Like the ancient Roman Pantheon, the U.S. Capitol was designed by its political and aesthetic arbiters to memorialize the virtues, events, and persons most representative of the nation's ideals—an attempt to raise a particular version of the nation's founding to the level of myth.
American Pantheon examines the influences upon not only those virtues and persons selected for inclusion in the American pantheon, but also those excluded. Two chapters address the exclusion of slavery and African Americans from the art in the Capitol, a silence made all the more deafening by the major contributions of slaves and free black workers to the construction of the building. Two other authors consider the subject of women emerging as artists, subjects, patrons, and proponents of art in the Capitol, a development that began to emerge only in the second half of the nineteenth century.
The Rotunda, the Capitol's principal ceremonial space, was designed in part as an art museum of American history—at least the authorized version of it. It is explored in several of the essays, including discussions of the influence of the early-nineteenth-century Italian sculptors who provided the first sculptural reliefs for the room and the contributions of the mid-nineteenth-century Italian American artist Constantino Brumidi, to the mix of allegory, mythology, and history that permeates the space and indeed the Capitol itself.
Ancient Muses: Archaeology and the Arts
Edited by John H. Jameson Jr., John E. Ehrenhard, and Christine A. Finn University of Alabama Press, 2003 Library of Congress CC75.7.A53 2003 | Dewey Decimal 930.1
Examines how information derived from archaeological investigations can be presented artistically to educate the general public
Known widely in Europe as “interpretive narrative archaeology,” the practice of using creative methods to interpret and present current knowledge of the past is gaining popularity in North America. This book is the first compilation of international case studies of the various artistic methods used in this new form of education—one that makes archaeology “come alive” for the nonprofessional. Plays, opera, visual art, stories, poetry, performance dance, music, sculpture, digital imagery—all can effectively communicate archaeological processes and cultural values to public audiences.
The contributors to this volume are a diverse group of archaeologists, educators, and artisans who have direct experience in schools, museums, and at archaeological sites. Citing specific examples, such as the film The English Patient, science fiction mysteries, and hypertext environments, they explain how creative imagination and the power of visual and audio media can personalize, contextualize, and demystify the research process. A 16-page color section illuminates their examples, and an accompanying CD includes relevant videos, music, web sites, and additional color images.
David G. Anderson / Kristen Brett / Mary R. Bullard / Emily J. Donald / John E. Ehrenhard / Christine A. Finn / Lance M. Foster / James G. Gibb / Margaret A. Heath / John H. Jameson Jr. / Sharyn Kane / Richard Keeton / Nicola Laneri / Jeanne Lopiparo / David Middlebrook / Harold Mytum / Sarah M. Nelson / David Orr / Martin Pate/ Claire Smith
Art and the Public Sphere
Edited by W. J. T. Mitchell University of Chicago Press, 1992 Library of Congress N8825.A76 1992 | Dewey Decimal 701.03
What is the fate of art in an age of publicity? How has the role of traditional public (i.e., government-owned) art changed in contemporary culture, and how have changing conditions of public space and mass communications altered the whole relationship between art and its potential audiences?
With contributions from the arts, philosophy, criticism, and the law, the thirteen essays in this volume explore the aesthetic, social, and political dynamics that make contemporary public art so controversial, and that that have placed recent art work at the center of public debates.
Contributors include Vito Acconci, "Public Space in a Private Time"; Agnes Denes, "The Dream"; W. J. T. Mitchell, "The Violence of Public Art: Do the Right Thing"; Ben Nicholson, "Urban Poises"; Michael North, "The Public as Sculpture: From Heavenly City to Mass Ornament"; Barbara Kruger, in an interview with W. J. T. Mitchell; Barbara Hoffman, "Law for Art's Sake in the Public Realm"; Richard Serra, "Art and Censorship"; James E. Young, "The Counter-Monument: Memory Against Itself in Germany Today": Charles Griswold, "The Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Washington Mall: Philosophical Thoughts on Political Iconography"; John Hallmark Neff, "Daring to Dream"; and David Antin and Virginia Maksymowicz.
Presenting a balance of theoretical and performative essays by both critics and artists, this book will provide deep and discordant analyses of contemporary public art for general readers, as well as students and scholars of art, architecture, and public policy related to the arts.
