Fine Arts | Popular Art: Class, Taste, and Cultural Politics, C. 1830-1930
A643 | 26156 | Burns


Popular Art:  Class, Taste, and Cultural Politics, C. 1830-1930
(Problems in Art Theory 3)

“Popular Art” will examine American artists and art practices
associated with mass reproduction, commerce, and consumerism from
about 1830 to 1930 (though these dates are elastic in both
directions).  Readings and discussion will delve into theories of
popular art and of visual and material cultures more generally;
issues of authenticity and replication; of “high” and “low” (not to
mention in between); of class, taste; and critical judgment; and
(more abstractly) how critics and observers have viewed and analyzed
the complex relations of art and democracy since the era of the
early Republic.  Popular prints, comics, caricature, best-sellers,
plaster casts, mass-marketed magazines and illustrated books, and
iconic “masterpieces” will be among the topics examined, along with
readings in both primary, secondary, and theoretical sources.
Course work includes short-term activities (such as reporting or
collaborating on specific readings or objects) and an original
research project.