Monopolies During The Gilded Age

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Mark Twain, one of the most memorable American writers of the 19th century, coined the term “The Gilded Age” to describe the period from 1870 to 1900. This term was derived from the deceiving facade this era wore—the glamorous, glistening surface. This mask was only a thin layer, coating the various shades of corruption pervading beneath.11 The tranquil beauty of fine arts provided an outlet for people to escape from the suffocating grandiose nature of a tainted society ruined by the age of monopolies and corruption. During the momentous Gilded Age, a time period of rapid economic growth which generated vast wealth, new products and technologies were created that improved middle-class quality of life. However, industrial workers and farmers…show more content…
The hall would be located roughly near Central Park, so far uptown that its doors would welcome almost anyone. Before Carnegie Hall, it was nearly impossible for concerts of such refinement and poise to be accessible to anyone below the status of the upper middle class. On opening day, streets were packed with lines through the door while the main hall was jammed to capacity. This overnight phenomenon caused a sensation to spark across the city and gracefully conquered the social norms that have dictated our nation. It didn’t take long for the public eye to recognize the power that music had to transcend differences. “One newspaper reported, “Tonight, the most beautiful Music Hall in the world was consecrated to the loveliest of the arts. Possession of such a hall is in itself an incentive for culture.” Another exclaimed, “It stood the test well!” Critical and public reactions were unanimous. The “Music Hall founded by Andrew Carnegie” was an overwhelming success.”2 Music has the potential to embody emotion so raw that its Midas’s touch does not discriminate. As the first note rings through the air, barriers are torn down as a ubiquitous feeling of unity rises. The creation of Carnegie Hall models this concept impeccably as…show more content…
In a time where social strictures denied most women a future in the field of visual arts, Harriet Hosmer defied all social convention with her large scale success in neoclassical sculpting. At a young age, Hosmer had already developed a striking reputation, one that qualified her to study abroad in Rome under the tutelage of renowned sculptor John Gibson. As if this opportunity wasn’t rare enough for women artists in her day, Hosmer’s outstanding potential earned her the luxury of studying from live models.6 The respect she gained from taking this unconventional route to her success is one that entirely transformed society’s perception of women. Not only did her unique story serve as a catalyst in the progression of gender equality, but she also hid symbolic messages within each of her sculptures to find a way to penetrate her beliefs of equality through to any soul.3 As the National Museum of Women in the Arts perfectly captures, “[s]he preferred Neoclassical idealism to more naturalistic trends and rendered mythological and historical figures, such as Oenone, Beatrice Cenci, and Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, with nobility and grandeur.”6 In contrast to the typical artists of her day, Hosmer’s sculptures depicted female characters whose stories were an emblem of her compelling feminist beliefs.
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