This is to move beyond simply writing a more inclusive history of art to understanding African Americans as active participants in the history of modernism.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017; 336 pp.; 10 b/w illus.; ISBN 978-0226298993; Hardcover: $30.00
Reviewed by: Emily Moore, Assistant Professor of Art History, Colorado State University
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2017; 280 pages; 57 b/w photos; 12 color illus.; Paperback: $27.00; Cloth: $108.00
Reviewed by: Johanna Gosse, Visiting Assistant Professor and Scholar-in-Residence, Department of Art and Art History, University of Colorado, Boulder
I could begin by asking, does patriotism have a place in the study of American art? However, I prefer an even broader question: can ideology—and patriotism is nothing if not an ideological phenomenon—furnish a basis for scholarship?
Long before I met an art historian and long before I trained to become one, I knew that museums were sources and resources and that they were sites of social and cultural capital. I also did not expect museums to connect with me, and I did not care much if they did.
The front of the building that houses El Museo del Barrio features an artwork by the conceptual artist Luis Camnitzer that simply states: “A museum is a school: the artist learns to communicate, the public learns to make connections.”
Benjamin Ives Gilman invented the skiascope to ensure that museum visitors saw art as he thought best—without distraction. Unfortunately, as far as I was able to determine, no skiascope survives. And so I built one.
During the last half century, the history of American sculpture has been transformed dramatically. Very roughly, during the first twenty-five years (i.e., from the late 1960s to mid-1990s), scholars used object- or artist-based documentary scholarship, connoisseurship, and formalist analyses to create the foundation publications.
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