By By (author) Alan Wallach
A number one pupil of artwork, paintings heritage, and American reviews considers the way in which artwork museums have depicted American society and the yank earlier. In heavily concentrated and infrequently arguable essays, Alan Wallach explores the opposing ideologies that drove the improvement of the yank artwork museum within the nineteenth century and the tensions and contradictions attribute of contemporary museum historical past. forty illustrations.
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Additional info for Exhibiting contradiction: essays on the art museum in the United States
High art is of course a central feature of bourgeois society, a necessary component of bourgeois hegemony. William C. " 1 Yet to produce such a mind-set, to construct a "Rembrandt" or a "Raphael'' adequate to the demands of bourgeois hegemony is no easy thing. It cannot occur without at least minimal cooperation between elite factions capable of taking control of, or establishing power over, the stateeither locally or nationally. This was precisely not the case in the United States during the six decades preceding the Civil War.
Yet if after 1900 American art museums increasingly focused on collecting costly originals, they never abandoned what they took to be their civilizing mission. " Parrish, who opened his Southampton Gallery of Art (today the Parrish Art Museum) during the Spanish-American War, was a well-connected corporate lawyer and Republican Party activist who numbered among his friends Henry Gurdon Marquand, a millionaire Wall Street banker and, between 1889 and his death in 1902, president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's board of trustees.
Something similar occurred with the American Art-Union, an art lottery whose subscribers enrolled for a chance to win paintings, and who received steel engravings as yearly premiums for membership. 24 At its height it attracted almost nineteen thousand subscribers nationwide, and its annual drawings were social events of note. "26 The Art-Union thus represented an attempt by an elite faction to create an organization it could totally control (elite entrepreneurship) by defining a uniquely American high art aesthetic, and by prompting a broad public to distinguish between high art and popular entertainment.