Deeper Reasons for Destruction of 19th Century Art

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Deeper Reasons for Destruction of 19th Century Art


Published before 2005

Dear Ms. Ross,

I want to tell you the immense sense of discovery, sheer pleasure and happiness your web site has given me. I was searching for a piece of art from the romantic era for my music room and found you online. I am now a member and stand with you in our epic mission. I encourage you in your efforts to set the record right on the nineteenth century, that great era of western European esthetic achievements and the brilliant writers, artists and thinkers that made it so.

However, I also encourage you to explore deeper the reasons for the destruction of the Romantics and Romanticism. In the book "The Romantic Manifesto" author Ayn Rand has done just that in great detail and dept. To quote "The destruction of Romanticism in esthetics - like the destruction of individualism in ethics or of capitalism in politics - was made possible by philosophical default... In all three cases, the nature of the fundamental values involved had never been defined explicitly, the issues were fought in terms of non-essentials and the values were destroyed by men who did not know what they were losing and why." I believe the reasons go deeper than some greedy businessmen to corner a market for money and are wider in scope than just the field of art. This book will provide the moral high ground and define the root issues that need to be confronted head on, if we are to restore mankind back to its greatness from today's status of obscenely grotesque degraded art.

Bob Gunter
Medical Consulting Specialists, Inc.

Kara Ross responded:

Hi Bob,

Yes absolutely they go deeper. My father, ARC Chairman Frederick Ross, talks about many of the reasons why this happened in a speech he gave to the Oil Painters of America that can be found at this link.

It started before World War I as a glorification of the Industrial Revolution, but it was not fully embraced until after. The reason the general public embraced it had to do with a general feeling of hatred towards humanity as a whole and a wish for self-degradation that came out of World War I, The Great Depression, World War II and many of the other atrocities that followed.

The Futurist Movement was one of the first Modernist movements and as you can see below which I took directly from the Futurist Manifesto written by the movements founder, it is anti women, anti environment, pro war, and openly calls for the demolishment of the museums and libraries. Futurism influenced art movements such as Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism, Dada, and to a greater degree, Precisionism, Rayonism, and Vorticism.

The Futurist Manifesto
F. T. Marinetti, 1909


1. We want to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness.
2. The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, audacity and revolt.
3. Literature has up to now magnified pensive immobility, ecstasy and slumber. We want to exalt movements of aggression, feverish sleeplessness, the double march, the perilous leap, the slap and the blow with the fist.4. We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath ... a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.
5. We want to sing the man at the wheel, the ideal axis of which crosses the earth, itself hurled along its orbit.
6. The poet must spend himself with warmth, glamour and prodigality to increase the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements.
7. Beauty exists only in struggle. There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character. Poetry must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man.
8. We are on the extreme promontory of the centuries! What is the use of looking behind at the moment when we must open the mysterious shutters of the impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We are already living in the absolute, since we have already created eternal, omnipresent speed.
9. We want to glorify war - the only cure for the world - militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of the anarchists, the beautiful ideas which kill, and contempt for woman.
10. We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice.
11. We will sing of the great crowds agitated by work, pleasure and revolt; the multi-colored and polyphonic surf of revolutions in modern capitals: the nocturnal vibration of the arsenals and the workshops beneath their violent electric moons: the gluttonous railway stations devouring smoking serpents; factories suspended from the clouds by the thread of their smoke; bridges with the leap of gymnasts flung across the diabolic cutlery of sunny rivers: adventurous steamers sniffing the horizon; great-breasted locomotives, puffing on the rails like enormous steel horses with long tubes for bridle, and the gliding flight of aeroplanes whose propeller sounds like the flapping of a flag and the applause of enthusiastic crowds.

And thank you as well for the quote.
All the best,

Kara Lysandra Ross
Director of Operations