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Cultural History of New York City From the Jazz Age To Post-War Modernism

Register for this Summer 2023 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website.
This course will explore New York City’s history from the 1910’s up until the 1970’s through the perspective of art, literature, and architecture. We will start with a look at art in the Progressive era of the ‘teens and 20’s, a period which saw the formation of bohemian Greenwich Village, the Ashcan School of painters, and the 1913 Armory show. We continue to the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s and 30’s and the cultural debates of the time as viewed through selected writings by James Weldon Johnson, Alain Locke, and Langston Hughes, and such artists as Richmond Barthé, Aaron Douglas, Augusta Savage, and Lois Mailou Jones. During this time, the New York City skyline turned distinctly modernist and vertical as the first skyscrapers were built, but the stock market crash of 1929 and the lean years of the 1930’s soon resulted in art and design turning towards social realism. We explore three iconic projects from this era: Rockefeller Center; Robert Moses’ early infrastructure projects; and the 1939 World’s Fair, a “World of Tomorrow” at odds with the true urban character of New York City. The course concludes with two contrasting views of New York—that of master builder and power broker Robert Moses set against Jane Jacobs’ vision of neighborhood life. Summer 2023 tuition is $599.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • A familiarity with important artistic movements in New York City
  • Knowledge about the important power players who shaped New York City
  • An understanding about how important infrastructure and architectural projects came to be

Ideal for

  • Anyone interested in New York history
  • All members of the community– working, retired, and in-between
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.