Imagery & creativity: ethnoaesthetics and art worlds in the Americas

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University of Arizona Press, 1993 - Art - 377 pages
From pottery to story to carnivals, various forms of artistic expression from the Americas can be shown to reflect universal human imagery and creativity. In this collection, contributors from a variety of disciplines utilize an ethnoaesthetic perspective to place art forms within their cultural and social milieus, and address the problem of understanding culturally patterned creative expressions caught up in organized art worlds. The book presents an array of contemporary and ancient arts of North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean, ranging from the cultural heritage of the Central Andes and Mesoamerica to contemporary peoples who share a legacy of colonial domination - such as Native American artists of Canada and the American Southwest, the Saramaka Maroons of Suriname, Trinidadian Carnival designers, and the Canelos Quichua of Amazonian Ecuador. Approaches used by the authors include a general survey of the arts of a region, an intensive study of the aesthetic genres and styles of a culture, an examination of the historical and ethnohistorical features of artistic and cultural hegemony, and a reconstruction of life histories in cultural context. Throughout the book, the authors seek to combine respect for the local-level creation and production of art, narrative, and performance with an understanding of macro-level institutional manifestations of art-world domination and hegemony. Together, they show that these diverse art forms reflect universal human imagery and creativity that persist through time and communicate across cultural barriers.

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About the author (1993)

Norman E. Whitten Jr., is a professor of anthropology, professor and director of Latin American and Caribbean studies, and curator at the Spurlock Museum, all at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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