Thursday, July 26, 2012



For many analysts, from Roger Fry to Clement Greenberg, it has seemed that the most salient aspect of modern art has been formal innovation. Social and political overtones were discounted. Yet recent scholarship has detected political elements even in fauvism and cubism, two breakthrough pictorial styles of the early twentieth century that have long been regarded as citadels of formal experiment. In the 1920s overt political art was prominent in Germany and the Soviet Union; in the 1930s in the United States. 
During the nineteen-seventies and eighties interest in creating contemporary art political strongly revived. In Europe Joseph Beuys and Anselm Kieffer addressed formerly taboo issues of Germany's past. In North America artistic production by women, African Americans, Latinos, gay men, and lesbians became increasingly prominent and increasingly political. In New York City these trends triumphed in the controversial 1993 Biennial Exhibition of the Whitney Museum of Art.
Scholars and critics have also been interested in exploring political dimensions, including those evident in the distant past.  In part this interest reflects a turning away from the concept of the absolute autonomy of art inherited from nineteenth-century aesthetics. It parallels the growing politicization of contemporary art.

Foundations of the Socioeconomic Approach.
All art has an economic aspect: the professional artist expects to be paid, and the amateur producer must still purchase materials and sustain his or her life. For those producing for gain two basic strategies have prevailed. One is that of executing works of art on commission, the usual practice in periods when art obeys the commands of religion and the state; the other is the practice, which has become dominant in modern times, of creating works "on spec" with the hope that eventually someone will buy them.
During the Middle Ages cathedrals represented some of the most ambitious human creations ever undertaken. Some were completed in a mere fifty years, while others took centuries. Urged on by bishops and interested laity, the pace of construction nonetheless depended on elaborate funding schemes that could be derailed by war, famine, and popular resistance.
For the late Gothic period, surviving records permit the reconstruction of these financial patterns, which are governed by an interplay of accelerating enthusiasm and decelerating constraints, showing the crucial link between money and piety.i For success, these arrangements required complicated negotiations among participants of various social classes that foreshadow today's struggles in community boards over urban development. For Renaissance Florence, as Richard A. Goldthwaite has shown, we have information about a wide range of building projects, affording a sense of the growth of the urban fabric as a whole.ii In a pathfinding monograph, James Ackerman showed that the villas of Palladio were not only superbly harmonious creations for the leisure of the Venetian aristocracy, but also economic centers facilitating the agricultural exploitation of the Veneto hinterland.iii
Seventeenth-century Holland, with its precocious capitalism and flourishing art world, is particularly interesting as it lies at the intersection of the older system of patronage and the newer one of "on-spec" creation. In Protestant Holland the church was no longer a major art patron, while middle-class persons increasingly collected paintings, sometimes for investment. The loosening of the bonds of the guild system allowed artists to tailor their production more flexibly in response to market conditions.iv
Private dealers are central to the modern art market. Today, just as in the days of Durand-Ruel and Kahnweiler, far-sighted dealers nurture tyro artists, keeping them in funds until they can "make the grade." Dealers, then, have a say on which artists will eventually be considered worthy of the historical record. In the polycentrist culture of the late twentieth century, there seems little support for the strong thesis of insidious dealer domination, that is, that dealers conspire to foist certain favored artists on a hapless public. To be sure, some dealers are more successful than others and the artists they handle benefit.
In New York City those with long memories seem to share a sense that the art world has, since 1945, departed more and more from the early days of avant-garde heroism to a mass phenomenon in which commercialism and corruption are ever more the rule.v To the extent that this has been the case, art galleries are only one element in the shift, though necessarily a large But no one wishes to do away with the pluralistic profusion of art galleries, which are one of the few free cultural activities the metropolis affords: generally they charge no admission fee. In any event, claims of widespread corruption require much more research before they can be accepted.
Very large prices paid at auction houses have focused attention on the role of this institution.vii The entry of new cadres of buyers, such as the Hollywood crowd or wealthy Europeans and Japanese with a new interest in American art, can change relative values. Most scholars are little affected by price levels, knowing that these reflect scarcity and fashion. There is no doubt that a history of the art market is of considerable interest; however, this interest pertains mainly to the realms of economics and taste, rather than to art history per se.
