Finding the Muse: A Sociopsychological Inquiry into the Conditions of Artistic Creativity

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Finding the Muse explores the lives of a group of aspiring artists from the mid-1960s, when they completed art school, to the mid-1980s, focusing especially on problems of artistic creativity as they relate to such issues as the mystique of the artist, the challenge of establishing community among artists, the place of the art market in the construction of artistic identity, and the limits and possibilities of modern and postmodern art itself. The present exploration is a timely one; for despite the wealth of information suggesting that recent decades have brought an unparalleled measure of freedom for artists owing to the increasingly pluralistic climate within which they have lived and worked, it is suggested here that this climate has been decidedly less conducive to creativity than is often assumed. By identifying salient problems of contemporary artistic creativity, Mark Freeman seeks both to reconstruct more optimal conditions of creativity and to provide direction for how these conditions might be achieved. In addition to having particular usefulness for psychologists of art and sociologists of American culture, Finding the Muse will be of interest to aspiring artists, philosophers, art historians, and art educators.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An outstanding work...Engaging, critically, a variety of 'individualist' views focusing on the encapsulation of the artist, the author makes a strong case for the socio-historical-cultural constitution both of artists and works of art. An exceptionally well written book, accessible both to professional scholars and to intelligent general readers. A 'find.'" Choice

"Finding the Muse can be read as a work on the sociopsychology of creativity and artistic work. It should be read simultaneously as a statement of viewpoint about directions for psychology as a field. In both readings, it is a significant contribution that deserves serious intention." Margery B. Franklin, Contemporary Psychology

"Finding the Muse will be welcomed in social psychological circles..." Caterina Pizanias, Theory of Psychology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521044790
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/5/2007
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Social Reality and the Space of Creativity 1
Ch. 2 To Be an Artist 36
Ch. 3 In the Company of Others 86
Ch. 4 Creativity and the Market 128
Ch. 5 The Dream of Artistic Freedom 186
Ch. 6 The Conditions of Creativity 251
Appendix: The Artists Project 308
References 315
Index 323
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2004

    Now I See!

    Dr. Freeman shines a bright light that sheds not only clarity, but warmth, to his subjects. A revealing and insightful inquiry into the motivation, lives and loves of some of the most interesting characters of the art world. Written with clarity and a good dose of humor, this tome is indispensable for anyone striving to comprehend the soul of the artist.

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