The Arts and the 1960s

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Matthew Bojanowski
Douglas Kohler
HIS 199 J
18 April 2011
Art Changed History
A complex and unclear question throughout the late 20th century and today is did the arts change history or do the arts reflect the changes that are taking place in society? It is a difficult question to answer since art and music have become so increasingly popular over the past 50 years. Also, for this question, no one’s opinion was exactly one and the same. Music and the arts had such a widespread influence on our nation over such a small period of time; it seemed as if it was sometimes hard to comprehend. Art in general became such a talked about subject during the post-WWII years and especially during the American involvement of Vietnam. During these years, and for many to come, art shaped our society in a way that the American people have never seen before. Art gave the American people a great form of expression starting in the 1950s and still plays a major role in our country today. Art had a major influence on the United States during the post-WWII years and that is the reason art changed American history.

Some of the most popular music of the 20th century in the United States was during the late1960s and the early 1970s during the Vietnam War. Songs like “give peace a chance”, "Get up stand up”, “where have all the flowers gone?”, “what’s going on?”, and “Ohio” became very popular new pop songs that reflected the views of the American people toward their government and the dislike of the involvement of the Vietnam War. These songs and others played a huge part in influencing the American people in way never before.

1960s art was influenced by the desire to move into a modern age or future which the space race seemed to show. Major works by influential artists like Alexander Calder and Helen Frankenthaler showed a desire to escape from the status quo. Artists wanted to inspire the viewer to leap into something new and experience art in their own way. I mean, isn't...
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