Start Date
Place
Notes
Source
1550 BCE
Egypt
Flinders Petrie, in illustrating his pattern of
evolution of civilizations, suggests that Egyptian
sculpture passed from archaism about 1550
BCE, painting became free and natural about
1470 BCE
Innis, Empire, P. 42-43
1450 BCE
Egypt
A wooden drawing board from ancient Egypt with
a figure of Thutmose III, preserved in the British
Museum (EA 5601), documents how Egyptian
artists used various media for practicing or
creating their designs.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php July 2010
1200 BCE
China
The earliest Chinese inscriptions in bronze date
from the late Shang period (C. 1200-1045 BCE),
the same period in which the oracle bone
inscriptions were produced.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php July 2010
1000 BCE
Greece
Hellenic is a term applied to the culture of the
Greek-speaking societies from the beginning of
the Iron Age (late 11th Century BC) to about 323
BC. It embraces the Geometric, Archaic, and
Classical periods.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
0650 BCE
Greece
The Greeks had no paper; papyrus was
expensive, reserved for documents and
unsuitable for drawing. Wax tablets had no
permanence. In fact, the surface of the vase was
the drawing-paper of the artist ... It is significant
that from 650 B.C. onwards Athenian potters had
already established a big export trade and were
sending their products overseas to Aegina, Italy,
and the East.
Seltman, Approach, P. 43
0215 BCE
China
Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, who
ruled a unified China from 221 BCE to his death
in 210 BCE at the age of 50, ordered
construction of the Terracotta Warriers and
Horses, otherwise known as the Terracotta Army,
near Xi'an, Shaanxi province ostensibly to help
him rule in the afterlife from his vast mausoleum.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php July 2010
0030 BCE
Roman Empire
A Roman cameo glass vase, the Portland Vase,
created between 30 BCE and 25 CE, and known
since the Renaissance, served as an inspiration
to many glass and porcelain makers from about
the beginning of the 18th century onwards. It is
about 25 centimetres high and 56 in
circumference, made of violet-blue glass, and
surrounded with a single continuous white glass
cameo depicting seven figures of humans and
gods.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php July 2010
0100
Egypt
The Romance Papyrus (Paris, Bibliothèque
nationale, cod. suppl. gr. 1294, also known as the
Alexander papyrus) is one of the few surviving
scraps of classical literary illustration on papyrus.
It contains two unframed illustrations about an
unknown romance set within the columns of text.
The fragment is 340 by 115 mm. It was acquired
by the Bibliothèque nationale de France in 1900.
The object dates from 100-200 AD.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php July 2010
0175
China
The emperor of China commands in AD 175 that
the six main classics of Confucianism be carved
in stone. His purpose is to preserve them for
posterity in what is held to be authentic version of
the text. But his enterprise has an unexpected
result. Confucian scholars are eager to own
these important texts. Now, instead of having
them expensively written out, they can make their
own copies. Simply by laying sheets of paper on
the engraved slabs and rubbing all over with
charcoal or graphite, they can take away a text in
white letters on a black ground - a technique
more familiar in recent centuries in the form of
brass-rubbing.
http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainText
Histories.asp?historyid=ab78 May 2011
0350
Egypt
The earliest Egyptian printed cloth dates from the
4th century.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php July 2010
0354
Roman Empire
The Chronography of 354, also known as the
Calendar of 354, is an illuminated manuscript
produced for a wealthy Roman Christian named
Valentius. It is the earliest dated codex with full
page illustrations; however none of the original
survived. It is thought that the original may have
existed in the Carolingian period, when a number
of copies were made, with or without illustrations.
These were copied during the Renaissance.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php July 2010
0370
Europe
Migration Period Art is a term applied to the art
produced by the Teutonic tribes who overran the
declining Roman Empire from about AD 370 to
800.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
0700
International
Oils (walnut, linseed) first used for oil-resin
varnishes, and for painting on stone and glass.
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art-
timeline.htm Feb 2012
0726
Europe
Emperor Leo III orders the destruction of all icons
(iconoclasm).
http://www.scaruffi.com August 2006
0787
Europe
The second council of Nicaea affirms that the
visual artist is to work for the church, faithful to the
letter of the Bible.
http://www.scaruffi.com August 2006
0843
Europe
The "Restoration of the images" in
Constantinople solves the iconoclastic
controversy.
http://www.scaruffi.com August 2006
1346
Germany
The Bohemian School is a term applied to art
produced in Bohemia in the second half of the
14th century during a period of cultural
efflorescence associated with Charles IV, who
was King of Bohemia from 1346 and Holy
Roman Empire from 1355.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1375
Europe
The International Gothic style in painting,
sculpture, and the decorative arts spread widely
over western Europe between circa 1375 and
circa 1425. The salient characteristics of the style
were courtly elegance and delicate naturalistic
detail.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1400
Europe
Silverpoint reaches the height of its popularity in
Europe. A small, sharpened silver rod (acting like
a hard pencil) is used for drawing on paper
coated with a chalky, pale pigment. It produces a
hard, clear, un-erasable silver line. The tool is
favored by such artists as Albrecht Durer, Jan
and Hubert van Eyck, Hans Memling, and
Leonardo da Vinci.
