1st Edition

The Public Arts

By Gilbert Seldes Copyright 1994

    First published in 1956 and then again in 1994. Seldes can be viewed as a pioneer of popularising and giving value to popular culture in his various publications since 1924. The Public Arts first published in 1956 starts with a letter to Jimmy Durante and Edward R. Murrow in which Seldes suggests that news and entertainment are 'part of one field' and that 'the lively arts and the mass media are two aspects of the same phenomenon' which can be captured in the term 'the public arts'. Popular culture refers to the world of situation comedies, comic strips, MTV. radio and television talk shows, football games, standup comedians, mystery stories, popular romance novels, and so on. Elite culture refers to operas, ballets, classical music, masterworks of painting and sculpture, serious novels and plays and other art forms that require, generally speaking, relatively sophisticated sensibilities. Many critics now argue that it is now unauthenticated to argue that popular culture and elite culture are different.

    Biographical Note, To Edward R. Murrow and Jimmy Durante 1 The Revolution 2 The Lovely Art: Movement 3 The Lovely Art: Sound 4 The Lovely Art: Magic 5 The Lovely Art: Space 6 The Useful Art 7 Sounds and Echoes 8 Personality Business 9 The Threshold of Entertainment 10 The Anatomy of Misery 11 Domestic Manners in the 49th State 12 What a Work Is Man! 13 The Incomparable Bing 14 The Prevalence of Comedy 15 The Good-Bad Berle 16 Ave, Vale, and Wait 17 Mr. Benny 18 The Gleason Case 19 Me and the Camera and the Folks 20 What’ll We Do for Laughs, Celeste? 21 The 52-Minute Hour 22 The Consequences of Time 23 Blessed Necessity 24 The Situations of Edward R. Murrow 25 A Primer of Problems 26 Rights and Duties I: Freedom of the Air 27 Rights and Duties II: The Right to Persuade 28 Rights and Duties III: The Limitations of Freedom 28 Problems of Power I: The Politics of Color 29 Problems of Power II: The Ultra-Highs 30 Problems of Power III: Programs for Pay 31 Problems of Power IV: The Educational Nexus 32 A New Approach 33 The Trinity of the Arts 34The Public Arts


    Gilbert Seldes