Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Modernismens bilder: Den moderna bilderboken i Norden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History of Literature and History of Ideas.
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Images of Modernism. The Modern Picture Book in the Nordic Countries (English)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral thesis is based on a survey of an extensive corpus of Nordic picture books and illustrated children’s books from mainly the 1940’s and 1950’s. It discusses different aspects of the position of the child, children’s culture and children’s literature in the works of the young generation of artists during this era. The common denominator is a search for a new language and new images. Picture books were used to describe modern childhood, but they were also believed to be instruments for moulding the child. Innovative pedagogical theories were one of the preconditions for the change in picture book aesthetics, but since picture book illustrations belong to a tradition of visual arts as well, the break with the past involved a renegotiation of how pictures were constructed. Motif-wise, picture books show optimism and confidence in the new technologies through a general affirmation of speed and movement, modern means of transportation, and technical innovations. However, an opposite tendency is evident as well. A naïve style and influences from non-European art were other manifestations of modernity, possibly also a reaction against it. Thus, pragmatic attitudes to picture books exist side by side with contrary opinions, which are in line with the anti-authoritarian sentiments of the Nordic post-war era and the ambition to find new images or a new language through surrealistic experiments or the uncanny. The young generation of artists considered the picture book to be an alterative medium, a potential site for stylistic experiments free from the demands of adult literature or art. Just like modernist literature and paintings explore the material and conceptual qualities of the artwork, the materiality of the picture book is put in focus stylistically and thematically. The authors and illustrators explore the physical, visual and conceptual qualities of the picture book, the artistic uses of images and the book medium, the concepts of book and literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Makadam förlag , 2008. , 248 p.
Skrifter utgivna av Svenska barnboksinstitutet, 103
Keyword [en]
Children’s literature, picture books, modernism, literary history, illustration, artists’ books, intermediality
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
History of Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8304ISBN: 9789170610554OAI: diva2:200043
Public defence
2008-12-05, Auditorium 215, Humanistvillan, Frescativägen 24-26, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2008-11-13 Created: 2008-11-07Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

By organisation
Department of History of Literature and History of Ideas
General Literature Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 1580 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link