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/1000.html#1
000s August 2010
1434
Italy
Leone Battista Alberti publishes a book of
drawing that for the first time documents the
Laws of Perspective.
http://www.magicdragon.com/UltimateSF/tim
eline15.html December 2010
1561
Italy
Foundation of the Academy of Art in Florence
(Accademia dell'Arte del Disegno) the first
official school of drawing in Europe to promote
what is now called Academic Art.
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art-
timeline.htm Feb 2012
1577
Spain
Greek mannerist artist El Greco establishes
himself in Spain as religious painter.
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art-
timeline.htm Feb 2012
1580
Italy
Foundation of the Academy of Art in Rome
(Accademia di San Luca).
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art-
timeline.htm Feb 2012
1600
Europe
Until the 17th century most artists who used oils
under painted their surfaces first, to achieve a
consistent surface. Frans Hals was one of the
pioneers of alla prima (Italian for “at first”)
technique in which the paint is applied directly to
the ground without under painting. The effect of
this technique is clearly visible in the broad
brushstrokes and spontaneous textural qualities
of much of Frans Hals's work. With the
development of better pigments in the 19th
century, the technique became more popular.
Beckett, Story, P. 387
1603
England
Jacobean is a term that in its strictest usage is
applied to works produced in England between
1603 and 1625, during the reign of James I.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1625
Italy
The "Museo Cartaceo" ("Paper Museum"), a
collection of more than 7,000 watercolors,
drawings and prints assembled by the Roman
patron and collector Cassiano dal Pozzo and his
youngest brother Carlo Antonio, represents one
of the most significant attempts made before the
age of photography to embrace the widest range
of human knowledge in visual form. Documenting
ancient art and architecture, botany, geology,
ornithology and zoology, the collection significant
tool for understanding the cultural and intellectual
concerns of a period during which the
foundations of our own scientific methods were
laid down. This was done from 1625 to roughly
1665.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php August 2010
1642
Germany
The German amateur artist Ludwig von Siegen
invents the mezzotint process of printmaking.
Mezzotint was the first tonal method of
printmaking, producing prints that have a more
painterly appearance. The word derives from
Italian meaning "half-painted." Von Siegen's first
known mezzotint is a portrait of Amelie Elisabeth
von Hessen .
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php August 2010
1645
France
Artist and printmaker, Abraham Bosse, writes,
illustrates and publishes the first treatise on
engraving and etching techniques: Tracté des
manières de graver en taille douce sur l'airin.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php August 2010
1650
South America
Mestizo style is a term sometimes applied to a
decorative style of architectural carving which
flourished in the central Andes circa 1650 to
1750.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1660
Belgium
David Teniers the Younger issues the Theatrum
Pictorium a catalogue of 243 Italian paintings
belonging to his patron, Hapsburg Archduke
Leopold Wilhelm. Containing the engraved
reproductions of 243 paintings his was the first
published illustrated catalogue of an art
collection.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php August 2010
1662
Europe
The term 'maniériste' was coined by Roland
Fréart de Chambray (brother of Poussin's friend
Paul Fréart de Chantelou) in his book Idée de la
perfection de la peinture (1662) as a term of
abuse for a group which included Cesari and
Lanfaranco and it was used by Luigi Lanzi (1792),
who also coined the term maniersmo.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1701
Netherlands
Dutch anatomist Frederik Ruysch publishes
Thesaurus anatomicus in ten parts in Amsterdam
from 1701 to 1716, and the first and only part of
his Thesaurus animalium in 1710. An index to the
Thesaurus anatomicus appeared in 1725.
Probably the most original artist in the history of
anatomical preparations, Ruysch enjoyed making
up elaborate three-dimensional emblems of
mortality from his specimens. These fantastic,
dream-like concoctions constructed of human
anatomical parts are illustrated in the Thesaurus
on large folding plates mostly engraved by
Cornelis Huyberts, who also engraved plates for
the painter Gérard de Lairesse, illustrator of
Govert Bidloo’s anatomy. In their dreamlike
qualities many of the plates depicting the
preparations reflect surrealism centuries before
surrealism became fashionable. Ruysch’s
Thesaurus anatomicus and his Thesaurus
animalium describe and illustrate the spectacular
collections of “Anatomical Treasures” which he
produced for display in his home museum
between 1701 and 1716 using secret methods of
anatomical injection and preservation.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php August 2010
1702
France
Watteau arrived in Paris in 1702 and soon made
a reputation as the inventor of a new artistic
genre known as fetes galantes. The name means
“a feast of courtship: and was coined by
members of the French Academy in 1717. It
applies to any open-air scene with a mixed
company such as musicians, actors, and
flirtatious lovers all enjoying themselves outdoors.
Many of Watteau's contemporaries favoured the
genre, using it to portray the manners and
fashions of the aristocracy.
Beckett, Story, P. 424.
1754
UK
The Royal Society of Arts was established in
Britain. Its mission statement was: 'the
encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and
Commerce, in Great Britain, by bestowing
Rewards, from Time to Time, for such
Productions, Inventions, or Improvements, as
shall tend to the E-ploying of the Poor, to the
Increase of Trade, and to the Riches and Honour
of this Kingdom, by the Promoting Industry and
Emulation.'
http://timelines.ws May 2011
1768
UK
In contrast to the Royal Academy in France,
which was under state control, the British Royal
Academy was self-governing. The instrument of
Foundation of the Royal Academy was signed by
King George III in December 1768. Joshua
Reynolds became the first president was
assisted by a committee of eight members. The
basic aims of the academy were to promote the
arts and design, to provide free teaching, and to
hold public exhibitions.
Beckett, Story, P. 454
1769
Ethiopdia
Until its assault by Tigray in 1769 Gondar was the
spiritual, artistic and political center of the empire
and therefore was a site for the principle
scriptoria and painters' workshops, as well as
architectural innovations.
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/acet/hd_
acet.htm May 2011
1776
Austria
The Albertina in Vienna is one of the world's most
celebrated collections of the Old Master
drawings and prints. It ws founded in 1776 by
Archduke Teschen and his wife Christina, a
daughter of the empress Maria Theresa, who
devoted their lives to the collections.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1795
France
The École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts
is the chief official art school of France. The
origins of the school go back to 1648, the
foundation date of the Académie Royale de
Peinture et de Sculpture, but it was not
established as a separate institution until 1795,
during the administrative reforms of the French
Revolution.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1796
Brazil
1796-1799 Baroque sculptor Aleijadinho
(Antonio Francisco Lisboa) completed his
greatest work: the sculptures of Congonhas do
Campo, 66 wooden images that include the 12
prophets.
http://timelines.ws June 2011
1804
UK
The English Watercolour Society is founded.
Beckett, Story, P. 483
1807
Italy
The Accademia di Belli Arti in Venice is the
municipal picture gallery of Venice and. one of
the most important collections in Italy. It was
founded by decree of Napoleon in 1807 and
combined the collections of the old Academy, teh
GAlleria dei Gessi founded in 1767, with works
of art from suppressed churches and
monasteries.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1820
UK
The Ancients was a group of English Romantic
artists active for about a decade in the 1820s
and 1830s.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1824
UK
The National Gallery in London holds the national
collection of European paintings mainly from
circa 1300 to 1900. It was founded in 1824 when
the government purchased thirty-eight paintings
from the collection of John Julius Angerstein, a
merchant who died in 1823.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1825
US
A professional association of artists called the
National Academy of Design ws founded in New
York in 1825 in opposition to the conservative
American Academy of the Fine Arts (which ran
from 1802 to 1841).
Oxford Dictionary of ARt
1845
France
The Barbizon School was a group of French
landscape painters who took their name from a
small village on the outskirts of the Forest of
Fontainbleau, where is leader, Théodore
Rousseau, and several of his followers settled in
the latter half of the 1840s.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1859
France
Invention of photo-lithography by the French
lithographer, Firmin Gillot, followed in 1872 by his
son's invention of zincography, combining
photography with etching.
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art-
timeline.htm Feb 2012
1860
France
Impressionism was a movement in painting
originating in the 1860s in France.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1866
France
The Parnassian were a group of 19th-century
French poets, so called from their journal, the
Parnasse Contemporain, itself named after
Mount Parnassus, home of the Muses in Greek
mythology. Issued from 1866 to 1876, it included
poems of Leconte de Lisle, Banville, Sully-
Prudhomme, Paul Verlaine, and J. M. de
Heredia.
http://www.fact-
index.com/p/pa/parnassian.html December
2010
1890
France
Nabis was a group of French painters, active in
Paris in the 1890s, whose work was inspired by
Gaughin's expressive use of colour and rhythmic
patterns.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1890
International
Art Nouveau was a decorative style flourishing in
most of Western Europe and the USA from about
1890 to the First World War.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1897
Africa
The European "discovery" of African art began
with the British punitive expedition against Benin
in 1897.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2003/sep/1
1/2 April 2011
1897
Russia
Diaghilev knew better than anyone how to make
capitalist methods serve art, channeling many
different financial currents into his prestigious
projects. He drew wide public attention with two
successful exhibitions, the first of English,
Scottish, and German watercolours (1897) the
second devoted to Russian and Finnish artists
(1898) Following these successes, Diaghilev
learned that Mamontov and Tenisheva were
prepared to finance his artistic journal, Mir
Iskusstva, which he launched in 1898.
Maes, History, P. 198
1897
UK
National Gallery of British Art founded in London,
popularly known as the Tate Gallery.
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art-
timeline.htm Feb 2012
1900
Canada
The arts have flourished in Canada since the
1900s, and especially since the end of World
War II in 1945. Government support has played a
vital role in their development, as has the
establishment of numerous art schools and
colleges across the country.
http://nethelper.com/article/Culture_of_Cana
da January 2011
1900
International
One cannot understand the current conflicts [over
the relationship of art and religion] apart from the
history of the field's comparatively recent
emergence as an academic subject. Religion
and art has been a "field" in the sense that one
can study it in graduate school and find positions
teaching it in colleges only since the 1950s. But
its roots are traceable to the end of the 19th
century when influential cultural critics- Matthew
Arnold chief among them-drew critical attention
to deep concordances between religion and art
with their predictions that, in Arnold's famous
phrase, "most of what now passes with us for
religion will be replaced by poetry." Arnold
thought that only art could address his society's
widespread loss of confidence in religion,
fostered by the rise of modern science.
Humankind needed art and especially poetry "to
interpret life for us, to console us, to sustain us."
Arnold in http://www.religion-online.org/
showarticle.asp?title=174 December 2010
1905
France
Salon des Indépendants: Seurat and Van Gogh
retrospective exhibitions, as well as 4,270 entries
by contemporary artists.
Blistène, History, P. 22
1908
UK
The Allied Artists' Association was a society of
British artists formed in 1908 by the critic Frank
Rutter and artists in Sickert's circle for the
purpose of organizing annual exhibitions of
independent progressive painters in the jury-free
manner of the French Salon des Indépendents.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1908
US
A group of eight realist painters of urban life, later
known as the Ashcan School or “The Eight,”
including William Glackens (1870–1938), Robert
Henri (1865–1929), George Luks (1867–1933),
and John Sloan (1871–1951), organize an
exhibition at Macbeth Gallery in New York.
http://eartfair.com/blog/timeline-of-art-history-
united-states-canada June 2010
1909
France
Marinetti publishes the first Futurist manifesto in
Le Figaro.
Blistène, History, P. 27
Apr 1910
Italy
The Manifesto of Futurist Painting was published
in Milan. The first Futurist exhibition was held at
the Famiglia Artistica at Milan.
Blistène, History. P. 37
1912
Germany
Max Pechstein was excluded from Die Brücke by
Kirchner for showing at an exhibition held by the
(old) Sezession.
Blistène, History, P 60
1912
Russia
Theatre The Russian Futurism movement was an
offshoot of Italian Futurism but is notable for their
staging of massive theatrical events in public
spaces with the public acting as part of casts of
thousands and incorporating circus theatrics into
their productions. Enacted in 1912 with the
publishing of a quasi manifesto called, "A Slap in
the Face to Public Taste", by Burlyuk,
Mayakovsky, Livshits and Khlebnikov. The
movement was a reaction against both the
czarist regime and also the art of the past.
http://thehistoryofdigitalmedia.wordpress.co
m/1912/02/21/1912-russian-futurism/ March
2011
1912
US
New Mexico and Arizona become the forty-
seventh and forty-eighth states of the U.S. The
unique landscape and culture of the American
Southwest will attract many artists, including
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986), who will travel to
New Mexico for the first time in 1929 and reside
there permanently from 1949.
http://eartfair.com/blog/timeline-of-art-history-
united-states-canada June 2010
1913
France
Apollinaire publishes Les Peintres Cubistes,
méditations esthétiques, an anthology of articles
taken from Les Soirées de Paris.
Blistène, History, P 38
1913
Germany
Berlin: Kirchner publishes the Kronik der Brücke.
Since other members refuse to sanction parts of
the text, the group dissolves.
Blistène, History, P 60
1913
Russia
The Constructivist Movement was founded in
Russia around 1913 by Vladimir Tatlin.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_American_
culture July 2011
1913
US
The International Exposition of Modern Art (the
“Armory Show”) is held at the 69th Regiment
Armory in New York and introduces Americans to
the modernist work of Matisse, Kandinsky,
Brancusi, Picasso, Braque, and others on a large
scale. Nude Descending a Staircase, a Cubist
canvas by Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968),
creates a public sensation. Theodore Roosevelt
labels the Futurist and Cubist artists in the
exhibition “the lunatic fringe.” Smaller versions of
the show subsequently travel to Chicago and
Boston.
http://eartfair.com/blog/timeline-of-art-history-
united-states-canada July 2010
1914
Russia
Constructivism was a geometric abstract art
movement founded in Russia about 1914 by
Vladimir Tatlin.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1916
Europe
Dada art was a European movement was
established as a reaction against the futility of
World War I and was labelled “anti-art.” The
movement, established by Hugo Ball, Emmy
Hennings, and Tristan Tzara at the Cabaret
Voltaire in Zurich in 1916 concentrated on the
absurd and exaggerated in art and performance.
The members of the group carried their absurdist
principles as far as the collective name for the
group. “Dada” was chosen randomly from a
German dictionary and meaning nothing more
than “hobbyhorse.”
Beckett, Story, P. 668
1919
Germany
Bauhaus was a school of art and design founded
by Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919 and closed
by the Nazis in 1933.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1920
US
1920s–early 1930s Literary, visual, and
performing arts flourish in Harlem, the African-
American enclave of New York City, spurred by
the mass migration of blacks from rural areas to
northern cities. Poets, novelists, painters, and
musicians of the “New Negro Movement“—later
called the Harlem Renaissance—search for new
forms of expression to convey their racial
experiences and celebrate African-American
cultural identity. Major figures of the Harlem
Renaissance include poets Langston Hughes
(1902–1967) and Countee Cullen (1903–1946),
novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston
(1891–1960), jazz composer Duke Ellington
(1899–1974), political activists W. E. B. Du Bois
(1868–1963) and Marcus Garvey (1887–1940),
photographer James Van Der Zee (1886–1983),
and artists Aaron Douglas (1899–1979) and
Archibald Motley (1891–1981).
http://eartfair.com/blog/timeline-of-art-history-
united-states-canada June 2010
1924
Argentina
The first avant-garde artistic movement in
Buenos Aires emerged in 1924 with the
formation of a groups which called itself 'Mart n
Fierro', in homage to the national epic poem of
the same name. This group brought together a
small number of upper-class intellectuals, the
most famous of which was the writer Jorge Luis
Borges. The most important visual artist was Xul
Solar (1887-1963), who illustrated many of
Borges's texts. Solar was one of the 20th
century's most eccentric and engaging artists.
http://www.argentinaautentica.com/fineart.ph
p March 2011
1928
US
The Cranbrook Academy of Art is designed and
constructed in Bloomfield Hills Michigan, by
Finnish-American modernist Eliel Saarinen
(1873-1950), who also serves as president of the
Academy. This all took place between 1928 and
1941.
http://eartfair.com/blog/timeline-of-art-history-
united-states-canada June 2010
1931
France
Abstraction-Création was the name taken by a
group of abstract painters and sculptors formed
in Paris in February 1931, following the first
international exhibition of abstract art held in
1930.
Oxford Dictionary of Art.
1933
US
Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886–1957) is
commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller
(1908–1979) to create a mural for the RCA
Building in New York’s Rockefeller Center.
Because the painting, entitled Man at the
Crossroads, contains a portrait of Lenin, Rivera
is prevented from completing it, and Rockefeller
later has it destroyed. The leftist politics and
social content of Rivera’s work, along with that of
his compatriots José Clemente Orozco
(1883–1949) and David Alfaro Siqueiros
(1896–1975), who also spend time in the U.S.
during the 1930s executing various public
commissions, influence many American artists
employed in government-sponsored New Deal
projects during the Depression.
http://eartfair.com/blog/timeline-of-art-history-
united-states-canada June 2010
1933
US
The Index of American Design was a project
undertaken by the Federal Government during
the administration (1933-45) of President
Roosevelt to give relief to unemployed artists. Its
aim was to record the folk arts and crafts of the
US from early Colonial times to the end of the
19th century.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1934
International
Dali was condemned by the Surrealists for his
interest in Nazism.
Blistène, History, P. 75
1934
US
Ash-Can School is a term first used in print in
1934 for a group of American painters active
from about 1908 until the Fist World War, in
reference to the everyday subject-matter they
favoured.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1935
US
The federal government launches the Works
Progress Administration (WPA), which, like other
New Deal programs, provides employment for
artists. Ben Shahn (1898–1969), Stuart Davis
(1892–1964), and Jackson Pollock (1912–1956),
among thousands of other artists, produce murals,
sculptures, posters, and other graphic materials
for public buildings and for exhibitions held in
dozens of community art centers established
across the country by the Federal Art Project.
Photographers document the living and working
conditions of Americans during the Depression
with the support of the Resettlement
Administration (later called the Farm Security
Administration). Among the photographers is
Dorothea Lange (1895–1965), whose images of
the Dust Bowl exodus become symbols of the
migrant experience.
http://eartfair.com/blog/timeline-of-art-history-
united-states-canada July 2010
1936
Germany
German Marxist social and cultural critic Walter
Benjamin (1892-1940) writes the essay "The
Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological
Reproducibility" (also commonly translated as
"The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical
Reproduction"). In this influential essay [written in
1936], Benjamin theorizes the loss of the aura of
the original artwork in the age of photography
and film.
Benjamin in http://www.metmuseum.org
October 2007
1936
International
1936-45 Chaos and war undermines the primacy
of Paris as the world centre of art, a title which
soon devolves upon New York. In London (1938),
a left-wing modern realist group of artists
establish The Euston Road School, advocating
the portrayal of traditional subjects in a realist
manner, to make art more understandable and
socially relevant.
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art-
timeline.htm Feb 2012
1936
US
The American Abstract Artists was an
association of American abstract painters and
sculptors formed in New York in 1936 with the
aim of promoting their work and fostering
understanding of it.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1938
Europe
In the late 1930s, Salvador Dali made several
visits to Italy and adopted a more traditional style -
this together with his political views (he was a
supporter of General Franco) led André Bretion to
expel him from the surrealist ranks.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1940
Australia
The Angry Penguins was an Australian avant-
garde journal (1940-46) devoted to arts and
letters published first in Adelaide and then in
Melbourne.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
26 Jan 1940
US
An exhibition of Italian art masterpieces never
shown in NY before, begins at the Museum of
Modern Art.
Leonard, The Forties
24 May 1940
Belgium
Paris reports claim that priceless art treasures
from the Brussells Museum were spirited out of
the country to an unknown destination during the
German invasion.
Leonard, The Forties
12 Jun 1940
US
American artists vote to withdraw from the
Biennial Venice Art Exhibit because of Italy's war
declaration.