Another economic aspect of the art world, one universally deplored even by those who engage in it, is forgery. Excluding fakes from the oeuvre of individual artists is a necessary aspect of connoisseurship. In addition to the practical problem, forgery also poses more fundamental challenges to the theory of art, including problems of authenticity and aesthetic value.viii
By definition objects are forged that belong to categories of art that are in demand. Patterns of forgery shift in obedience to changes in taste. A full-scale history of forgery would afford revealing glimpses of such shifts in taste--and thereby contribute to a better understanding of the historiography of art.

Marxism and Its Affinities.
In recent times a socioeconomic approach to art has been particularly associated with Marxism. Although his literary interests were both broad and deep, Karl Marx had relatively little acquaintance with the visual arts. His tastes seem to have run to nineteenth-century history paintings that engaged him for their subject matter.ix He did make the significant point, too little heeded by his followers, that the high quality of the art of ancient Greece cannot be explained by the comparatively primitive economic level of the society that produced it. It seems that there is no easy correlation--in this realm at least--of economic base and cultural superstructure. Some later Marxist writers have, of course, sought to treat art as a continuing and faithful reflection of the historical evolution of the economic base, while others have criticized these efforts as "vulgar Marxism" or "economism" (the striving to subordinate other aspects of human life rigidly to economic determinants). A variant of this approach sometimes taken by Marxists is really Hegelian, for it sees art as part of a whole complex of cultural endeavors, including law, politics, and the economy. The difficulty with this view is that it does not show how the parts fit together, that is to say, what commands what? Here, of course, economism, however crude it may be in practice, offers a clear answer.
Another problem is ideology, of which art may be regarded as a part. Is ideology to be defined in a value-neutral way, that is as simply one's world view? Or is it a delusive system cynically manipulated by the ruling class to maintain its power, but which can be discarded once we unmask the false consciousness that sustains it? Some version of the latter view is usually preferred by Marxists. Seen in this context, the approach to art is bound to be somewhat reductivist.
Opposed in their explanation of the determination of human behavior, Marxism and psychoanalysis nonetheless have something in common. They are both "schools of suspicion" in that they hold that the surface appearance of things is a delusion. We must strip away the veil of delusion to find the hidden reality that lies beneath. Moreover, Marxism and psychoanalysis are both "theories of everything" that satisfy a need for universality of explanation formerly proffered by religion. Once mastered, these systems have an addictive quality.  First you labor to acquire the jargon, but then you gain continuing reinforcement from applying it. The adept revels in a sense of superiority of the "I know something you don't" kind. In the case of Marxism this elite appeal has the fatal drawback of alienating the working class, who resent the arrogance of the educated with their highfalutin jargon.  As with psychoanalysis, there are formidable evidentiary problems; the labor theory of value, inevitability of socialism, immiseration, centrality of the class struggle--all these doctrines have failed to gain substantiation.
Central Europe in the 1920s and 1930s offered fertile ground for Marxist explorations of culture. The most important academic focus was the Institut für Sozialforschung in Frankfurt including such figures as Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse.x The Frankfurt school rejected both western capitalism and Soviet communism, seeking to create a body of critical theory that would prefigure social change. These thinkers had great appeal for the New Left.
One writer from this milieu, Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), has posthumously achieved an extraordinary fame denied him in his troubled life: a veritable cult has arisen to honor his memory.xi In 1915, as a student at the university of Munich, Benjamin attended the art-history lectures of Heinrich Wölfflin, against which he reacted strongly. Instead, he was influenced by the scholarship of Alois Riegl, whom he hailed as a forerunner of expressionism and the rehabilitator of a disparaged style, that of the later Roman empire.xii Benjamin took Riegl's work as a model for his study of seventeenth-century German drama. In his later years he was occupied with an ambitious scholarly project (never completed) on the arcades of nineteenth-century Paris as "urban condensers," sites where the complex interactions of capitalist society kinetically converged.xiii This work has application to the study of architecture, especially from a sociological point of view.
