Art History




The use of the word modern receives different definition from variousindividuals. Some people use the term modern to imply something thatis new, contemporary, up-to-date, and technological. Modernismstarted to receive connection with art in the wake of the nineteenthcentury[ CITATION Par14 l 1033 ]. Recognition of culture aboutmodernism and attitudes received attention between the realestmovement and abstract expressionism periods in art[ CITATION Par14 l 1033 ].Modern societies share important features. A summary of the importantfeatures that define modernism will get discussed regardingcapitalism, urban culture, and technology.

Capitalism came into play as a new economic system to definemodernity. The shift in the economic system from the land fortunesoffered an opportunity for new ways of generating wealth throughpersonal initiative, industrialization, and technology. Capitalismgot defined by the exchange of labor for fixed wages whereindividuals used their earned wages to buy more consumer commoditiesinstead of producing the goods by themselves[ CITATION Par14 l 1033 ].Capitalism as a modern economic system led to increased competitionthereby progress in the society.

Secondly, the urban culture significantly defined modernism. Theagrarian culture received a replacement by industrialization and agreater number of cities[ CITATION Par14 l 1033 ]. The traditionalcultural values and norms were broken since modernism led to peoplemigrating from small towns to the large cities for employmentopportunities. The urban culture came along with increased crime,prostitution, alienation, and depersonalization[ CITATION Par14 l 1033 ].Urban culture led to a greater gap between the wealthy and thehave-nots since the trend was more visible among the city dwellers.

Technological advancement defined modernism in a variety of ways. Theprogress in technology brought about industrialization, use ofrailway, gas lighting, streetcars, and household appliances[ CITATION Par14 l 1033 ].The scientific advances immensely affected the interactions amongpeople. Technological advances made people shift their thinking sincethey viewed themselves as progressive and modern in nature.Individuals from undeveloped countries got regarded as primitive andbackward by those with technological mileage in the cities.

In conclusion, modernism got defined by the shift in differentsystems across the globe as discussed in the above paragraphs.Capitalism, urban culture, and technological advancement shapedmodernism a great deal.


Giuntini, P. (2014). Becoming Modern. Retrieved from the Khan Academy: