African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, some have Native American ancestry. According to U. S. Census Bureau data, African immigrants do not self-identify as African American; the overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities. Immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not self-identify with the term. African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens; the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States; the first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian conquistador in 1565 in St. Augustine, is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
The ill-fated colony was immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. The first recorded Africans in British North America were "20 and odd negroes" who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants; as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. An indentured servant would work for several years without wages; the status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery. Servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Unlike slaves, they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out, their children did not inherit their status, on their release from contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary", a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of lifetime slavery when they sentenced John Punch, a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master Hugh Gwyn for running away. In the Spanish Florida some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism.
Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683. One of the Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black "slaves", John Casor, resulting from the court ruling of a civil case; the popular conception of a race-based slave system did not develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves into New Amsterdam. All the colony's slaves, were freed upon its surrender to the British. Massachusetts was the first British colony to recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662, Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law; this principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported defining as slaves all people of African descent who remained in the c
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library that serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States; the Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C.. The Library's functions are overseen by the Librarian of Congress, its buildings are maintained by the Architect of the Capitol; the Library of Congress has claimed to be the largest library in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."The Library of Congress moved to Washington in 1800 after sitting for 11 years in the temporary national capitals in New York City and Philadelphia. The small Congressional Library was housed in the United States Capitol for most of the 19th century until the early 1890s. Most of the original collection had been destroyed by the British in 1814 during the War of 1812, the library sought to restore its collection in 1815.
They bought Thomas Jefferson's entire personal collection of 6,487 books. After a period of slow growth, another fire struck the Library in its Capitol chambers in 1851, again destroying a large amount of the collection, including many of Jefferson's books. After the American Civil War, the Library of Congress grew in both size and importance, which sparked a campaign to purchase replacement copies for volumes, burned; the Library received the right of transference of all copyrighted works to deposit two copies of books, maps and diagrams printed in the United States. It began to build its collections, its development culminated between 1888 and 1894 with the construction of a separate, extensive library building across the street from the Capitol; the Library's primary mission is to research inquiries made by members of Congress, carried out through the Congressional Research Service. The Library is open to the public, although only high-ranking government officials and Library employees may check out books and materials.
James Madison is credited with the idea of creating a congressional library, first making such a proposition in 1783. The Library of Congress was subsequently established April 24, 1800 when President John Adams signed an act of Congress providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. Part of the legislation appropriated $5,000 "for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress... and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them." Books were ordered from London, the collection consisted of 740 books and three maps which were housed in the new United States Capitol. President Thomas Jefferson played an important role in establishing the structure of the Library of Congress. On January 26, 1802, he signed a bill that allowed the president to appoint the Librarian of Congress and establishing a Joint Committee on the Library to regulate and oversee it; the new law extended borrowing privileges to the President and Vice President.
The invading British army burned Washington in August 1814 during the War of 1812 and destroyed the Library of Congress and its collection of 3,000 volumes. These volumes had been left in the Senate wing of the Capitol. One of the few congressional volumes to survive was a government account book of receipts and expenditures for 1810, it was taken as a souvenir by British Admiral George Cockburn, whose family returned it to the United States government in 1940. Within a month, Thomas Jefferson offered to sell his personal library as a replacement. Congress accepted his offer in January 1815; some members of the House of Representatives opposed the outright purchase, including New Hampshire Representative Daniel Webster who wanted to return "all books of an atheistical and immoral tendency." Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating a wide variety of books in several languages and on subjects such as philosophy, law, architecture, natural sciences, studies of classical Greece and Rome, modern inventions, hot air balloons, submarines, fossils and meteorology.
He had collected books on topics not viewed as part of a legislative library, such as cookbooks. However, he believed, he remarked: I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from their collection. Jefferson's collection was unique in that it was the working collection of a scholar, not a gentleman's collection for display. With the addition of his collection, the Library of Congress was transformed from a specialist's library to a more general one, his original collection was organized into a scheme based on Francis Bacon's organization of knowledge. He grouped his books into Memory and Imagination, which broke down into 44 more subdivisions; the Library followed Jefferson's organization scheme until the late 19th century, when librarian Herbert Putnam began work on a more flexible Library of Congress Classification structure that now applies to more than 138 million items. In 1851, a fire destroyed two thirds of the Jefferson collection, with only 2,000 books remaining.
By 2008, the Librarians of Congress had found replacements for all but 300 of the works that were in Jefferson's original collection. On December 22, 1851 the largest fire in the Library's history destroyed 35,000 books, about two–thi
New York University
New York University is a private research university founded in New York City but now with campuses and locations throughout the world. Founded in 1831, NYU's historical campus is in New York City; as a global university, students can graduate from its degree-granting campuses in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, as well as study at its 12 academic centers in Accra, Buenos Aires, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Washington, D. C. For the class that matriculated in the fall of 2019, NYU received nearly 85,000 applications for its undergraduate programs. In 2018, NYU was ranked amongst the top 40 universities worldwide by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, U. S. News & World Report. Alumni include heads of state, eminent scientists and entrepreneurs, media figures, founders and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, astronauts; as of March 2019, 37 Nobel Laureates, 8 Turing Award winners, 5 Fields Medalists, over 30 Academy Award winners, over 30 Pulitzer Prize winners, hundreds of members of the National Academies of Sciences and United States Congress have been affiliated as faculty or alumni.
Globally, NYU is ranked 7th by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for producing alumni who are millionaires, 4th by Wealth-X for producing ultra high net-worth and billionaire alumni. Albert Gallatin, Secretary of Treasury under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, declared his intention to establish "in this immense and fast-growing city... a system of rational and practical education fitting and graciously opened to all". A three-day-long "literary and scientific convention" held in City Hall in 1830 and attended by over 100 delegates debated the terms of a plan for a new university; these New Yorkers believed the city needed a university designed for young men who would be admitted based upon merit rather than birthright or social class. On April 18, 1831, an institution was established, with the support of a group of prominent New York City residents from the city's merchants and traders. Albert Gallatin was elected as the institution's first president. On April 21, 1831, the new institution received its charter and was incorporated as the University of the City of New York by the New York State Legislature.
The university has been popularly known as New York University since its inception and was renamed New York University in 1896. In 1832, NYU held its first classes in rented rooms of four-story Clinton Hall, situated near City Hall. In 1835, the School of Law, NYU's first professional school, was established. Although the impetus to found a new school was a reaction by evangelical Presbyterians to what they perceived as the Episcopalianism of Columbia College, NYU was created non-denominational, unlike many American colleges at the time. American Chemical Society was founded in 1876 at NYU, it became one of the nation's largest universities, with an enrollment of 9,300 in 1917. NYU had its Washington Square campus since its founding; the university purchased a campus at University Heights in the Bronx because of overcrowding on the old campus. NYU had a desire to follow New York City's development further uptown. NYU's move to the Bronx occurred in 1894, spearheaded by the efforts of Chancellor Henry Mitchell MacCracken.
The University Heights campus was far more spacious. As a result, most of the university's operations along with the undergraduate College of Arts and Science and School of Engineering were housed there. NYU's administrative operations were moved to the new campus, but the graduate schools of the university remained at Washington Square. In 1914, Washington Square College was founded as the downtown undergraduate college of NYU. In 1935, NYU opened the "Nassau College-Hofstra Memorial of New York University at Hempstead, Long Island"; this extension would become a independent Hofstra University. In 1950, NYU was elected to the Association of American Universities, a nonprofit organization of leading public and private research universities. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, financial crisis gripped the New York City government and the troubles spread to the city's institutions, including NYU. Feeling the pressures of imminent bankruptcy, NYU President James McNaughton Hester negotiated the sale of the University Heights campus to the City University of New York, which occurred in 1973.
In 1973, the New York University School of Engineering and Science merged into Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, which merged back into NYU in 2014 forming the present Tandon School of Engineering. After the sale of the Bronx campus, University College merged with Washington Square College. In the 1980s, under the leadership of President John Brademas, NYU launched a billion-dollar campaign, spent entirely on updating facilities; the campaign was set to complete in 15 years, but ended up being completed in 10. In 1991, L. Jay Oliva was inaugurated the 14th president of the university. Following his inauguration, he moved to form the League of World Universities, an international organization consisting of rectors and presidents from urban universities across six continents; the league and its 47 representatives gather every two years to discuss global issues in education. In 2003 President John Sexton launched a $2.5 billion campaign for funds to be spent on faculty and financial aid resources.
Under Sextons leadership, NYU began its radical transformation into a global university. In 2009, the university responded to a series of New York Times interviews that showed a pattern of labor abuses in its fledgling Abu Dhabi location, creating a statement of
Works Progress Administration
The Works Progress Administration was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. It was established on May 6, 1935, by Executive Order 7034. In a much smaller project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, writers and directors in large arts, drama and literacy projects; the four projects dedicated to these were: the Federal Writers’ Project, the Historical Records Survey, the Federal Theatre Project, the Federal Music Project, the Federal Art Project. In the Historical Records Survey, for instance, many former slaves in the South were interviewed. Theater and music groups toured throughout America, gave more than 225,000 performances. Archaeological investigations under the WPA were influential in the rediscovery of pre-Columbian Native American cultures, the development of professional archaeology in the US; every community in the United States had a new park, bridge, or school, constructed by the agency.
The WPA's initial appropriation in 1935 was for $4.9 billion. Headed by Harry Hopkins, the WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Great Depression in the United States, while developing infrastructure to support the current and future society. Above all, the WPA hired workers and craftsmen who were employed in building streets. Thus, under the leadership of the WPA, more than 1 million km of streets and over 10,000 bridges were built, in addition to many airports and much housing; the largest single project of the WPA was the Tennessee Valley Authority, which provided the impoverished Tennessee Valley with dams and waterworks to create an infrastructure for electrical power. Camp David, the presidential estate in Maryland used for international meetings, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge were both constructed by the WPA. At its peak in 1938, it provided paid jobs for three million unemployed men and women, as well as youth in a separate division, the National Youth Administration.
Between 1935 and 1943, when the agency was disbanded, the WPA employed 8.5 million people. Most people who needed a job were eligible for employment in some capacity. Hourly wages were set to the prevailing wages in each area. Full employment, reached in 1942 and emerged as a long-term national goal around 1944, was not the goal of the WPA. "Millions of people needed subsistence incomes. Work relief was preferred over public assistance because it maintained self-respect, reinforced the work ethic, kept skills sharp."The WPA was a national program that operated its own projects in cooperation with state and local governments, which provided 10–30% of the costs. The local sponsor provided land and trucks and supplies, with the WPA responsible for wages. WPA sometimes took over state and local relief programs that had originated in the Reconstruction Finance Corporation or Federal Emergency Relief Administration programs, it was liquidated on June 30, 1943, as a result of low unemployment due to the worker shortage of World War II.
The WPA had provided millions of Americans with jobs for eight years. A joint resolution introduced January 21, 1935, the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 8, 1935. On May 6, 1935, FDR issued executive order 7034; the WPA superseded the work of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, dissolved. Direct relief assistance was permanently replaced by a national work relief program—a major public works program directed by the WPA; the WPA was shaped by Harry Hopkins, supervisor of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and close adviser to Roosevelt. Both Roosevelt and Hopkins believed that the route to economic recovery and the lessened importance of the dole would be in employment programs such as the WPA. Hallie Flanagan, national director of the Federal Theatre Project, wrote that "for the first time in the relief experiments of this country the preservation of the skill of the worker, hence the preservation of his self-respect, became important."The WPA was organized into the following divisions: The Division of Engineering and Construction, which planned and supervised construction projects including airports, dams and sanitation systems.
The Division of Professional and Service Projects, responsible for white-collar projects including education programs, recreation programs, the arts projects. It was named the Division of Community Service Programs and the Service Division; the Division of Finance. The Division of Information; the Division of Investigation, which succeeded a comparable division at FERA and investigated fraud, misappropriation of funds and disloyalty. The Division of Statistics known as the Division of Social Research; the Project Control Division, which processed project applications. Other divisions including the Employment, Safety and Training and Reemployment; these ordinary men and women proved to be extraordinary beyond all expectation. They
Social realism is the term used for work produced by painters, photographers and filmmakers that aims to draw attention to the real socio-political conditions of the working class as a means to critique of the power structures behind these conditions. While the movement's characteristics vary from nation to nation, it always utilizes a form of descriptive or critical realism. Taking its roots from European Realism, Social Realism aims to reveal tensions between an oppressive, hegemonic force, its victims; the term is sometimes more narrowly used for an art movement that flourished between the two World Wars as a reaction to the hardships and problems suffered by common people after the Great Crash. In order to make their art more accessible to a wider audience, artists turned to realist portrayals of anonymous workers as well as celebrities as heroic symbols of strength in the face of adversity; the goal of the artists in doing so was political as they wished to expose the deteriorating conditions of the poor and working classes and hold the existing governmental and social systems accountable.
