through Stieglitz’s photography is one area of focus in the second chapter. Previous scholarship has drawn parallels between women artists and photographers solely in terms related to their gender identity. In contrast, my project identifies a common theoretical thread that links the work of these artists: namely, that photography allowed professional women of this time to react and rise above the constrictions of gender expectations, and moreover, how their own attitudes based in feminist sensibility enabled them to fashion and broadcast bold, liberated self-images. Inspired by the radical transformations of women’s social roles in the United States, each artist produced photographs that represented the evolving role of women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Using visual analysis and historical context associated with the “New Woman” movement, I argue that each artist discussed in this thesis not only challenges the domestic sphere conventionally assigned to women photographers, but also makes new strides by engaging in work that allows for them to autonomously travel within their own territories or new expansive locations. This thesis gives fresh insight as to how photography provided novel opportunities for elevating women’s place in society, as well as in the artistic realm. Overall, photography was an important tool for each artist as these three women act as agents of change by demonstrating a control of womanhood while the role of a female was beginning to become less constrained by the domestic and social norms of society.
Printmaking, Politics, and the Art of Protest in Modern MexicoMy thesis seeks to establish a fuller, more nuanced historical account of socially and politically oriented printmaking during the long 20th century in Mexico. In order to remedy what is currently a fragmented and incomplete narrative composed of canonical artists, my project integrates recent studies that acknowledge the role of lesser-known artists from various moments of the 20th and 21st centuries. The broader approach of this thesis reveals that the history of politically oriented Mexican prints spans a longer period of time and a larger geographic area than previously thought. Mexico experienced several waves of political turmoil and social upheaval throughout the 20th century, beginning with the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), including the 1968 student movement, and extending to present day clashes between citizens and their government leaders. In this context, art and printmaking in particular served as persistent vehicles for Mexican artists to engage in social and political activism. Integrating the critical analysis of earlier research along with newer studies that recognize the impact of Mexican printmakers often overlooked in broad survey texts and exhibitions allows for further conclusions to be drawn regarding the multifaceted relationship between the print medium and the art of protest. My thesis introduces the notion that educational institutions in Mexico played an active part in this historical narrative, highlights the significance of Mexican artists' choice to work in collaborative environments versus individually, and notes modern activist printmakers' strong preference for the woodblock print.