Inside Culture: Art and Class in the American Home

Inside Culture: Art and Class in the American Home

by David Halle
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226313689

ISBN-13: 9780226313689

Pub. Date: 12/28/1996

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

David Halle's idea was simple but radical: to connect culture to everyday life by showing how people actually use the artifacts of culture - paintings, photographs, sculpture - in the most intimate of all settings: the home. In the first book of its kind, Halle gives a fascinating account of the uses and meaning of art for those who buy it and live with it. His study…  See more details below

Overview

David Halle's idea was simple but radical: to connect culture to everyday life by showing how people actually use the artifacts of culture - paintings, photographs, sculpture - in the most intimate of all settings: the home. In the first book of its kind, Halle gives a fascinating account of the uses and meaning of art for those who buy it and live with it. His study ranges from the affluent town houses on Manhattan's Upper East Side and row houses in blue-collar Brooklyn to middle- and upper-middle class suburbs on Long Island, resulting in an unprecedented portrait of the meanings of art for its primary audience. Are there differences in artistic preferences between social classes or races or between urban and suburban homes? Similarities? How do choices in art works - and the way we display them - speak to our dreams, desires, pleasures, and fears? And what do they say about the real cultural boundaries between elite and popular, high and low? Halle examines landscapes, both priceless heirlooms and mass-produced sunsets; abstract paintings and prints; "primitive" sculpture; and the vibrantly colored portraits of religious art. He also discusses the gatherings of family photographs that fill every home. Inside Culture also explores the architecture and design of the houses, from the eclipse of the formal dining room to the landscape of urban backyards. Refusing easy generalizations about culture and class, Halle shows that art has a different set of meanings outside the rarefied air of museums and galleries. He challenges received opinion about the role of the audience in the history and reception of twentieth-century art to show that the experience of art isn't always what artists and critics say it is. With floor plans, drawings, and dozens of photographs, this lively book can be enjoyed on many levels. It describes for the first time the way a broad cross section of people live with art. It records for the first time the astonishing variety of artistic exp

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226313689
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
12/28/1996
Edition description:
1
Pages:
278
Product dimensions:
6.63(w) x 9.38(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1The House and Its Context23
2Empty Terrain: The Vision of the Landscape in the Residences of Contemporary Americans59
3Portraits and Family Photographs: From the Promotion to the Submersion of Self87
4Abstract Art119
5"Primitive" Art139
6The Truncated Madonna and Other Modern Catholic Iconography171
Conclusion193
Appendix205
Notes221
Index257

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