American Art: A Cultural History (Trade Edition) (2nd Edition)

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9780131455795: American Art: A Cultural History (Trade Edition) (2nd Edition)

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 interrelating the visual arts to other material artifacts and cultural practices, it text examines how artists and architects produced artwork that visually expressed various social and political values. Covering the years between 1492 and 2002, chapter titles include The Invention and Mapping of America, Religious Rituals and the Visual Arts in Colonial America, Art and the Consumer Revolution in Colonial America, Revolutionary Icons and the Representation of Republican Virtue, National Identity and Private Interests in Antebellum America, Art and Commerce in the Gilded Age, Modernist Art and Politics, Modernism/Postmodernism and the Survival of a Critical Vision, and Globalization and the Culture Wars. For individuals interested in a survey of American art.

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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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A survey of American painting, sculpture, photography and architecture. Bjelajac seeks to show the interrelation of art, politics and social change by encouraging readers to look at art from the point of view of audiences contemporary with the artist.

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