Read an Excerpt
"This book is a social history of Pop Art, a group portrait of both the artists and the people who made some of them rich and famous in just a few years, while setting in motion the drastically altered way art is marketed and appreciated--in the monetary and aesthetic sense--up to the present day. The artists, their dealers, fans and patrons starred in a cultural revolution that still resonates today. Unheard-of prosperity encouraged people who had never been interested in art to flock to museums; and the line between avid art collectors and speculators blurred. Critics who for decades had guided the public's taste in art were suddenly brushed aside, tagged as hopelessly elitist; their colleagues in literature, sociology, politics and economics likewise overturned. After reigning for almost a century, the old Modernist creed, with its aesthetic theories, successive avant gardes, judgmental critics and arrogant upper crust, was fading. This changing of the cultural guard reflected a profound relaxation of previously ironclad rules, not only in art or literature, but also in behavior, dress, entertainment and personal fulfillment. Those who had endured the privations of the Depression and the horrors of the Second World War basked in new opportunities--for education, housing, the pleasures of a comfortable income and time to savor them. They set off the "culture boom" of the 1960s, and were indispensable to the success, not only of Pop art, but of all the varied approaches to art that followed.
Alice Goldfarb Marquis, excerpted from her introduction to The Pop Revolution: How an Unlikely Concatenation of Artists, Aficionados, Businessmen, Critics, Curators, Collectors, Dealers, and Hangers-On Radically Transformed the Art World.