Most of these articles originally appeared in the journal Critical Inquiry.
In City/Art, anthropologists, literary and cultural critics, a philosopher, and an architect explore how creative practices continually reconstruct the urban scene in Latin America. The contributors, all Latin Americanists, describe how creativity—broadly conceived to encompass urban design, museums, graffiti, film, music, literature, architecture, performance art, and more—combines with nationalist rhetoric and historical discourse to define Latin American cities. Taken together, the essays model different ways of approaching Latin America’s urban centers not only as places that inspire and house creative practices but also as ongoing collective creative endeavors themselves. The essays range from an examination of how differences of scale and point of view affect people’s experience of everyday life in Mexico City to a reflection on the transformation of a prison into a shopping mall in Uruguay, and from an analysis of Buenos Aires’s preoccupation with its own status and cultural identity to a consideration of what Miami means to Cubans in the United States.
Contributors delve into the aspirations embodied in the modernist urbanism of Brasília and the work of Lotty Rosenfeld, a Santiago performance artist who addresses the intersections of art, urban landscapes, and daily life. One author assesses the political possibilities of public art through an analysis of subway-station mosaics and Julio Cortázar’s short story “Graffiti,” while others look at the representation of Buenos Aires as a “Jewish elsewhere” in twentieth-century fiction and at two different responses to urban crisis in Rio de Janeiro. The collection closes with an essay by a member of the São Paulo urban intervention group Arte/Cidade, which invades office buildings, de-industrialized sites, and other vacant areas to install collectively produced works of art. Like that group, City/Art provides original, alternative perspectives on specific urban sites so that they can be seen anew.
Contributors. Hugo Achugar, Rebecca E. Biron, Nelson Brissac Peixoto, Néstor García Canclini, Adrián Gorelik, James Holston, Amy Kaminsky, Samuel Neal Lockhart, José Quiroga, Nelly Richard, Marcy Schwartz, George Yúdice
Since the 1970s, the performance and conceptual artist Suzanne Lacy has explored women’s lives and experiences, as well as race, ethnicity, aging, economic disparities, and violence, through her pioneering community-based art. Combining aesthetics and politics, and often collaborating with other artists and community organizations, she has staged large-scale public art projects, sometimes involving hundreds of participants. Lacy has consistently written about her work: planning, describing, and analyzing it; advocating socially engaged art practices; theorizing the relationship between art and social intervention; and questioning the boundaries separating high art from popular participation. By bringing together thirty texts that Lacy has written since 1974, Leaving Art offers an intimate look at the development of feminist, conceptual, and performance art since those movements’ formative years. In the introduction, the art historian Moira Roth provides a helpful overview of Lacy’s art and writing, which in the afterword the cultural theorist Kerstin Mey situates in relation to contemporary public art practices.
Memory and the Impact of Political Transformation in Public Space explores the effects of major upheavals—wars, decolonization, and other social and economic changes—on the ways in which public histories are presented around the world. Examining issues related to public memory in twelve countries, the histories collected here cut across political, cultural, and geographic divisions. At the same time, by revealing recurring themes and concerns, they show how basic issues of history and memory transcend specific sites and moments in time. A number of the essays look at contests over public memory following two major political transformations: the wave of liberation from colonial rule in much of Africa, Asia, and Central and South America during the second half of the twentieth century and the reorganization of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet bloc beginning in the late 1980s.
This collection expands the scope of what is considered public history by pointing to silences and absences that are as telling as museums and memorials. Contributors remind us that for every monument that is erected, others—including one celebrating Sri Lanka’s independence and another honoring the Unknown Russian Soldier of World War II—remain on the drawing board. While some sites seem woefully underserved by a lack of public memorials—as do post–Pinochet Chile and post–civil war El Salvador—others run the risk of diluting meaning through overexposure, as may be happening with Israel’s Masada. Essayists examine public history as it is conveyed not only in marble and stone but also through cityscapes and performances such as popular songs and parades.
