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Manufacturing landscape: the representation of suburbs, Birmingham 1780-c.1850

Chang, L.; (2011) Manufacturing landscape: the representation of suburbs, Birmingham 1780-c.1850. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores how suburbs during the British Industrialisation (1780-1850) were represented. ‘Industrialisation’ is well researched in many disciplines. In history of art, the landscape imageries produced during this period are usually categorised and approached as rural/natural landscape painting and (urban) topographic views. However, the categorisation could overlook the representation of the place in between: the suburb. This thesis therefore views the suburb in terms of the impact of industrialisation on the form and the extent of the city, and thus regards the suburb not only as a modern, middle-class and residential district we are familiar with today, but also as the developing edge not only of a built environment but also of a linked set of social and economic changes. The main case study is Birmingham. Birmingham developed from a small provincial settlement into the manufacturing centre of the country between 1780 and 1850. How to perceive, recognise, and represent the suburb made as a result of this rapid urban growth and industrialisation posed a challenge for local artists. This thesis focuses on nearly a hundred topographic views they produced, and argue that these pictures represent the idea of suburb. I will analyse the pictures in a semiotics way. Chapter one begins with the imagery of the town and explores the difficulty of representing the (industrial) suburb. Chapter two continues to investigate the representation of suburb through imageries of Nature. Chapter three focuses on the topographic view tradition of the town. Chapter four argues that the imagery of the suburb represents a modern life in it. Chapter five explores how the periphery of the town was developed for residential purposes and how this process might be represented in pictures.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Manufacturing landscape: the representation of suburbs, Birmingham 1780-c.1850
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Copyright restricted material, including images, has been removed from the digital version of this thesis
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > History of Art

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