A People?s Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements

A People?s Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements

by Nicolas Lampert


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Most people outside of the art world view art as something that is foreign to their experiences and everyday lives. A People’s Art History of the United States places art history squarely in the rough–and–tumble of politics, social struggles, and the fight for justice from the colonial era through the present day.

Author and radical artist Nicolas Lampert combines historical sweep with detailed examinations of individual artists and works in a politically charged narrative that spans the conquest of the Americas, the American Revolution, slavery and abolition, western expansion, the suffragette movement and feminism, civil rights movements, environmental movements, LGBT movements, antiglobalization movements, contemporary antiwar movements, and beyond.

A People’s Art History of the United States introduces us to key works of American radical art alongside dramatic retellings of the histories that inspired them. Stylishly illustrated with over two hundred images, this book is nothing less than an alternative education for anyone interested in the powerful role that art plays in our society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595583246
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 11/05/2013
Series: New Press People's History
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 698,488
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Nicolas Lampert is a Milwaukee-based interdisciplinary artist and author whose work focuses on themes of social justice and ecology. His artwork is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum, among others. Collectively, he works with the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. Lampert is a full-time faculty member (academic staff appointment) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Table of Contents

Series Preface vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

1 Parallel Paths on the Same River 1

2 Visualizing a Partial Revolution 11

3 Liberation Graphics 22

4 Abolitionism as Autonomy, Activism, and Entertainment 33

5 The Battleground over Public Memory 39

6 Photographing the Past During the Present 48

7 Jacob A. Riis's Image Problem 60

8 Haymarket: An Embattled History of Static Monuments and Public Interventions 70

9 Blurring the Boundaries Between Art and Life 86

10 The Masses on Trial 99

11 Banners Designed to Break a President 110

12 The Lynching Crisis 121

13 Become the Media, Circa 1930 135

14 Government-Funded Art: The Boom and Bust Years for Public Art 146

15 Artists Organize 156

16 Artists Against War and Fascism 167

17 Resistance or Loyalty: The Visual Politics of Miné Okubo 176

18 Come Let Us Build a New World Together 188

19 Party Artist: Emory Douglas and the Black Panther Party 199

20 Protesting the Museum Industrial Complex 211

21 "The Living, Breathing Embodiment of a Culture Transformed" 224

22 Public Rituals, Media Performances, and Citywide Interventions 235

23 No Apologies: Asco, Performance Art, and the Chicano Civil Rights Movement 242

24 Art Is Not Enough 252

25 Antinuclear Street Art 263

26 Living Water: Sustainability Through Collaboration 269

27 Art Defends Art 278

28 Bringing the War Home 286

29 Impersonating Utopia and Dystopia 296

Notes 305

Index 347

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