Contributors James Carter John Czaplicka Kanishka Goonewardena Lisa Maya Knauer Anna Krylova Teresa Meade Bill Nasson Mary Nolan Cynthia Paces Andrew Ross Daniel Seltz T. M. Scruggs Irina Carlota Silber Daniel J. Walkowitz Yael Zerubavel
Innovative and lavishly illustrated, Painting the Gospel offers an indispensable contribution to conversations about African American art, theology, politics, and identity in Chicago. Kymberly N. Pinder escorts readers on an eye-opening odyssey to the murals, stained glass, and sculptures dotting the city's African American churches and neighborhoods. Moving from Chicago's oldest black Christ figure to contemporary religious street art, Pinder explores ideas like blackness in public, art for black communities, and the relationship of Afrocentric art to Black Liberation Theology. She also focuses attention on art excluded from scholarship due to racial or religious particularity. Throughout, she reflects on the myriad ways private black identities assert public and political goals through imagery.
Painting the Gospel includes maps and tour itineraries that allow readers to make conceptual, historical, and geographical connections among the works.
In 1910 John Merven Carrère, a Paris-trained American architect, wrote, “Learning from Paris made Washington outstanding among American cities.” The five essays in Paris on the Potomac explore aspects of this influence on the artistic and architectural environment of Washington, D.C., which continued long after the well-known contributions of Peter Charles L’Enfant, the transplanted French military officer who designed the city’s plan.
Isabelle Gournay’s introductory essay provides an overview and examines the context and issues involved in three distinct periods of French influence: the classical and Enlightenment principles that prevailed from the 1790s through the 1820s, the Second Empire style of the 1850s through the 1870s, and the Beaux-Arts movement of the early twentieth century. William C. Allen and Thomas P. Somma present two case studies: Allen on the influence of French architecture, especially the Halle aux Blés, on Thomas Jefferson’s vision of the U.S. Capitol; and Somma on David d’Angers’s busts of George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. Liana Paredes offers a richly detailed examination of French-inspired interior decoration in the homes of Washington’s elite in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Cynthia R. Field concludes the volume with a consideration of the influence of Paris on city planning in Washington, D.C., including the efforts of the McMillan Commission and the later development of the Federal Triangle complex.
The essays in this collection, the latest addition to the series Perspectives on the Art and Architectural History of the United States Capitol, originated in a conference held by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society in 2002 at the French Embassy’s Maison Française.
Since its founding in 1898, the Art Commission of the City of New York (ACNY) has served as the city’s aesthetic gatekeeper, evaluating all works of art intended for display on city property. And over the years, the commission’s domain has expanded dramatically to include everything from parks and courthouses to trash cans and sidewalks. In ThePolitics of Urban Beauty, Michele H. Bogart argues that this unprecedented authority has made the commission host to some complex negotiations—involving artists, architects, business leaders, activists, and politicians—about not only the role of art in urban design, but also the shape and meaning of the city and its public spaces.
A former vice president of the ACNY, Bogart tells its story here from an insider’s perspective, tracing the commission’s history from its origins as an outgrowth of progressive reform to its role in New York’s reconstruction after 9/11. Drawing on archival correspondence, drawings, and photographs from commission collections, Bogart presents bracing examples of works—ranging from New Deal murals to Louis Kahn’s unbuilt Memorial to Six Million Jewish Martyrs—that illuminate the ACNY’s subtle yet powerful role in shaping New York’s identity.
The Politics of Urban Beauty is thus a fascinating history of a New York art world that paralleled—and sometimes unpredictably intersected with—the more familiar realm of prominent architects, painters, galleries, and museums. Bogart’s fresh view adds a critical dimension to our understanding of “the city beautiful” and makes an important and lively contribution to the study of art history, urban design, and New York City itself.
This edited volume provides a multifaceted investigation of the dynamic interrelations between visual arts and urbanization in contemporary Mainland China with a focus on unseen representations and urban interventions brought about by the transformations of the urban space and the various problems associated with it. Through a wide range of illuminating case studies, the authors demonstrate how innovative artistic and creative practices initiated by various stakeholders not only raise critical awareness on socio-political issues of Chinese urbanization but also actively reshape the urban living spaces. The formation of new collaborations, agencies, aesthetics and cultural production sites facilitate diverse forms of cultural activism as they challenge the dominant ways of interpreting social changes and encourage civic participation in the production of alternative meanings in and of the city. Their significance lies in their potential to question current values and power structures as well as to foster new subjectivities for disparate individuals and social groups.