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Description - Seeing High and Low by Patricia Johnston

This cutting-edge volume presents a sweeping view of the evolution of visual culture in the United States through fifteen absorbing case studies by top scholars of American art that explore visual culture's engagement with social controversy. Written especially for this work in lively and accessible language, the essays illuminate what visual forms - including traditional crafts, sculpture, painting and graphic arts, even domestic and museum interiors - can tell us about social conditions, how visual culture has contributed to social values, and how concepts of high and low art have developed. The only work on visual culture to span American history from the early republic to the present and to delve into issues from ethnicity to geography, "Seeing High and Low" allows readers to follow the evolution of concepts of 'high' and 'low' art as well as to gain new insight into American history. Arranged roughly chronologically, these generously illustrated essays explore topics including the formative role of visual images in the process of class stratification in the Early Republic; the contribution of media images and paintings to debates on environmental crises, race relations, and urbanization in the late nineteenth century; and the difficulties of engaging with social issues while employing a modernist vocabulary.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780520241886
ISBN-10: 0520241886
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 178mm x 18mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 6-Jun-2006
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Patricia Johnston

Patricia Johnston, Professor of Art History at Salem State College, is author of Real Fantasies: Edward Steichen's Advertising Photography (1997). She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History at Harvard University.