The Woodrow Wilson Center Press
The Arts of Democracy: Art, Public Culture, and the State
Influenced by two decades of debate inside and outside the academy about the relationship among the arts, politics, and public policy, the essays collected in The Arts of Democracy represent the coming of age of one of the liveliest fields in contemporary academic life. Written by some of the most respected and accomplished scholars working in their fields, this volume illuminates the often contradictory impulses that have shaped the historical intersection of the arts, public culture, and the state in modern America, beginning with an art market at the turn of the twentieth century that supported a notion of civic identity, through the mid-century era of state-sponsored art, to the postmodern disconnect between artistic and civic languages.
Topics range from Norman Rockwell as public artist and the creation of the NEA visual arts program to State Department-sponsored jazz tours in the mid-twentieth century, and religious displays in the twenty-first century. Taken together, the essays in The Arts of Democracy pave the way for future study in the complex and interwoven histories of artistic expression, values, ideology, statecraft, and democratic aspiration.
What People are Saying
"The Arts of Democracy is a wonderful collection that addresses a set of vitally important topics. The essays range widely and imaginatively, offering nuanced considerations of the relationship between art, public culture, and the state. The book will be a must-read not only among historians and art historians, but also among arts administrators, foundation officers, and public officials."
—Daniel Horowitz, author of Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique
List of Figures
Introduction: Public Culture Reconsidered
PART I COMMERCIAL CULTURE AS PUBLIC CULTURE
1 Festival Culture, American Style, Neil Harris
2 Norman Rockwell, Public Artist, Michele H. Bogart
PART II CULTURAL POLICY AND THE STATE
3 Culture and the State in America, Michael Kammen
4 The Happy Few—en Masse: Franco-American Comparisons in Cultural Democratization, Vera L. Zolberg
5 Exporting America: The U.S. Propaganda Offensive, 1945–1959, Laura A. Belmonte
6 The Goodwill Ambassador: Duke Ellington and Black Worldliness, Penny M. Von Eschen
7 A Modernist Vision: The Origins and Early Years of the National Endowment for the Arts' Visual Arts Program, Donna M. Binkiewicz
8 Between Civics and Politics: The Modernist Moment in Federal Public Art, Casey Nelson Blake
PART III THE ARTS AND CIVIC CULTURE AFTER MODERNISM
9 The Swirl of Image and Sound: On the Latest Version of Antirealism, Kenneth Cmiel
10 Public Attitudes toward Cultural Authority and Cultural Diversity in Higher Education and the Arts, Paul DiMaggio and Bethany Bryson
11 "Subtle, Intangible, and Non-Quantifiable": Aesthetics, Law, and Speech in Public Space, Leslie Prosterman
12 The Public Display of Religion, Sally M. Promey