A relatively short text, Benjamin's 1936 "Work of Art in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction," has gained a portentous ascendancy among intellectuals that is altogether disproportionate to its intrinsic significance.xiv Central to this essay is the concept of the aura surrounding works of art.xv The aura is a primordial resonance stemming ultimately from the world of cult and ritual, and persisting, though with diminished intensity, in the secularized concept of the autonomy of art. Ultimately the age of the mass production of images--the nineteenth century--made the aura obsolete. This change was linked to larger shifts in society and these, in turn, were reflected in new modes of perception and thinking. Benjamin held that it was the ready availability of cheap reproductions--photographs--in the nineteenth century that transformed our concept of art, undermining the "auratic" reverence that had been traditionally attributed to great works. The difficulty with this proposed break is that prints reproducing works of art had been available in profusion since the fifteenth century, so that this change cannot be attributed to the industrial revolution.xvi Hence Benjamin's link between means of production (replication of images) and consciousness does not hold. In fact Benjamin was not a very rigorous Marxist, but an eclectic who responded to various currents of his day. It is this sensitivity, rather than rigorous thinking, that accounts in large measure for his continuing popularity.
Frederick Antal (1887-1954) was a Hungarian art historian who resided in England during his later years. As a young man Antal was privileged to be a member of the remarkable Sunday Circle formed by the Marxist intellectual Georg Lukács in Budapest in 1916.xvii In his magnum opus Florentine Art and Its Social Background, which is concerned with the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Antal proposed that style had a social correlate: the gilded late Gothic style was the art of the traditional aristocracy and the austere early Renaissance that of the rising upper middle class. xviii While some critics found this correlation too simple, most would grant that Antal offered a rich portrayal of a significant period in Western art.
Three years after the appearance of Antal's monograph, another graduate of Lukács's Sunday Circle, Arnold Hauser (1892-1978), essayed a broader canvas, nothing less than a survey from the Stone Age to the present. However, his The Social History of Art was mainly a general history of art along Hegelian cultural-history lines, lacking the factual details that would make the socioeconomic context vivid.xix In the Cold War climate that prevailed when the book appeared many reviewers rejected it as too Marxist.xx More recently, radical art historians have faulted Hauser's Marxism as attenuated in substance and devoid of political engagement.xxi 
Interest in Marxist approaches to the study of culture reemerged in the 1960s as part of the radical political climate that opposition to the Vietnam war had encouraged. Many held that the understanding of art would be more complete if it could be anchored in the real world of social and economic determinants. A key point of Marxist theory is that it links understanding with practice. Accordingly, it was urged that art and art history could--and should--play a role in promoting positive social change. One difficulty is that art-world opinion favored abstract styles, while orthodox Marxism held that realism was the only proper style for a socialist society. During the 1930s, left-wing artists had sought to portray themes of social protest in a fairly realistic style, as seen crudely in the agit-prop illustrations appearing in the periodical New Masses or more subtly in the Sacco-Vanzetti series of paintings (1931-32) by Ben Shahn. However, the artistic means employed in these works were not notably different from those in paintings espousing bourgeois values. And with the passage of time all this art came to seem dated.
During the 1970s and 1980s a new strategy of radical art came to the fore which broke with the traditions of socialist realism. This approach, as shown by the work of Hans Haacke and Faith Ringgold, emphasized the tactic of destabilizing and disrupting the means of communication employed by existing society (advertising, television, and other modes of commercial entertainment).xxii Once these ways of communicating are displaced, the argument went, a space will appear for the proclamation of new values. But when, if ever, will it be possible to pass from stage one to stage two? Some radical artists found consolation in the Constructivist abstractions of the early Soviet years; but this phenomenon belonged to a unique historical situation, very different from our own.
