American art: a cultural history

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H.N. Abrams, 2001 - Art - 416 pages
Drawing on socio-economic and political studies as well as histories of religion, science, literature, and popular culture, this book explores the diverse, conflicted history of American art and architecture within the United States from the European voyages of discovery and colonial conquest to the present dawn of a new millennium. Thematically interrelates the arts of architecture, painting, sculpture, and photography instead of compartmentalizing the different media in separate chapters, providing an ideal format for readers understanding of the various historical and cultural contexts discussed throughout the book. Contemporary criticism and art commentaries are examined, demonstrating to readers how artworks are consumed as well as produced in relation to particular political and social conditions. Artworks that were extremely popular during the period in which they were produced, and later retrospectively dismissed by art historians, are also included and examined, encouraging readers to analyze the popular success or failure of individual art objects by interpreting their production and consumption in historical depth from multiple cultural, political, and social viewpoints.

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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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