Making American Art  book cover
1st Edition

Making American Art

ISBN 9780415420709
Published November 14, 2008 by Routledge
280 Pages

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Book Description

Making American Art presents a thematic, interdisciplinary examination of art in the United States from the seventeenth century to the present day.

The themes and issues explored in Making American Art pull together documentary material, art works and contemporary theory to enliven what can often be a complex and geographically overwhelming history. The abiding and connective theme of the book is an extended and multidimensional examination of the perennial and vexing question: what is American about American art? In attempting an answer, the book draws upon topics that are not always present in conventional art-historical accounts - the education of the artist, the mechanisms for promoting and institutionalising art work, the facilities for reproducing and disseminating American art, and the organisation of artistic activities. In considering the quest for an authentic expression of Americanism in the visual arts this book incorporates areas that normally fall outside the remit of high art, such as the conditions under which American art was produced.

Chapter topics include:

  • education and the American artist
  • art into reproduction
  • touring America
  • the art of American landscape
  • accommodating American art
  • writing about American art.

Making American Art includes a detailed and discursive account of the reception of American art and artists outside the United States.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Educating American Artists  2. Art into Reproduction  3. Touring America  4. Landscape  5. Accommodating American Art  6. Writing About American Art  7. End Notes  Bibiography

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Pam Meecham has worked as an art teacher in schools and universities since 1971. She currently teaches museum and gallery studies, is course leader for the MA Museums & Galleries in Education and has a number of doctoral students researching aspects of art education and museum studies at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Julie Sheldon is Reader in Art History at Liverpool John Moores University. She is the Programme Leader for BA History of Art and Museum Studies, a collaborative undergraduate course with Tate Liverpool, and MRes Art and Design History. Previous publications with Pam Meecham include Modern Art: A Critical Introduction (2000).


"Making American Art provides a refreshing overview of the multiple kinds of labor - physical, intellectual, economic, political, social - that drive and define culture productions in the United States. It features an excellent bibliography, which is to be commended at a time when many publishers are eliminating such helpful resources for reasons of cost." - Spring/Summer issue of American Studies, Vol. 50:1/2