The term “modern” usually refers to 1945-present, will this ever change? Has it ever changed? When something is “modern” it is current, but modern art is a style that isn’t used much anymore. Who makes these decisions and when do they decide?

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The term “modern” usually refers to 1945-present, will this ever change? Has it ever changed? When something is “modern” it is current, but modern art is a style that isn’t used much anymore. Who makes these decisions and when do they decide?

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Modern and modernism are different things. Modernism is the name for a movement in the arts and novels of visual arts that fit into the category of modernism are called modern. It no longer has any bearing on how old they are. The idea of modern life or the modern era IS relative to where we are at in history and will presumably continue to mean the present.

The term modern is not always thought of as post 1945 history, so that demonstrates the subjectivity of the term modern. In western history, the traditional time line is that early modern is from 1500 to 1750, while modern (or late modern) is 1750 to present. Without doubt, this timeline will continue to change as time goes by. Maybe future historians will call the period from 1750-2000 as middle modern (or whatever) and from 2000 to their current time as modern.

It’s difficult to define ‘ages’ when you’re still in them.

Historically, Kings & Queens and Empires & Dynasties had the most significant change on the way a country’s population, demographics, culture – everything – could be measured. After the first and second world wars that changed quite significantly, and republics became the norm. This meant cultural milieu changed massively and was less easy to define in terms of just ‘Elizabethan’ or ‘Georgian’ (to use the UK as an example).

The ‘modern’ era is also so-called because of nuclearisation and officially began on July 16, 1945 following the detonation of the first nuclear weapon in history.

From then until 1963, a carbon isotope (a kind of atom) called carbon-14 (^(14)C) doubled in our atmosphere. ^(14)C is used in an archeological process called ‘carbon dating’ – which you may have heard of – and this significant change in ^(14)C has totally upset the detectable levels of said atom in biological organisms.

The so-called [Bomb Pulse](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bomb_pulse) will level off in 2030, and perhaps a new era will start then. Or perhaps not. It’s arcane.

The Modern Era began as the Age of Enlightenment gave way to the Industrial Revolution from the mid 18th century onwards. The Contemporary Period which is still part of the Modern Era has been running since the end of World War II being 1945. This is referred to more and more as **The Information Age**, but it is still part of the Modern Era.

On the other hand in the world of philosophy and art Modernism refers to trends starting in Western society in the late 19th century to reflect on an increasingly industrialised world.