The sublime and the synthetic: riparian art and industrialization.
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Turner, Bradley T.
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This study proposes that traditional, American riparian artistry provided the greatest retaliation against the harsh environmental changes imposed by industry during the Gilded Age. Common environmental ethics and widespread social identification with nature established popular criteria that the American public used to determine the merits of industrialism. An eclectic mixture of local and national riparian artwork demonstrates the full influence of riparian aesthetics during the Gilded Age. Waco, Texas serves as the example of local artwork because of the city’s central riparian location and Waco’s cultural identification with the Brazos River. This thesis evaluates the extent of the natural, American sublime in direct contrast with the human synthetic to evaluate the connection between the natural and the material.