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Assess the impact of photography on the 19th century political and social landscape

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Problem:

Assess the impact of photography on the 19th century political and social landscape. How did it affect paintings? Use one example from Gardner's Art through the Ages and one from the Internet.

Compare Manet's Olympia to Millais's Ophelia. Discuss how each work represents the artist and his period. Use one example from Gardner's Art through the Ages and one from the Internet.

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Answer:
The development of photography not only had an impact on the socio-political landscape of the 19th century, it also affected the progression of art and painting as well.
In terms of socio-political impact, photography allowed for documentary, recording the reality of historic events, and aided in communication and information management. Photography appealed to the growing middle class, which was becoming more powerful and influential, because it was understandable and less expensive than painting. News could be spread more accurately to the masses. This suited a public that was "founded on hard facts and mass production" (Kleiner, p. 358) and increasingly interested in the truth of the political landscape and straightforward reality. (Buser, p. 207) It also allowed for the "moralizing" of information. (Buser, p. 41) While photography documented the visual truth of the subject, framing, lighting, and content could elicit emotional responses (i.e. "the high price of war", Kleiner, p. 360). Photographs could stir patriotism, instill sympathy and concern for the poor and the ill, and it could persuade people to follow or reject points of view (propaganda) (Kleiner, p. 358). According to Gibert, after having a portrait taken by Matthew Brady before an important speech at the college of Cooper Union, Abraham Lincoln once stated the "Brady and the Cooper Union speech made me president." (Getlein, p. 205)
In terms of art, photography caused many to question the very nature of what art was and is. If not capturing nature (visual fidelity), then what was its purpose? (Getlein, p. 29) While the some of the benefits to painting included making artwork more famous (now the masses could see artwork that had previously been ...

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The solution assesses the impact of photography on the 19th century political and social landscape.

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Ad and Ego video analyzing the effect of advertising on consumers.

We live in a consumer culture, saturated with mass media images. Much of our physical and informational space is for sale - billboards, TV, magazines, newspapers, even the area behind home plate - all of these spaces pitch products promising to improve our lives. We are all, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously, affected by this advertising, often in very subtle ways.

The Ad and the Ego explores what critic Leslie Savan calls our "ad ad ad world." The film examines the power of modern advertising. It goes beyond an analysis of individual ads to ask how living in an advertising-saturated environment influences the way we see the world - and ourselves.

After watching the film (see below for links), discuss the following questions.

1. Do you agree with Jean Kilbourne that "advertising is a system of education that is powerful precisely because it is not considered education?" What is the difference between the effect of one ad and living in an "advertising infused environment?" Where can we still go where there's no advertising?

2. What does Kilbourne mean that advertising "sells more than products; advertising sells values...and concepts...perhaps above all, of normalcy"? How do you know what is normal? What does advertising tell you "you should be"? How is this different for males and females? Use examples.

3. Do you believe you are personally affected by advertising? If not you, then who is influenced? Why do companies pay millions of dollars to advertise?
4.Define "salvation." What does McGrane mean when he says: "The purpose of modern advertising is to generate anxiety and doubt...and then offer the entire world of consumer goods as salvation"? Do you agree that advertising's chief strategy is the "production of discontent"? Why does McGrane say, "One message you'll never hear is, 'You're OK', you don't need anything, you're fine just the way your are"?
5. What does Kilbourne mean when she says "there are tremendous penalties for women" who don't conform to culturally accepted standards of beauty? How true is it:

- that ads for women's products "make women feel incomplete, anxious, and insecure"?
- that "women have been conditioned to feel like failures" if they don't meet advertising's definition of "normal" standards of beauty?

- that "men have been conditioned to feel like failures" if they don't have a beautiful-looking woman on their arm?

6. Finally, how is the class system sustained by advertising?
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