With a wry sense of humor, American artists John Sloan and Rockwell Kent reflect upon new inventions and their impact upon modes of socializing and entertainment. Jewelry Store Window suggests the way in which the electrification of streetlamps opened up the potential for nocturnal rambles through urban areas. If Sloan’s 1906 print suggests companionship, his 1926 depiction of the new technology of radiology suggests alienation, as physicians carefully study his organs with seemingly little regard for him has an individual. By a similar token, Rockwell Kent’s Party Wire seems to question the value of the telephone—often arranged on a multi-user “party” line in its early years. Precarious in its installation, the tangled line seems to fix its users in positions apart from one another and simultaneously raises prescient questions about the relationship of new communications technologies to personal privacy.
Help us make our collections more accessible by providing keywords to describe this artwork. The BCMA uses the
Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus to
provide consistent keywords. Enter a keyword in the field below and you will be prompted with a list of possible matching AAT preferred terms.