Library JournalThese 13 essays by 12 authors follow up on Howard Becker's pioneering sociological study Art Worlds (LJ 5/15/82). Quantitative and historical research examining a variety of media, movements, and artists considered "marginal" was conducted by graduate students working with editor Gross (Annenberg Sch. for Communication, Univ. of Pennsylvania). Readers will linger over the controversial and thought-provoking pieces the students produced, such as "Public Art and Cultural Authority," "From East to West": Polish Artists in the New York Art World," and "Trading Places in the Art World: The Reputations of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans." Unfortunately, however fascinating, the arguments are sometimes tarnished by misconceptions, e.g., that "fine art" excludes functional objects, crafts, and folk art and that it remains the domain of the upper classes and the romantic genius artist. Still, as an addition to the small field of sociology of the art world, this is recommended for larger academic collections.-Mary Hamel-Schwulst, Towson State Univ., Md.
BooknewsResearch studies by graduate students at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania question the social arrangements that determine the recruitment and training of artists, the institutional mechanisms governing distribution, and the process of innovation within art worlds. They focus on borderline cases and controversies that expose the invisible rules determining art world practices, and discuss topics such as pricing new art, amateur photography and middlebrow culture, and graffiti. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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