The Early Modern Era
The Early Modern Era had taken place during the 19th century. During this Era, there were many new styles added to the arts. In the Early Modern Era, music was transformed, and a genre of music was developed Jazz. Photographs captured important events during the century including the Great Depression. The visual arts had been transformed in the 19th century. African Americans had an influence on the arts during the 19th century. The influence of African Americans on the arts developed into the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance had influenced the culture of African Americans and had expressed this culture through art during the Early Modern Era.
Early Modern Art
Idylls of the Deep South
Idylls of the Deep South was created by Aaron Douglas (1898-1979) in 1934 in Harlem. Aaron Douglas was a Harlem Renaissance artist who exemplified the ‘New Negro’ philosophy. The painting is a part of the four-panel series Aspects of Negro Life.
In the painting Idylls of the Deep South captures the myth of the “happy southern plantation” by capturing the theme of African Americans on a plantation. The painting seems to capture a group of African Americans dancing and playing music. While the actions of the individuals in the painting reflect a celebration vibe, the color use does not. The color scheme chosen for the painting appears to be red and dark. When I had first viewed the painting I did not relate the singing and dancing to be happy but have a darker meaning behind them. I appreciate the meaning behind the painting and the color scheme that was chosen to represent the history within the painting. This element of the painting allows the audience to understand the myth of the southern plantations. The painting had an impact on the African American communities in Harlem.
The photograph Evening Attire was taken by James Van Der Zee (1886-1983) in 1922 in Harlem, New York. James Van Der Zee was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. The influence of the African Americans in the Early Modern Era can be seen in his photographs during the 19th century.
The photograph above depicts the individual as elegant, as the elements around the sitter portray that description. The beaded gown to the background of decorative items allows the audience to view this individual as elegant. This photographic portrait reminds me of portraits that were painted in the Romantic Era in the 18th century. This observation developed from the pose of the individual to the use of the decorative items and the victorian backdrop that can be viewed in portraits from the Romantic Era. I appreciated the photographic portrait as there are details within the painting that reflect a painted portrait. This photograph exudes beauty and elegance from the individual in the portrait due to the elements within the photo. From the elements in the photograph was can understand an aspect of the influence of African Americans in the Early Modern Era.
Maple Leaf Rag
Maple Leaf Rag was composed by Scott Joplin (1868-1917) in 1899 in Sedalia, Missouri. This musical piece is an early ragtime piano composition. From Scott Joplin’s compositions, he was called the “King of Ragtime”. The new music had blended march tempos and the “ragged” rhythms that were present in the Midwest where African American musicians were known to gather. Maple Leaf Rag became one of America’s first pop hits and had been influenced by African Americans.
When listening to Maple Leaf Rag it became apparent that musical movements from the 19th century can be heard in present day music. The tempo induces the audience to dance and may present itself as upbeat. I recognized Maple Leaf Rag when I have first listened to the song. I personally had enjoyed the musical composition and the upbeat tempo. The influence the song had on the culture in the 19th century was not lost as it can be heard in our culture today.