M. Elizabeth (Betsy) Boone and Lauren Lessing, Executive Editors
Recent trends in the scholarship of American Art have created a more capacious arena of study—one that accommodates and promotes voices, subjects, and approaches that might have seemed unlikely, if not unthinkable, two decades ago. Panorama began publication during this crucial period of expansion, and its commitment to methodological innovation, inclusion, and diversity springs from this fact. The existence of Panorama is a response to and also stands ready to respond to this growth in the field.
Do we have a responsibility to the nation in our teaching and writing on American art? How would this responsibility be enacted and can it be done without seeming to be jingoistic? Does a new understanding of our nation impact our teaching and study of American art? How do you feel about the idea of a national narrative? Have you been challenged to rethink the relationship between American art, the nation, and its citizenry at any time in the last year?
I have often asked myself what exactly is the meaning of the term “American art” and why museums of American art are important. In this particular historical moment, can an art museum help to build a sense of common commitment to a place, a set of ideals, and one another?
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