American art: a cultural history

Front Cover
Abrams, 2001 - Art - 416 pages
In this provocative new survey of American painting, sculpture, photography, and architecture, David Bjelajac dismisses both the idea of an evolutionary development of styles and a uniquely American way of seeing. Instead, showing the interrelation of art, politics, and social change, he encourages readers to look at artworks from the point of view of contemporaneous audiences and within a larger historical context.

Explaining how shifting cultural values influence the way we interpret art, Bjelajac helps us to understand why people have reacted positively or negatively to various works at various times. Nearly 400 illustrations, 150 in full color, illustrate a vibrant, stimulating, and original work in which art is viewed not only in terms of its creation but also its reception.

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American art: a cultural history

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Bjelajac (art and human sciences, George Washington Univ.) abandons the quest for "American-ness" in favor of a contextual history of art in American society. Basically chronological, his book is also ... Read full review


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About the author (2001)

Bjelajac is professor of art and human sciences at the George Washington University, lives in Washington, D.C.

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