American Imagination Essay

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Impact that the West had on the American Imagination Essay

The American Imagination has specifically given birth to the different aspects that provided the wide arena for the development of modern American art. Relatively though, it could be noticed that the current value and definition of American art that is known to the world is not purely American as it is. In fact, most of the influence that imposed on the existence of the distinctive characteristics of the American art came from the western society. Note how the original Native American art seems to be quite peculiar to the appeal of the modern American society.

In the 1800’s the Western production of touring circus groups has created a great impact on the thinking of the American society. Wanting glamour and extraordinary experience at the same time, the production of the new American art became a common source of distinctive conditioning especially when it comes to aesthetic value. Music in America has also been strongly influenced by the western society. Even though there were specific production companies that featured scores from the Native American society, only a few were actually accepted and appreciated by the public.

Instead, they desired more upbeat music, more of the kind that they believe would define their generation better. At this point, the Native American art and music has been set aside and was considered to be rather antique and seemingly uncommon to the hearing ear of the public. Given that the recording companies needed to make profit, they realized that going though the desires and expectations of the market was necessary. As a result the more popular form of art has been promoted while the ‘aboriginal’ or the native art began to be pushed to the back of the shelf.

The love for a more socially accepted from of art and entertainment strongly suggested the entrant of the western culture into the American form of appreciated creations. To make sure however that the true nature of being American would not be lost amidst the influence of the western culture into the said aspect of social art, inculcating bits and pieces of the America culture into the said creations became rampant. For instance, utilizing cowboys in hats and boots became a common theme in most musical creations that were released in the United States during the late 1800’s towards the early 1900’s.

True to its sense, the demand for a newer American sound was a clear distinction that defined the development of the American art. While the composers of original American music struggled to create more American form of art, the market’s decision was a stronger driving force and the need to make money was a certain aim that cannot be broken by the desire to retain cultural purity in relation to the production of the different genres of the American art.

This is the reason why today, most of the artistic creations produced under the original and native American societies remain remembered and recognized in museums and not in the common market where audiences are expected to appreciate items through the definition of their monetary value. Instead of the native form, most of the artistic creations including music that sells a lot in the American market include that of the ones that the American society shares with the western creators, which is most likely known as the popular art. This indicates a more distinctive course of defining what drives the art industry at present; and that is market, money and profit. In this case, it was evident how the industry decided to define American art with profit than with authenticity itself.


  1. Pohl, Frances K. (2002). Framing America. A Social History of American Art. New York: Thames & Hudson.

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