Tag Archives: Germany

Celebrating Over 100 Years of Christmas Lights

Celebrating Over 100 Years of Christmas LightsCan you imagine celebrating the holiday season without Christmas lights? In North America, it is expected that festive strings will illuminate trees, homes, and city centers throughout the month of December. But the Christmas lights we have today have been a long time coming. Its evolution began in 18th century Germany and continues to progress each year.

Candles in Germany

It is said that Christmas trees were reserved for wealthy citizens of Germany in the 1700s. Those with exorbitant amounts of money would lavish their trees with candles – an expensive and hazardous decoration.

Thomas Edison and his String of Lights

Some time after Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he strung together a series of electric lights. In 1880, during the holiday season, he hung the strand outside his laboratory near a railroad line. Those traveling by train could see the first illuminated Christmas display.

Celebrating Over 100 Years of Christmas Lights 1Edward Johnson Introduces Colored Lights

Shortly after Edison began stringing lights together, a partner of his, Edward H. Johnson, wound a strand around his Christmas tree. He also colored the electric bulbs red, white, and blue.

General Electric Brings Lights to the People

Still, Christmas lights were reserved for wealthy families. It is estimated that lighting a Christmas tree in 1903 would have “cost $2000 in today’s dollars”. This prompted General Electric to offer Christmas light kits that contained strings of colorful lights.

Christmas Aglow for Everyone

In 1917, making Christmas lights common and accessible was a priority for the Sadacca family. They owned a novelty lighting company and began offering colorful stands of Christmas lights at their store. They became known as NOMA Electric Co., a popular name in Christmas lights that dominated the market for over four decades.

Today’s Christmas Lights

Today, Christmas Lights come in all shapes and sizes. People in North America, and throughout the world, choose to don their homes with festive lights. Now a days, it seems the holiday season officially begins when houses are aglow. Millions of Americans celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and other holidays with creative lighting. They take holiday decorations to a new level, becoming inventive with one of the world’s greatest inventions.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Art and Atmosphere:

Norman Rockwell’s Artwork Inspired by the Christmas Holiday

The Stories Behind Holiday Colors

Christmas Time

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The World’s Favorite Color

The World’s Favorite Color 1People love to travel both near and far. They enjoy taking in new scenes, exploring diverse cultures, eating eccentric food, and more. Visiting different places throughout the world adds richness to life and makes one fact clear: it is impossible to escape color.  Then again, who would want to?

Every country has unique colors that travelers seek and citizens delight in. Plush green hills line Germany. Vibrant reds decorate China. Blue waters surround Greece. White sands dust the United States.

With an endless array of varying shades, it is hard to list the world’s color preferences. Still, every person has an answer to the question, “What is your favorite color.” Therefore, is it too much to ask, “What is the world’s favorite color?”

The Question

Three global marketing firms didn’t think so. Once posed with this question, they set out to find an answer. Cheskin, MSI-ITM, and CMCD/Visual Symbols Library conducted a survey that determined BLUE is the world’s favorite color.

The Answer

In the global study, 17 different countries were polled. Roughly 40 percent of the survey participants listed blue as their favorite color. Perhaps this has to do with the impact blue has on emotions; blues are often associated with tranquility. Varying shades of the color cause people to feel at peace. Blue is also the color most often associated with nature (blue sky, blue water). Could this be a factor why people everywhere share the same favorite color?

Other Findings

  • Purple came in a distant second as the world’s favorite color with only 14 percent popularity.
  • The world’s least favorite color is white.
  • Other non-related studies show people are more productive when they are surrounded by blue.

Is your favorite color blue? Why? If not, what is your favorite color?

Why do you think blue is favored among the rest of the colors throughout the world and in many cultures?

Also, Segmation is interested to know, what is the most colorful destination you’ve experienced? Share your story by leaving us a comment below or sign onto the Segmation facebook page to upload a picture.

Isn’t it a joy to live in this colorful world?

