Journal Article

A Franco-American Battle of Beams:

Shelley Wood Cordulack

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 18, issue 2, pages 147-166
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/epi021
A Franco-American Battle of Beams:

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In spite of the American lead in the application of electricity, it was the French graphic artists who put forward the new source of light in such a way that won for Paris not only the right to retain its title of ‘la ville lumière,’ but also to sell its modernity. How this was accomplished during the late nineteenth century against the background of both American and French nationalism—through the advanced representation of electricity in Paris-based graphic images of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower in particular—is the subject of this study, which pushes the influence of electric light on art, specifically on French graphic art, back to the 1880s–1890s.

Keywords: Eiffel Tower; electricity; France; graphic design; nineteenth century; United States of America

Journal Article.  13039 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

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