Social realism should not be confused with socialist realism, the official Soviet art form, institutionalized by Joseph Stalin in 1934 and was adopted by allied Communist parties worldwide. It is different from realism as it not only presents conditions of the poor, but does so by conveying the tensions between two opposing forces, such as between farmers and their feudal lord. However, sometimes the terms social realism and socialist realism are used interchangeably. Social realism traces back to 19th-century European Realism, including the art of Honoré Daumier, Gustave Courbet and Jean-François Millet. Britain's Industrial Revolution aroused concern for the urban poor, in the 1870s the work of artists such as Luke Fildes, Hubert von Herkomer, Frank Holl, William Small were reproduced in The Graphic. In Russia, Peredvizhniki or "Social Realism" was critical of the social environment that caused the conditions pictured, denounced the "evil" Tsarist period. Ilya Repin said that his art work was aimed “To criticize all the monstrosities of our vile society” of the Tsarist period.
Similar concerns were addressed in 20th-century Britain by the Artists' International Association, Mass Observation and the Kitchen sink school. Social realist photography draws from the documentary traditions of the late 19th century, such as the work of Jacob A. Riis, Maksim Dmitriyev. In about 1900, a group of Realist artists led by Robert Henri challenged the American Impressionism and academics, in what would become known as the Ashcan school; the term was suggested by a drawing by George Bellows, captioned Disappointments of the Ash Can, which appeared in the Philadelphia Record in April 1915. In paintings, illustrations and lithographs, Ashcan artists concentrated on portraying New York's vitality, with a keen eye on current events and the era's social and political rhetoric. H. Barbara Weinberg of The Metropolitan Museum of Art has described the artists as documenting "an unsettling, transitional time, marked by confidence and doubt and trepidation. Ignoring or registering only harsh new realities such as the problems of immigration and urban poverty, they shone a positive light on their era."Notable Ashcan works include George Luks’ Breaker Boy and John Sloan’s Sixth Avenue Elevated at Third Street.
The Ashcan school influenced the art of the Depression era, including Thomas Hart Benton’s mural City Activity with Subway. The term dates on a broader scale to the Realist movement in French art during the mid-19th century. Social realism in the 20th century refers to the works of the French artist Gustave Courbet and in particular to the implications of his 19th-century paintings A Burial at Ornans and The Stone Breakers, which scandalized French Salon–goers of 1850, is seen as an international phenomenon traced back to European realism and the works of Honoré Daumier and Jean-François Millet; the social realist style fell out of fashion in the 1960s but is still influential in thinking and the art of today. In the more limited meaning of the term, Social Realism with roots in European Realism became an important art movement during the Great Depression in the United States in the 1930s; as an American artistic movement it is related to American scene painting and to Regionalism. American Social Realism includes the works of such artists as those from the Ashcan School including Edward Hopper, Thomas Hart Benton, Will Barnet, Ben Shahn, Jacob Lawrence, Paul Meltsner, Romare Bearden, Rafael Soyer, Isaac Soyer, Moses Soyer, Reginald Marsh, John Steuart Curry, Arnold Blanch, Aaron Douglas, Grant Wood, Horace Pippin, Walt Kuhn, Isabel Bishop, Paul Cadmus, Doris Lee, Philip Evergood, Mitchell Siporin, Robert Gwathmey, Adolf Dehn, Harry Sternberg, Gregorio Prestopino, Louis Lozowick, William Gropper, Philip Guston, Jack Levine, Ralph Ward Stackpole, John Augustus Walker and others.
