Thursday, 12 May 2011

Prairie Fires of the Great West. Currier & Ives (1871)

This image is evocative of many others of its time, during the 19th Century it was popular for American artists to portray romanticised sybolism of the 'taming' of the West through disected imagry. The train cuts the land in half with the wild untamed grasses in the foreground oppossed to the smooth tamed green of the back ground, and the buffalo being chased off by the disasterous and destructive raging fire of industrialism. This image can be likened to others such as Thomas Coles The View from Mount Holyoke: The Oxbow (1836), and George Catlin Wi-Jun-Jon coming and going from Washington(1844)which all show a form of juxtaposition between the traditional 'wild' West and the industrialised or tamed American West.
Currier and Ives were fond of the romatic sybolism of trains and incorporated them into many of their Lithographs, many with similar symbolism and imagry invoking the difference between civilised and wild. According to the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum's website, during the 19th Century train travel and the 'push to the West' captivated the American peoples imagination and Currier and Ives sought to document 'the beauty of a train as it moved accross our magnificent country'. The use of imagry to document the history of the American west allied with the relative low cost of lithographs and prints provides a valuable source of reference regarding the views and interests of the time and also highlight a shift away from more traditional landscapes to artwork that literally tells a story.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

That Second Craft brewing Presentation

My second presentation on the subject of Craft Brewing and American Beer Culture uses the "Review of Agricultural Economics" as a centre point for discussion. I have chosen this particular entry, as it discusses the importance of "niche marketing" within the malted barley industry.

It is entirely true that this article has little direct reference to my FYP, in that the journal mostly uses empirical data that describes the various types and regions of malt production, however using such a text is entirely intentional. The field of Craft brewing is not widely represented in the field of academia, and I have attempted to show through my presentation that it is necessary to use sources from further afield. It is through the process of sifting through seemingly useless information that one can construct useful information. An example of this would be where grain producers have altered their products and the manner in which they are distributed. This may appear to be of little use, but it alludes to how the producers of raw material in the brewing industry have had to alter their own businesses to make way and usher in new and independent businesses that have very specific demands.

I feel I have backed up and supported my arguments through different means and media, for example the use of statistics and graphs taken from the American Brewers Association, and definitions from my other primary and secondary research texts.

This presentation is not necessarily about beer, or the way it is made, but rather about how producers and entrepreneurs have needed to tailor their own companies and corporations to meet the consumer and public.