Transportation

Compilation of Images

Samuel Colman, Pudlo Pudlat, José María Velasco
The Winnipeg Art Gallery; Canadian Museum of Civilization, Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Instito Nacional de Bellas Artes, Smithsonian American Art Museum

© CHIN 2001. All Rights Reserved


Until relatively recently, humans depended upon fairly rudimentary types of transportation, such as animals, sleds, carts, and boats, to move themselves and their goods over the landscape. As technologies have developed in the past two centuries, we now have access to more and faster means of transportation: steamships, trains, cars, planes, and subways.

Look at the images in this learning object and write down the modes of transportation shown, and the landscape they are shown in. How are different types of transportation suited to different types of landscapes? What is the energy source?

Until relatively recently, humans depended upon fairly rudimentary types of transportation, such as animals, sleds, carts, and boats, to move themselves and their goods over the landscape. As technologies have developed in the past two centuries, we now have access to more and faster means of transportation: steamships, trains, cars, planes, and subways.

Look at the images in this learning object and write down the modes of transportation shown, and the landscape they are shown in. How are different types of transportation suited to different types of landscapes? What is the energy source?


© CHIN 2001. All Rights Reserved

Storm King on the Hudson

Storm King Mountain, near West Point, New York, on the Hudson River, is named for the storm clouds that gather at its peak. Here the plumes of gray-black smoke from the steamboats counter the bank of clouds. Colman uses the smoke and clouds to weave a visual tapestry between the natural and the built environment. Further underscoring the union of humans and nature, Colman contrasts three types of river vessels: steam-powered, sailboats, and rowboats.

Samuel Colman (1832 - 1920)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly
1866
UNITED STATES
oil on canvas
© Smithsonian American Art Museum


The Seasons

The artist presents a broad panorama of Arctic life in this print. Ducks swim in summer lakes and dogteams travel through winter snow. But there is evidence of change as well. Snow houses once gave shelter in winter, but new permanent structures, such as churches, now give physical and spiritual shelter. Ships travel through the summer waters bringing supplies and even tourists. Inuit people now live in a synthesis of Inuit and Western cultures.

Pudlo Pudlat (1916 - 1992)
Collection of The Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of George William Battershill in memory of his wife Helen Battershill
1976
CANADA
lithograph on paper
57.00 X 87.30 cm
© The Winnipeg Art Gallery


Cañada de Metlac, vista tomada cerca de la estación de Fortín

José María Velasco, conscious of the profound transformation that the railway would bring about, shared in the optimism surrounding the intense construction activity undertaken to equip the country with a national network of railways. His paintings focus on the description of the passage of the train through areas where the engineers achieved their greatest feats of ingenuity. The curved bridge at the Metlac Ravine (1881) is an emblem of modernity. The railway system conceived of under Porfirio Díaz' regime was a concrete expression of a vision of the country and its relation to the world: mainlines to the northern border, and multiple branch lines to both coasts, as a stimulus to export and trade.

José María Velasco (1840 - 1912)
Museo Nacional de Arte. INBA. CONACULTA
1897
MEXICO
oil on canvas
© Museo Nacional de Arte. INBA. CONACULTA


What some other modes of transportation not shown in these paintings? What are the effects of transportation on our surroundings and on our lives in general? Does "faster" necessarily mean "better"? What kinds of transportation do you use? Why? Do these images represent a particular perspective on an issue? Is this perspective determined more by artistic intent or the viewer’s frame of reference?
  1. What some other modes of transportation not shown in these paintings?
  2. What are the effects of transportation on our surroundings and on our lives in general?
  3. Does "faster" necessarily mean "better"?
  4. What kinds of transportation do you use? Why?
  5. Do these images represent a particular perspective on an issue?
  6. Is this perspective determined more by artistic intent or the viewer’s frame of reference?

©CHIN 2001. All Rights Reserved

Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Recognize that geography and landscape influence culture and society
  • Appreciate how artists communicate their perspective through their work
  • Understand that an artist’s and a viewer’s perspective influence the interpretation of art
  • Consider how art is relevant to issues pertaining to humanity, such as the “advancement of society” and technology

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