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Making the Modern

Industry, Art, and Design in America

In this ambitious book, Terry Smith chronicles the modernist revolution in American art and design between the world wars—from its origins in the new industrial age of mass production, automation, and corporate culture to its powerful and transforming effects on the way Americans came to see themselves and their world. From Ford Motor’s first assembly line in 1913 to the New York World’s Fair of 1939, Smith traces the evolution of visual imagery in the first half of America’s century of progress.

528 pages | 156 halftones | 6-5/8 x 9-3/8 | © 1993

Art: American Art

History: American History

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: The Visual Imagery of Modernity
Pt. 1: The Modernization of Work: Detroit, 1910-1929
1: Fordism: Mass Production and Total Control
2: Architecture and Mass Production: The Functionalism Question
3: Henry Ford and Charles Sheeler: Monopoly and Modernism
4: The Garden in the Machine
Pt. 2: Modernization and National Dissensus: Imagery of Reality in the 1930s
5: The Shaping of Seeing: Outrageous Fortune
6: The Resistant Other: Diego Rivera in Detroit
7: Frida Kahlo: Marginality and Modernity
8: Of the People, For the People
9: Official Images, Modern Times
Pt. 3: Design or Revolution? Styling Modernity in the 1930s
10: Designing Design: Modernity for Sale
11: "Pure" Modernism Inc.
12: Funfair Futurama: A Consuming Spectacle
Pt. 4: The Modern Effect
13: Modernity becomes Normal


Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center: Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center Book Prize

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