What Was the Effect of the Industrial Revolution on Art and Design?

The Industrial Revolution was a period of time from the late 18th century to the mid 19th century during which tremendous advances in technology, agriculture, manufacturing and transportation had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times. During this period, many important inventions that we take for granted today were created, including the steam engine, which revolutionized transportation and manufacturing. But what was the effect of this revolutionary period on art and design?

The Industrial Revolution had a huge impact on art and design in Europe and North America.

Before the industrialization of these countries, most art was created by hand by skilled artisans and craftsmen who spent years honing their craft. With the advent of machines and factories, much of this work could now be automated or at least speeded up with machines doing much of the work that used to be done by hand. This allowed artists to experiment with new techniques such as lithography and photography.

The Industrial Revolution also brought about changes in how art was consumed. Previously, most artwork was commissioned by wealthy patrons; however, with industrialization came increased wealth for many members of society who could now afford to purchase artwork for their own pleasure. This led to an explosion in demand for art that was both beautiful and accessible to a wide audience.

Finally, the Industrial Revolution helped bring about an increased focus on design principles such as symmetry, balance and harmony. Many artists began to incorporate these principles into their work as they sought to create pieces that were visually appealing yet still functional.


In summary, it’s clear that the Industrial Revolution had a huge impact on art and design. It ushered in new techniques such as lithography and photography; brought about an increased focus on design principles; changed how art is consumed; enabled artists to create artwork more quickly; and allowed for an increased availability of artwork for people from all walks of life.