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Portal:Arts

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The Arts Portal


An artist's palette

An artist's palette

The arts is a vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavors and disciplines. It is a broader term than "art", which, as a description of a field, usually means only the visual arts. The arts encompass the visual arts, the literary arts and the performing artsmusic, theatre, dance and film, among others. This list is by no means comprehensive, but only meant to introduce the concept of the arts. For all intents and purposes, the history of the arts begins with the history of art. The arts might have origins in early human evolutionary prehistory.

Ancient Greek art saw the veneration of the animal form and the development of equivalent skills to show musculature, poise, beauty and anatomically correct proportions. Ancient Roman art depicted gods as idealized humans, shown with characteristic distinguishing features (e.g. Jupiter's thunderbolt). In Byzantine and Gothic art of the Middle Ages, the dominance of the church insisted on the expression of biblical and not material truths. Eastern art has generally worked in a style akin to Western medieval art, namely a concentration on surface patterning and local colour (meaning the plain colour of an object, such as basic red for a red robe, rather than the modulations of that colour brought about by light, shade and reflection). A characteristic of this style is that the local colour is often defined by an outline (a contemporary equivalent is the cartoon). This is evident in, for example, the art of India, Tibet and Japan. Religious Islamic art forbids iconography, and expresses religious ideas through geometry instead. The physical and rational certainties depicted by the 19th-century Enlightenment were shattered not only by new discoveries of relativity by Einstein and of unseen psychology by Freud, but also by unprecedented technological development. Paradoxically the expressions of new technologies were greatly influenced by the ancient tribal arts of Africa and Oceania, through the works of Paul Gauguin and the Post-Impressionists, Pablo Picasso and the Cubists, as well as the Futurists and others.

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The Northwest Exelon Pavilion, which serves as Millennium Park's Welcome Center
The Exelon Pavilions are four structures which generate electricity from solar energy and provide access to underground parking in Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, US. The pavilions provide sufficient energy to power the equivalent of 14 Energy Star-rated energy-efficient houses in Chicago. The four pavilions, which cost $7 million, were designed in January 2001; construction began in January 2004. The South Pavilions were completed and opened in July 2004, while the North Pavilions were completed in November 2004, with a grand opening on April 30, 2005. In addition to producing energy, three of the four pavilions provide access to the parking garages below the park, while the fourth serves as the park's welcome center and office. Exelon, a company that generates the electricity transmitted by its subsidiary Commonwealth Edison, donated $5.5 million for the pavilions. Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin praised the South Pavilions as "minor modernist jewels", but criticized the North Pavilions as "nearly all black and impenetrable". The North Pavilions have received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver rating from the United States Green Building Council, as well as an award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

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Join, or Die
Credit: Restoration: Adam Cuerden

"Join, or Die", a 1754 editorial cartoon by Benjamin Franklin, a woodcut showing a snake severed into eight pieces, with each segment labeled with the initials of a British American colony or region (not all colonies are represented). It was originally about the importance of colonial unity against France during the French and Indian War, and re-used in the years ahead of the American Revolution to signify unity against Great Britain.

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John Douglas
John Douglas (1830–1911) was an English architect who designed about 500 buildings in Cheshire, North Wales and northwest England, in particular in the estate of Eaton Hall. Douglas' output included the creation, restoration and renovation of churches, church furnishings, houses and other buildings. His architectural styles were eclectic and many of his works incorporate elements of the English Gothic style. He was also influenced by architectural styles from the mainland of Europe and included elements of French, German and Netherlandish architecture into his works. He is remembered for his use of half-timbering, tile-hanging, pargeting, decorative brick in diapering and the design of tall chimney stacks. Of particular importance is Douglas' use of joinery and highly detailed wood carving. Throughout his career he attracted commissions from wealthy landowners and industrialists. Most of his works have survived. The city of Chester contains a number of his structures, the most admired of which are his half-timbered black-and-white buildings and Eastgate Clock. The highest concentration of his work is found in the Eaton Hall estate and the surrounding villages of Eccleston, Aldford and Pulford.

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"Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming", an 1894 English translation of the 16th-century German Christmas carol, "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen". Performed by the chorus of the U.S. Army Band, c. 2010.

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Giuseppe Verdi. Portrait by Giovanni Boldini, 1886

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