Leonard, The Forties
1945
US
Abstract Expressionism was the dominant
movement in American painting in the late 1940s
and 1950s.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1945
US
The conclusion of World War II begins a
prolonged period of economic expansion in the
U.S. Among the postwar American art
movements that receive popular and critical
attention worldwide is Abstract Expressionism,
which includes two sub-genres: action or gesture
painting, associated with the work of Jackson
Pollock (1912–1956), Lee Krasner (1908–1984),
Willem de Kooning (1904–1997), Franz Kline
(1910–1962), and others, and color field painting,
represented by the work of Mark Rothko
(1903–1970), Barnett Newman (1905–1970),
and Ad Reinhardt (1913–1967). Although
Abstract Expressionism is mostly thought of as a
movement in painting, it has some correlation to
the sculpture of David Smith (1906–1965).
http://eartfair.com/blog/timeline-of-art-history-
united-states-canada July 2010
1946
Canada
Les Austomatistes was a radical group of seven
Montreal abstract painters active from circa 1946
to 1954.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1946
UK
The Arts Council of Great Britain is an
independent government body established in
1946 for the purpose of developing greater
knowledge, understanding, and practice of the
arts.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1950
International
As for the art market, from the 1950s on it
discovered that almost half a century of
depression was lifting. Prices, especially of
French Impressionists, post-Impressionists and
the most eminent Parisian early modernists, rose
into the sky, until in the 1970s the international art
market, whose location shifted first to London
and then to New York, had equalled the all-time
records (in real terms) of the Age of Empire, and
in the mad bull markets of the 1980s soared
beyond them. The price of Impressionists and
post-Impressionists multiplied twenty-three-fold
between 1975 and 1989.
Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes, P. 509
1951
International
In the thirteenth century, 'Tout ce que' les
theologiens, les encylopedistes, les interpretes
de la Bible ont dit d'essentiel a ete exprimee par
la peinture sur verre ou par la sculpture.'(Emile
Male) [Everything that the theologians, the
encyclopaedists, the interpreters of the Bible had
to say of importance was expressed through
painting on glass or through sculpture. - SM]
Innis, Bias of Communication, P. 126 (1951)
1952
International
Art a buttress for talent against wealth.
Innis, Idea File, 16-2 (1952)
1952
International
Painting Impressionism 1870 to about 1900 -
Fauves (wild beasts) 1904-8. Cubists 1907-13.
Dadaists (Bavaria) 1916. Surrealism 1922.
Suggested that impact of idea of evolution led to
rapid succession of schools and to
disappearance of schools at present time.
Painters with idea of evolution hastened to create
new schools.
Innis, Idea File, 26-13 (1952)
17 Jun 1952
US
John D. Rockefeller Jr. gives an additional $10
million to the Cloisters Medieval Art section of the
NY Metropolitan Museum.
Merritt, The Fifties
1954
Zimbabwe
The National Gallery in Harare founded in 1954
has been instrumental in the promotion of art
especially sculpture.
http://www.everyculture.com/To-
Z/Zimbabwe.html May 2011
03 Feb 1955
International
Stavros Niacharos, owner of the world's largest
tanker fleet, buys El Greco's Pieta for an
estimated $400,000.
Merritt, The Fifties
24 Sep 1955
US
Art experts identify a painting acquired by
Chicago art dealer Hanns Teichert for $450 last
year's an original 'Madonna and Child' by
Leonardo Da Vinci, worth $1 million.
Merritt, The Fifties
14 Apr 1956
Mexico
Diego RIvera, Mexican artist and avowed
Communist, announces his conversion to
Catholicism.
Merritt, The Fifties
1958
International
The term “Pop Art” was first used by the English
critic Lawrence Alloway in a 1958 issue of
Architectural Digest to describe those paintings
that celebrate post-war consumerism, defy the
psychology of Abstract Expressionism, and
worship the god of materialism. The most famous
of the Pop artists, the cult figure Andy Warhol, re-
created quasi photographic paintings of people
or everyday objects.
Beckett, Story, P. 698
15 Oct 1958
US
NY art dealer Georges Keller pays $616,000 the
highest known price paid to date for a painting
for Paul Cezanne's Garcon au Gilet Rouge at an
auction in Sotheby's in London.
Merritt, The Fifties
1959
US
The first public “happening” is produced by Allan
Kaprow (born 1927) at the Reuben Gallery in
New York. Jasper Johns and Robert
Rauschenberg are among the performers.
Influenced by Jackson Pollock’s process of
action painting, the teachings of John Cage on
chance and indeterminacy in art, and ultimately
Dadaism, Kaprow defines a happening as a
choreographed event that facilitates spontaneous
interactions between objects—which include
performers—and visitors.
http://eartfair.com/blog/timeline-of-art-history-
united-states-canada July 2010
25 Nov 1959
UK
NY art dealer Raphael Rosenberg purchases
Paul Cezanne's Peasant in a Blue Blouse for
$406,000 and Paul Gaugin's I Await the Letter for
$364,000 in an auction at Sotheby's of London.
Merritt, The Fifties
03 Dec 1959
US
A New York County grand jury indicts Mark and
Boris Lass, operators of the Re-Mi Art Gallery on
charges of counterfeiting labels and false and
misleading advertising in the sale of purported
art 'masterpieces.'
Merritt, The Fifties
1960
Brazil
In the sixties, the Tropacalist Movement took
ahold of Brazil in its music, theatre and art whose
universal goal was to channel all foreign influence
into creating unique national products.
Tropicalism in Cinema was seen through the use
of allegory. Example is "Maucnaima" by Joaquim
Pedro de Andrade.
http://www.brazilfilms.com/BriefHistory
20Brazil inema.htm June 2011
16 Jul 1961
France
The Annociade Museum of Modern Art in St.
