American Muse: Anthropological Excursions into Art and Aesthetics

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9780130843135: American Muse: Anthropological Excursions into Art and Aesthetics

This clear, lively book approaches its subject using the traditional methods of cultural anthropology—in-depth interviews with "native" informants, examination of "native" sources, and analysis of "native" rites of passage. In this unique case, however, the native consultants are Americans and the focus is the arts that they produce and enjoy. True to anthropology's hallmark relativism, the author explores not only the fine arts but also the popular arts, giving as much attention and analysis to wedding cakes, rock and roll, and automobiles as to gallery paintings, classical music, and formal literature. Specifically, coverage includes an introduction to the book's central aim; The Role of Art in Americans' Lives; Art in an American Rite of Passage: Weddings; What does art do in America?; Who put the "Bomp" in the "Bomp, Bomp, Bomp"?; The Real Art World; and Calliope in America. For professionals in the fields of Art and Anthropology seeking a focused study of American Arts/Aesthetics and Popular Culture.

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