History of Art 5632/8601 - American Art 1900 - Present



In 1941 the influential publisher Henry Luce triumphantly heralded the advent of “The American Century.” He predicted that from the mid-20th century onwards the United States would dominate the globe in political, economic, and cultural terms. This course will explore aspects of American art and visual culture from the inception of “The American Century” through to the present. Case studies for consideration will include artistic responses to the dawn of the Atomic Age and the onset of the Cold War; the rise of Abstract Expressionism and the new centrality of U.S., especially New York, within the Western art world; the influence of mass culture; the emergence of an activist counter-culture; and the continuing relevance of figuration and representational artforms in relation to the critical ascendency of abstraction. Throughout the course we will direct our attention to the often fraught relations between art and politics, including how artists navigated entrenched inequalities determined by gender, race, and class. To the extent that the pandemic allows, we also hope to include field trips to collections in Ohio as an integral part of the course.

Professors Lisa Florman and Jody Patterson

HA5632 Classs # UG: 23552 | G: 23551
HA8601 Class # 33333
FRIDAYS 2:15 - 5:00, in Person