Tropez reports the theft of 57 modern painting
valued at about $2 million.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
28 Jul 1961
US
Ten modern paintings including works by
Picasso and Miro and valued at more than $400,
000 are stolen from the Pittsburgh home of
retired steel executive G. David Thompson.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
13 Aug 1961
France
Eight paintings by Paul Cezanne are stolen from
a special exhibition of the artist's works in Aix-en
Provence France.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
23 Aug 1961
UK
Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington valued
at nearly $400,000 is stolen from the National
Gallery in London. It is the last in a recent rash of
art thefts that have swept through Europe and the
US.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
17 Oct 1961
US
The Ford Foundation announces grants totalling
$1,470,000 for five new visual arts programs in
the US.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
10 Apr 1962
UK
A two-sided Pablo Picasso painting (Death of a
Harlequin, Woman Sitting in a Garden) is sold in
London for $224,000 - the largest sum ever paid
for a painting by a living artist.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
17 Sep 1962
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakian news sources report the
discovery of more than 50 'old master' paintings
in a 17th century Prague castle.
Nelson and Parker The Sixties
16 Nov 1962
France
Fifty-six modern French paintings - stolen from a
St. Tropez museum on July 16 1961 are
discovered in a barn 50 miles west of Paris.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
11 Jun 1963
UK
A collection of French impressionist paintings is
auctioned in London for $2,922,852, a record
sum for a modern art sale.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
1964
US
The present main federal institution for public
funding of the arts, the National Endowment for
the Arts, was not established until 1964.
Gripsrud, Understanding Media Culture, P.
246
22 May 1965
UK
A stolen Goya portrait of the Duke of Wellington
is returned anonymously to British authorities.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
08 Mar 1966
France
Lawyers for the recently deceased Michel Monet
say that he left his 92 paintings by his father,
Claude Monet, to the Academic des Beaux Arts
in Paris.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
17 Nov 1966
International
Recent prices for Pablo Picasso's paintings rise
dramatically.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
02 Aug 1968
UK
Jasia Reichardt publishes Cybernetic
Serendipity: The Computer and the Arts, based
on an exhibition in 1968 at the Institute of
Contemporary Arts in London. This was the first
serious exhibition of computer art. The exhibition
took place between 21 August and 29 October
1968.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php
1969
US
A group exhibition devoted to Conceptual art,
entitled January 1–31: 0 Objects, 0 Paintings, 0
Sculptures, is mounted by New York dealer Seth
Siegelaub and features the work of four artists:
Joseph Kosuth (born 1945), Lawrence Weiner
(born 1940), Robert Barry (born 1936), and
Douglas Huebler (1924–1997). As a movement,
Conceptualism critiques the political and
economic structures that sustain Western art
forms, and Conceptual artists produce works
intended to convey ideas—often through the use
of text alone—rather than to be appreciated as
precious commodities.
http://eartfair.com/blog/timeline-of-art-history-
united-states-canada July 2010
11 Jul 1969
International
Art dealers report that German faience is gaining
in popularity.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
1970
Martinique
The most notable graphic arts movements are
the 1970s Caribbean Negro School inspired by
apprenticeship in Africa following study in
France.
http://www.everyculture.com/Ma-
Ni/Martinique.html May 2011
1971
International
The Répertoire International d'Iconographie
Musical (RIdIM) was established in 1971 under
the auspices of the International Musicological
Society and the International Association of
Music Libraries. It aims to develop the
cataloguing, classification, and reproduction of
musico-iconographic documents.
Oxford Companion to Music
1977
Burundi
The Center of Burundi Culture founded in 1977
provides support for traditional art forms. Located
in Bujumbura, it sponsors a "living museum" that
honors the artistic aspects of people's daily lives
as well as an open-air theater, a botanical garden,
a music pavilion, and a crafts village. Gitega is
home to a national museum that contains folk art,
historical artifacts, and a library. That city also has
an art school. Cultural programs have suffered as
a result of poverty and political upheaval.
http://www.everyculture.com/Bo-
Co/Burundi.html March 2011
27 Sep 1979
China
'The Stars' are a group of artists who paint and
sculpt in styles that depart completely from both
social realism and traditional Chinese art. This is
unacceptable to the authorities. After countless
rejections from the China National Art Gallery, on
27 September they hang their paintings and
sculptures on the railings outside the gallery. The
foreign, contemporary style of their works sends
shock waves through Beijing's cultural
community.
http://www.danwei.org/internet/
china_media_timeline_danwei_wo.php
December 2009
16 Jun 1980
Italy
It is reported that a long crack in Leonardo da
Vinci's The Last Supper has been detected by
electronic devices. The Renaissance fresco was
painted on the wall of the Church of Santa Maria
delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.
Meltzer and Aronson, The Eighties
03 Jun 1981
Russia
A comprehensive exhibition of pre-1930 Soviet
art opens at Moscow's Pushkin Museum. About
half the Soviet works on display are being shown
for the first time in public in the Soviet Union.
