In the spring of 2015, I taught a survey of American art to 1945 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). My plan was to offer a course that challenged the established canon of white, male artists of privilege, and I assigned the insightful American Encounters as the main textbook for the course.
Jules Prown’s approach to making and teaching art history is among the most well documented methodologies in the discipline. Look no further than his canonical “Style as Evidence” (1980) or “Mind in Matter” (1982). What he offers here will enter the historical record as a complement to these earlier pieces.
When I began graduate study of art history at Harvard University in 1951, American art resided at the bottom of the art historical hierarchy.
The inaugural Bully Pulpit considers a historical question with significant implications for contemporary art history: how have American art historians defined and reconceived their discipline during past moments of severe economic, political, and institutional crisis?
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