Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture

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Vintage Books, 2007 - Art - 450 pages
In this lively narrative, award-winning author Michael Kammen presents a fascinating analysis of cutting-edge art and artists and their unique ability to both delight and provoke us. He illuminates America’s obsession with public memorials and the changing role of art and museums in our society. From Thomas Eakins’s 1875 masterpiece The Gross Clinic, (considered “too big, bold, and gory” when first exhibited) to the bitter disputes about Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial, this is an eye-opening account of American art and the battles and controversies that it has ignited.

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User Review  - kant1066 - LibraryThing

“Visual Shock” purports to be nothing less than a history of art controversies in American culture. Its scope is extensive, dating all the way back to the beginning of the nineteenth century and the ... Read full review

VISUAL SHOCK: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture

User Review  - Kirkus

Kammen (American History and Culture/Cornell Univ.) examines the history and significance of art controversies from the 1830s to the present.The Pulitzer Prize-winner, for People of Paradox (1972 ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Michael Kammen was born in Rochester in 1936. He took his BA at George Washington University and his PhD at Harvard. He is Newton C. Farr Professor of American History and Culture at Cornell University, where he has taught since 1965. A past President of the Organization of American Historians, he is the author or editor of numerous works and has lectured throughout the world. His People of Paradox was a Pulitzer Prize winner.

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