Visualizing Labor in American Sculpture: Monuments, Manliness, and the Work Ethic, 1880-1935

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This book focuses on representations of work in American sculpture, from the decade in which the American Federation of Labor was formed, to the inauguration of the federal works project that subsidized American artists during the Great Depression. Restoring a group of important monuments to the history of labor, gender studies and American art history, this book analyzes key monuments and small-scale works in which labor was often constituted as "manly" and where the work ethic mediated both production and reception.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dabakis' study illuminates the contributions of both public monuments and genre sculptures to contemporary understandings of the value of labor. It is important and innovative in its insistence that constructing meanings for these works was a historically mediated and at times ideologically combative process that actively engaged patrons, artists, and also viewers." Helen Langa, The Journal of American History

"...engaging, provocative, and beautifully designed book. This book's signal achievement is its effective melding of the traditional strengths of art history...For public historians, Dabakis opens up sources and approaches that enrich our consideration of the ways that public memory is expressed, shaped, and contested." The Public Historian

"a sophisticated combination of social and art historical analysis." American Historical Review

"Dabakis has done an extraordinary job researching each of these monumenting to discern the evolving and intertwing discourses about gender, work, and politics that surround each sculptural project...provides helpful historical background" Winterthur Portfolio 36:1

"Offering a refreshing thematic approach to a study of American sculpture, this book connects the subject of American labor in both large- and small-scale sculpture to the context of history, gender roles, and even the dynamics of labor-management." Choice

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. The work ethic ideology and American art; 2. The Haymarket affair; 3. The world's Columbian exhibition of 1893; 4. Douglas Tilden's mechanics fountain; 5. The Constantin Meunier exhibition; 6. American genre sculpture in the progressive era; 7. Capitalism, communism, and the politics of sculpture, 1917 to 1935; 8. The Samuel Gompers Memorial.
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