It extends to the art of photography as exemplified by the works of Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, Lewis Hine, Edward Steichen, Gordon Parks, Arthur Rothstein, Marion Post Wolcott, Doris Ulmann, Berenice Abbott, Aaron Siskind, Russell Lee among several others. In Mexico the painter Frida Kahlo is associated with the social realism movement. In Mexico was the Mexican muralist movement that took place in the 1920s and 1930s; the Mexican muralist movement is characterized by its political undertones, the majority of which are of a Marxist nature, the social and political situation of post-revolutionary Mexico. Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José
Biblioteca Nacional de España
The Biblioteca Nacional de España is a major public library, the largest in Spain, one of the largest in the world. It is located on the Paseo de Recoletos; the library was founded by King Philip V in 1712 as the Palace Public Library. The Royal Letters Patent that he granted, the predecessor of the current legal deposit requirement, made it mandatory for printers to submit a copy of every book printed in Spain to the library. In 1836, the library's status as Crown property was revoked and ownership was transferred to the Ministry of Governance. At the same time, it was renamed the Biblioteca Nacional. During the 19th century, confiscations and donations enabled the Biblioteca Nacional to acquire the majority of the antique and valuable books that it holds. In 1892 the building was used to host the Historical American Exposition. On March 16, 1896, the Biblioteca Nacional opened to the public in the same building in which it is housed and included a vast Reading Room on the main floor designed to hold 320 readers.
In 1931 the Reading Room was reorganised, providing it with a major collection of reference works, the General Reading Room was created to cater for students and general readers. During the Spanish Civil War close to 500,000 volumes were collected by the Confiscation Committee and stored in the Biblioteca Nacional to safeguard works of art and books held until in religious establishments and private houses. During the 20th century numerous modifications were made to the building to adapt its rooms and repositories to its expanding collections, to the growing volume of material received following the modification to the Legal Deposit requirement in 1958, to the numerous works purchased by the library. Among this building work, some of the most noteworthy changes were the alterations made in 1955 to triple the capacity of the library's repositories, those started in 1986 and completed in 2000, which led to the creation of the new building in Alcalá de Henares and complete remodelling of the building on Paseo de Recoletos, Madrid.
In 1986, when Spain's main bibliographic institutions - the National Newspaper Library, the Spanish Bibliographic Institute and the Centre for Documentary and Bibliographic Treasures - were incorporated into the Biblioteca Nacional, the library was established as the State Repository of Spain's Cultural Memory, making all of Spain's bibliographic output on any media available to the Spanish Library System and national and international researchers and cultural and educational institutions. In 1990 it was made an Autonomous Entity attached to the Ministry of Culture; the Madrid premises are shared with the National Archaeological Museum. The Biblioteca Nacional is Spain's highest library institution and is head of the Spanish Library System; as the country's national library, it is the centre responsible for identifying, preserving and disseminating information about Spain's documentary heritage, it aspires to be an essential point of reference for research into Spanish culture. In accordance with its Articles of Association, passed by Royal Decree 1581/1991 of October 31, 1991, its principal functions are to: Compile and conserve bibliographic archives produced in any language of the Spanish state, or any other language, for the purposes of research and information.
Promote research through the study and reproduction of its bibliographic archive. Disseminate information on Spain's bibliographic output based on the entries received through the legal deposit requirement; the library's collection consists of more than 26,000,000 items, including 15,000,000 books and other printed materials, 4,500,000 graphic materials, 600,000 sound recordings, 510,000 music scores, more than 500,000 microforms, 500,000 maps, 143,000 newspapers and serials, 90,000 audiovisuals, 90,000 electronic documents, 30,000 manuscripts. The current director of the Biblioteca Nacional is Ana Santos Aramburo, appointed in 2013. Former directors include her predecessors Glòria Pérez-Salmerón and Milagros del Corral as well as historian Juan Pablo Fusi and author Rosa Regàs. Given its role as the legal deposit for the whole of Spain, since 1991 it has kept most of the overflowing collection at a secondary site in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid; the Biblioteca Nacional provides access to its collections through the following library services: Guidance and general information on the institution and other libraries.
