- Modern Thought

Brancusi, Bird in Space, 1923
Mina Loy, "Brancusi's Golden Bird"
Golden Bird, 1919/1920

Cezanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire
(1897) (Smarthistory Essay)

Munch, The Scream (1893) (Smarthistory)

Rousseau, Sleeping Gypsy (1897)

Banquet Douanier Rousseau (1908) (Smart Set)

Henri Rousseau, Portrait Landscape (1890)

Monet, Water Lilies (1906)

Picasso,  Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) (Smarthistory)

Klimt,  The Kiss  (1907-08) (Smarthistory)

Gaudi, Casa Batlo (1906)

Gaudi, Colonia Guell (1916)

Roerich, The Idols (1901)

Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel (1913)

Key Questions

  • Why did the idea of the 'irrational' and the 'unconscious' develop at the end of the 19th century?  How was this 'modern thought' expressed artistically?
  • In responding to new influences from within and without Europe, in what ways did 20th century artists reject and/or modify established traditions of artistic expressions in their search for new ways of expressions?
  • How did 'modern thought' influence and support the rise of fascism, communism and totalitarianism in the 20th century?
  • In what ways is Conrad the bridge between 19th century and 20th century thought?
  • What major changes in artistic expression (art and music) accompanied the shift from the more classically focused artistic movements of the 19th century to 'modern' art and music?

Modern Political, Social, Economic, Intellectual Religious

 Modern Art:

 Modern Literature:

Modern Music:

Primary Sources:

Primary Sources:

Primary Sources:

Primary Sources:

Matisse, La Danse (1909)

Picasso, Family of Saltimbanques (1905)



Magritte. The Treachery of Images (La trahison des images) (1928–1929)




Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase (1912)

Cézanne, Still Life with Apples 1895-98
(Smarthistory Essay)



Art Deco:

Kirchner, Street in Dresden (1907)


Naive Primitivism:



Modernisme (Catalan Modernism):

Braque, The Portguese (1911)






Modernist Fiction:

Pere Ubu from Ubu Roi (1897)
by Alfred Jarry

Modern Drama:

Piasso, Gertrude Stein (1905-06)

Modernist Poetry:

Loie Fuller, Serpentine Dance (1896)

Silent Film:



Sarah Bernhardt in La Dame aux camélias by Alphonse Mucha









Steiglitz, Flatiron Building (1903)

Flight as seen in 1911 

de Chirico,  Mystery and
Melancholy of a Street

Picasso, Girl w/ Mandolin (1910)

 Boccioni The City Rises (1910)

Picasso, Still Life  with Bowl and Fruit (1912)

Modigliani, Reclining Nude, 1917

Political, Social, Economic, Intellectual Religious

 Modern Art:

 Modern Literature:

 Modern Music:

Secondary Sources:

Secondary Sources:

Secondary Sources:

Secondary Sources:


Einstein and Modern Physics:


Modern Technology:

  • 2198 Getting ready to invent the airplane in 1901 
  • 1867 In which the Wright Brothers invent the airplane propeller 
  • 2223 Charlie Taylor, builder of the Wright brothers' engines
  • 1539 In which a thin layer of fluid determines whether an airplane flies
  • 1271 In which automobiles race around the world in 1906
  • 1362 The first twenty years of transatlantic flights
  • 1951 In which poets explain how the airplane matured
  • 1436 Adding it up in 1910: A book grapples with the coming 20th century
  • 1461 George Everett Hale and BIG telescopes
  • 1473 Two unsinkable ships: the Titanic and the Great Eastern 
  • 2248 Arc lights, glow lamps, incandescant bulbs -- Edison's in there somewhere
  • 1596 Looking for the "first" automobile
  • 1681 The Literary Digest tells us about science in 1904
  • 1724 Looking to nature for our technology in 1906
  • 2066 The Olympic and the Titanic on the day that ships grew too larger
  • 2112 In which Röntgen struggles to put fact before fame -- not so easy to do  
  • 2217 Escalator: the Not-All-Purpose Magic Stairs


  • 1899 Kurt Gödel: A mathematician brings us down to earth 
  • 1919 Mobius and his strip: an abstract spur to applied mathematics 
  • 1939 Simplicity on the other side of complexity: The standard deviation 
  • 2238 Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and the Golden Apples of the Sun


The Banquet Years:

Modern Drama:








 Political, Social, Economic, Intellectual Religious

 Modern Art:

  Modern Literature:

 Modern Music:

Lesson Plans and Presentations:

Lesson Plans and Presentations:

Lesson Plans and Presentations:

Lesson Plans and Presentations: