Preserving the best: Newfoundland's cultural movement, 1965-1983

Gulliver, Mekaela (2014) Preserving the best: Newfoundland's cultural movement, 1965-1983. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study analyzes the cultural movement in the visual arts, theatre and music that occurred in Newfoundland between 1965 and 1983. Artists from the various artistic genres were influenced by both internal and external factors, and reacted to rapid political changes occurring in Newfoundland and artistic, musical, and theatrical trends that were popular in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Members of the cultural movement reacted against modernization, urbanization, and industrialization that occurred during the period that Joseph Smallwood was Premier. Artists thought several of the choices made by this government led to an erosion of Newfoundland culture, and thus felt they needed to help preserve traditional culture. Yet, while artists viewed themselves as anti-authoritarian, they were aided in their artistic endeavours by institutions such as Memorial University, in particular Extension Service, which encouraged the preservation of heritage and promoted cultural productions. Music was one of the genres that artists used to help preserve the culture they feared was disappearing, and to demonstrate that Newfoundland culture was just as good as that anywhere else. Theatre was also important in the movement, and helped artists bring attention to the political issues they viewed as important. This study examines how Newfoundland artists reacted to a perceived loss of culture and identity. It also demonstrates that cultural developments do not happen in a vacuum and that in order to fully understand the Newfoundland Renaissance it is important to look at all the various cultural aspects that influence or impact a society.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 8227
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-310).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: September 2014
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Social movements--Newfoundland and Labrador--History--20th century; Artists--Newfoundland and Labrador--Social life and customs--20th century; Politics and culture--Newfoundland and Labrador--History--20th century; Newfoundland and Labrador--Civilization--20th century

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