Meltzer and Aronson, The Eighties
1986
International
Andy Warhol's final series of paintings, "The Last
Supper," which was made in late 1986 and is
now on view at the Guggenheim Museum SoHo,
was a commission. The idea was hatched by the
late Paris dealer, Alexander Iolas, who arranged
for the work to be paid for by the Milan bank
Credito-Valtellinese. The pictures were hung in
the bank's new premises, just across the street
from the Church of Santa Maria della Grazie,
where Leonardo da Vinci's noble, dilapidated
original can be seen. Warhol, as was his way,
used commercial reproductions as his source
material.
http://www.artnet.com/magazine_pre2000/fe
atures/haden-guest/haden-guest8-3-99.asp
Feb 2012
1986
International
The irony of course is that art's aspirations to
autonomy, its uncoupling from church and state,
became possible only when literature, painting
and music, were first organized according to the
principles of a market economy.
Huyssen, After the Great Divide, P. 17)
1987
US
To photograph, store, and organize the art work
of the painter, Andrew Wyeth, Fred Mintzer,
Henry Gladney and colleagues at IBM develop a
high resolution digital camera for photographing
art works and a PC-based database system to
store and index the images. The system was
used by Wyeth's staff to photograph, store, and
organize about 10,000 images.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php August 2006
1992
International
Modernist literature and art can be seen as a
hostile reaction to the unprecedentedly large
reading public created by late nineteenth-century
education reforms. The purpose of modernist
writing ... was to exclude these newly educated
(or 'semi-educated') readers, and so to preserve
the intellectual's seclusion from the 'mass.'
Carey, John, The Intellectuals and the
Masses, P. 1)
1992
International
The principle around which modernist literature
and culture fashioned themselves was the
exclusion of the masses, the defeat of their
power, the removal of their literacy, the denial of
their humanity.
Carey, John, The Intellectuals and the
Masses, P. 21)
1995
International
Unidroit Convention on Stolen or Illegally
Exported Cultural Objects.
http://www.caslon.com.au August 2006
11 May 1995
US
At the end of the NYC fall auctions by Christie's
and Sotheby's, art experts note that the total
sales tallies are the highest since 1990,
Sotheby's took in $143.7 million while Christie's
raised $126.3 million.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 735
25 Sep 1995
US
Philanthropist Paul Mellon donates 85 paintings,
sculptures, prints, and drawings to the National
Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Experts value
the works of art at more than $50 million.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 783
15 Nov 1995
US
Sales figures from the New York City fall auctions
held by Sotheby's and Christie's reach a
combined total of $255.7 million, indicating a
continuing recovery from a slump in the art
market that started in 1990. The auctions mark
the first time that both houses collected more
than $100 million in sales of modern and
impressionist art.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 801
Oct 1996
Europe
Christies auctions 8,000 pieces of art that
German nazis plundered from Jews during the
Holocaust. The sales proceeds of $14.5 million
are to be donated to both Jewish and non-Jewish
victims of the Holocaust.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 823
Nov 1996
US
The US Court of Appeals for the North Circuit in
San Francisco, California rules 2-1 that the
federal government cannot force the NEA to use
standards of decency when giving grants to
artists arguing that such stipulations are an
unconstitutional curb of freedom of speech.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 823
31 Jan 1997
France
Reports confirm that cosmetics tycoon Ronald
Lauder bought a Paul Cezanne painting in Paris
for $50 million. The painting, Nature Morte:
Rideau a Fleur et Fruits drew the fifth-highest
price ever for a work of art.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 967
04 May 1998
US
Reports confirm that William Gates paid $40
million for Lost on the Grand Banks (1885), a
seascape by Winslow Homer. It is the highest
price ever paid for the work of US-born artist.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 1131
02 Jun 1998
US
Sara Lee Corporation announces that it will
donate 40 works of art worth approximately $100
million to 20 different US museums.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 1141
2000
International
Growth of digital art, such as Giclee Prints.
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art-
timeline.htm Feb 2012
Mar 2003
China
Young graphic designer Sun Zhigang is arrested
in Guangzhou by the police. A few days later he
dies in detention. In April, the Nanfang Dushi Bao
(Southern Metropolis News), reports the news,
causing a national scandal.
http://www.danwei.org/internet/china_media_
timeline_danwei_wo.php December 2009
2004
International
The turnover for Fine Art sales exceeded $4
billion in 2005, vs. $3.6 billion the previous year,
despite a practically stable volume of 320,000
lots on offer.
http://img1.artprice.com/pdf/Trends2005.pdf
December 2009
2008
International
Triptych (1976) by Francis Bacon sells at
Sotheby's New York for $86.3 million, becoming
the most expensive post-war work of art sold at
auction, and the highest priced work by an Irish
artist. In the same year Damien Hirst sells works
worth £111 million at Sotheby's in London, while
the list of top 20 contemporary artists is
dominated by the Chinese.
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art-
timeline.htm Feb 2012
2009
International
While prices for contemporary art plummet,
Warhol's 1963 silkscreen print Eight Elvises,
reportedly sells for $100 million to anonymous
buyer.
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art-
timeline.htm Feb 2012
2009
USA
While prices for contemporary art plummet
Warhol's 1963 silkscreen print Eight Elvises,
reportedly sells for $100 million to anonymous
buyer.
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art-
timeline.htm May 2012
2015
UK
The government-funded Arts Council England
must cut 15 percent from the amount it gives to
art music, theater, dance and literature groups by
2015 - which still leaves it with almost £1 billion
($1.6 billion) to hand out.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2011/03/30
/arts-cuts-britain.html March 2011
Art Timeline
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