Art and social mood

This blog post notes the different reception art has, and extrapolates to social psychology, where certain ideas are believed to have positive/negative impact. In reality, social mood is driving the positive/negative reaction shifts over time.
Priming: Responses change over time
Today, glass artworks by Tiffany are once again worth a fortune, but they fell radically out of fashion in the 1900s. Teddy Roosevelt had the Tiffany glass in the White House junked. The great screen, like so much Tiffany glass, was destroyed. So this painting is based on black and white photos and some surviving Tiffany works of the same era to create a speculative image of what once was.

The point of these examples are that people once found that the works of Frederic Edwin Church and Louis Comfort Tiffany primed them to experience very positive emotions, and they work almost as well today. If, say, you are invited to a charity event held in a ballroom decorated by Tiffany, you'd probably feel more privileged, pleased, and generous than if the event were held in, say, a suburban church basement. If you invited a date to the charity bash, you might find she finds the Tiffany ballroom more priming than the church basement.

Yet, both Church and Tiffany also each went through decades when their art primed people in the exact opposite direction: they found their masterpieces depressing.

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