Bibliographic information about its collection and those held by other libraries or library systems. Access to its automated catalogue, which contains close to 3,000,000 bibliographic records encompassing all of its collections. Archive consultation in the library's reading rooms. Interlibrary loans. Archive reproduction. Biblioteca Digital Hispánica, digital library launched in 2008 by the Biblioteca Nacional de España List of libraries in Spain Media related to Biblioteca Nacional de España at Wikimedia Commons Official site Official web catalog
An illustration is a decoration, interpretation or visual explanation of a text, concept or process, designed for integration in published media, such as posters, magazines, teaching materials, video games and films. Illustration means providing an example; the origin of the word “illustration” is late Middle English: via Old French from Latin illustratio, from the verb illustrate. Contemporary illustration uses a wide range of styles and techniques, including drawing, printmaking, montage, digital design, multimedia, 3D modelling. Most illustrators work on a freelance basis. Depending on the purpose, illustration may be expressive, realistic or technical. Specialist areas include: Architectural illustration Archaeological illustration Botanical illustration Concept art Fashion illustration Information graphics Technical illustration Medical illustration Narrative illustration Picture books Scientific illustration Technical and scientific illustration communicates information of a technical or scientific nature.
This may include exploded views, fly-throughs, instructional images, component designs, diagrams. The aim is "to generate expressive images that convey certain information via the visual channel to the human observer"Technical and scientific illustration is designed to describe or explain subjects to a nontechnical audience, so must provide "an overall impression of what an object is or does, to enhance the viewer's interest and understanding". In contemporary illustration practice, 2D and 3D software is used to create accurate representations that can be updated and reused in a variety of contexts. In the art world, illustration has at times been considered of less importance than graphic design and fine art. Today, due in part to the growth of graphic novel and video game industries, as well as increased use of illustration in magazines and other publications, illustration is now becoming a valued art form, capable of engaging a global market. Original illustration art has been known to attract high prices at auction.
The US artist Norman Rockwell's painting "Breaking Home Ties" sold in a 2006 Sotheby's auction for USD15.4 million. Many other illustration genres are valued, with pinup artists such as Gil Elvgren and Alberto Vargas, for example attracting high prices; the art of illustration is linked to the industrial processes of printing and publishing. The illustrations of medieval codices were known as illuminations, were individually hand drawn and painted. With the invention of the printing press during the 15th century, books became more distributed illustrated with woodcuts. 1600s Japan saw the origination of Ukiyo-e, an influential illustration style characterised by expressive line, vivid colour and subtle tones, resulting from the ink-brushed wood block printing technique. Subjects included popular figures and every day life. Hokusai’s The Great Wave of Kanazawa is a famous image of the time. During the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe, the main reproduction processes for illustration were engraving and etching.
In 18th Century England, a notable illustrator was William Blake. By the early 19th century, the introduction of lithography improved reproduction quality. In Europe, notable figures of the early 19th Century were John Leech, George Cruikshank, Dickens illustrator Hablot Knight Browne, and, in France, Honoré Daumier. All contributed to "serious" publications. At this time, there was a great demand for caricature drawings encapsulating social mores and classes; the British humorous magazine Punch built on the success of Cruikshank's Comic Almanac and employed many well-regarded illustrators, including Sir John Tenniel, the Dalziel Brothers, Georges du Maurier. Although all fine art trained, their reputations were gained as illustrators. Punch was most influential in the 1840s and 1850s; the magazine was the first to use the term "cartoon" to describe a humorous illustration and its widespread use led to John Leech being known as the world's first "cartoonist". In common with similar magazines such as the Parisian Le Voleur, Punch realised good illustration sold as well as good text.
With publication continuing into the 21st Century, Punch chronicles a gradual shift in popular illustration, from reliance on caricature to sophisticated topical observation. From the early 1800s newspapers, mass market magazines, illustrated books had become the dominant consumer media in Europe and the New World. By the 19th century, improvements in printing technology freed illustrators to experiment with color and rendering techniques; these developments in printing effected all areas of literature from cookbooks and traveling guides, as well as children's books. Due to advances in printing, it became more affordable to produce color photographs within books and other materials. By 1900 100 percent of paper was machine-made, while a person working by hand could produce 60-100lbs of paper per day, mechanization yielded around 1,000lbs per day. Additionally, in the 50 year period between 1846 and 1916, book production increased 400% and the price of books was cut in half. In America, this led to a "golden age of illustration" from before the 1880s until the early 20th century.
A small group of illustrators became successful, with the imagery they created considered a portrait of American aspirations of the time. Among the best known illustrators of that period were N. C. Wyeth and Howard Pyl