Middlebury

AMST 0281

Controversies in AmArt&Museums

Viewer Discretion Advised: Controversies in American Art & Museums, 1876-Present
What are the “culture wars,” and why do they matter? What ideas are considered too “obscene” for American audiences? In this course we will explore controversies and scandals sparked by public displays of art in the U.S. including: Eakins’s Gross Clinic (1876), seen as too “bloody” for an art exhibition; the U.S. Navy’s objections to Paul Cadmus’s painting of sailors (1934); censorship and NEA budget cuts (Mapplethorpe & Serrano, 1989); backlash to The West as America’s deconstruction of myths of the frontier (1991); tensions surrounding Colonial Williamsburg’s “slave auction” reenactment (1994); debates over the continued display (and occasional defacement) of Confederate monuments in the era of the Black Lives Matter Movement. (open to AMST, HARC and ART majors only, other by approval) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
Subject:
American Studies
Department:
Program in American Studies
Division:
Interdisciplinary
Requirements Fulfilled:
AMR ART HIS NOR
Equivalent Courses:
HARC 0281

Sections in Spring 2022

Spring 2022

AMST0281A-S22 Lecture (Foutch)