Read more Segmation blog posts about Favorite Colors Around the World:

The Most Colorful Cities In The World

The Stories Behind Holiday Colors

Blue Trees in Seattle

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Outside the Lines: Art Trivia Segmation

The Expressive Vincent van Gogh

The Expressive Vincent van Gogh

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(1) Which Painter was a laborer in the Panama Canal?
(a) Vincent Van Gogh
(b) Charles Laval
(c) Paul Gaugin
(d) Emile Bernard

 
(2) English artist Andy Brown created a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by stitching what together?
(a) Old napkins
(b) 1,000 used tea bags
(c) Strands of colored yarn
(d) Scraps of paper

 
(3) Which country published the first illustrated children’s book in 1658?
(a) France
(b) England
(c) Japan
(d) Germany

 
(4) What was the building that is now famously known as the Louvre Museum and Art Gallery used for in 1190?
(a) A fortress
(b) A library
(c) A Justice Building
(d) A prison

 
(5) Whose painting, titled Impressions Sunrise, gave the Impressionistic style its name?
(a) Eugene Delacroix
(b) Edouard Manet
(c) Gustave Courbet
(d) Claude Monet

Answers found at the end.

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Answers: (1) c) Paul Gaugin (2) b) 1,000 used tea bags (3) d) Germany (4) a) A fortress (5) d) Claude Monet

Bauhaus Art School

Are you impressed to learn about the invention of Op-Art?

The modern art style, best associated with the art and theory of Josef Albers, influenced an artistic evolution throughout the 20th century, and continues to impact the 21st century as well.

But did you know that this trendy new art form started in Germany in the early 1900’s? Even more, it was created and taught at a school that was also a forerunner for architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.

The famous school of art, called Bauhaus, existed in three different parts of Germany between the years of 1919 and 1933. This seems like a short period of time to have such a strong influence on the world. However, the principal thoughts and practices that encouraged artists at Bauhaus traveled with them and spread throughout the world when many of the practicing students and teachers had to emigrate during Nazi control.

The Bauhaus art school was known as a “House of Construction” or a “School of Building.” Even though studies in architecture were not implemented until later, the school built its values on the idea that creating a “total” work of art incorporates multiple elements of art.

A good example of this is optical art’s use of three types of elements: optical illusions, canvas painting, and color. Perhaps it was this concept of completeness that catapulted the Bauhaus style into success, becoming one of the most influential styles in modern art, design and architecture.

Another thought that contributed to the success of Bauhaus was the founding philosophical principle of constructivism. This term originated in Russia and commonly associated with the idea that art could contribute to a better society. With major political and economic shifts happening all over the world, especially in Europe, people learned they could express themselves and propel a positive message with art. Even though there was a negative atmosphere in the world during the time of World War I and leading up to World War II, individual artists knew that art had the power to carry the significant message of peace.

In a war-torn society, Bauhaus school had much to teach. Here are some common art forms that excelled and were mastered by artists at the school between 1919 and 1933:

  • Woodworking
  • Cabinetmaking
  • Work with Metal
  • Ceramics
  • Weaving
  • Printing and typography
  • Theater
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Architecture
Bauhaus art school existed at a poignant time in history. It’s location in the world and foundational European thought are two of the many reasons why it is still a reputable resource for art history today. The other reasons are artists, styles and creations that were consistently produced by the school. These are the pieces that influence modern art today, and will continue to do so evermore.

Introduction to Color Expert Johannes Itten

“Color is life; for a world without color appears to us as dead.” – Johannes Itten

When you take an art course on color theory, you can thank Johannes Itten for laying much of the foundation for what you’re being taught. Johannes Itten was a Swiss artist and teacher who taught at the Bauhaus in Germany. He published several books on art theory, the most popular being The Art of Color.

Sir Isaac Newton is credited with creating the first color wheel, which included 6 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, cyan and blue. Around 250 years later, Johannes Itten expanded Newton’s color wheel to include 12 colors instead of 6. These 12 colors included red, yellow and blue as the primary colors; orange, green and purple as the secondary colors, and 6 intermediary colors created by mixing a primary color with a secondary color. This is the same color wheel often used in school’s today to teach students about color theory.

Itten also examined color saturation, contrast and hue, devising theories for creating different color combinations that are still useful to artists and designers today. He looked at the expressiveness of color, and also the way colors affect one another. He also explored the emotional properties of colors which he considered to be fairly subjective, proposing that we each have different individual reactions to colors.

For more information about Johannes Itten and his color theories, look for his books online or in your local library.

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