In the meantime, some of the art historians who rallied to the new "left academy" continued to follow standard Marxist procedures.xxiii In their writings works of art typically figured as straightforward "reflections" of ideologies, social relations, and history. Yet these art historians were not deeply versed in political and economic history, so that these elements tended to be ritually invoked as background to works of art. Then the artists' point of reference was placed in the artistic community, with the latter playing a pivotal role in the regime of "mediations" whereby history is handed down. Finally, these art historians proffered intuitive analogies between form and ideological content; the actual composition of paintings was held to reflect ideological themes. The foregoing account of these pitfalls follows the outline offered by the independent-Marxist art historian Timothy J. Clark, who sought to eschew them in his own work.xxiv
In his studies of French art during the Second Republic (1848-1851), Clark succeeded in presenting a subtle picture of the artists' situation in a highly politicized era.xxv But, as he acknowledged, the special quality of this era prevents it from being generalized as a model. Clark's two volumes were written in a powerful personal style (not devoid of mordancy) that accomplished something rare in art history--writing that approaches the quality of its subject. The timing of the books was significant, for they were composed in the afterglow of the May 1968 events in Paris, which erupted just 120 years after the revolution that created the original situation Clark charted--and which were followed by a similar disillusionment (though nothing so dramatic as Louis Napoleon's coup d'état).
In the 1970s, when revolutionary hopes began to fade.  Clark extended his gaze forward to essay a portrayal of Parisian art in the 1860s and 1870s in terms of themes: the new boulevards and suburbs, prostitution and places of entertainment.xxvi Conveying a mass of new information about the response to art in the period, this book nonetheless failed to reconcile the author's ideological insistence on class struggle with the evidence of the paintings themselves.
A further study, of the American Abstract Expressionist group of painters, discloses the limitations of Clark's approach.xxvii He evaluates their work as the manifestation of a certain "vulgarity" reflecting the class interest and culture of the petty bourgeoisie. Yet he does not explain why the avant-garde works he examines differ so radically from the sentimental realism of Norman Rockwell, who indisputably catered to the expectations of the very class that Clark thinks the Abstract Expressionists reflect. The relative superficiality of the essay stems also from a lack of sustained attention to American mid-century culture--the kind of attention that writer mustered for French culture of a century earlier. This contrast suggests that his approach, when it works, is in large measure the function of hard work, rather than a specific method.
When the approach is accompanied by hard work and thorough familiarity with the material it can pay off for others as well, as seen in a monograph on the French Impressionists by a veteran scholar of the period, Robert L. Herbert.xxviii Even Claude Monet, often regarded as a pure sensualist, responded to the social environment, as Paul Hayes Tucker has shown. During the 1870s the works of this archimpressionist reflected the growing industrialization of the town of Argenteuil downstream from Paris. During the 1890s Monet's continuing concerns with grainstacks, poplars, and Rouen Cathedral all had parallels in topics of current political interest.xxix
The practice of Clark, Herbert, and Tucker generally eschewed grand theory, addressing particular artists and themes. Not so the prolific Fredric Jameson (not an art historian) who has worked out a grand scheme correlating three stages of capitalism, early, monopoly, and late; with early modernism, high modernism, and postmodernism, The trouble with such schemes is that they simply reenact the vulgar Marxist project--sometimes termed "economism"--of making the cultural superstructure a mere puppet controlled by the socioeconomic base. Significantly, Jameson seems unfamiliar with the large body of technical Marxist writings on political economy, relying mainly on the popular works of the Trotskyist Ernest Mandel. Even had he mastered these writings, the "economic base" of his construction would likely have proved unsound. For well before the collapse of Marxist regimes in eastern Europe in 1989-91, scholars had undertaken an internal critique. These studies exposed the vulnerability of Marxism's core doctrines in economics, philosophy, and history, fields which constitute its home ground.xxxi
The study of American art before 1945, long a stepchild of art history, has become more salient and complex.xxxii Among the elements enriching this field of study are some of Marxist provenance. This trend is evident in the realm of material culture, wherein a whole vast range of "low" but popular objects from Currier and Ives prints and world's fair souvenirs to fruitbox labels and roadside sculptures are examined. Other Americanist art historians have charged the material culturalists with indifference to issues of quality, while the latter have charged their critics with being elitist.
Another aspect of the ongoing revaluation of American art came to the fore in the exhibition "The West as America: Reinterpreting Images of the Frontier, 1820-1920," held at the National Museum of American Art in 1991.xxxiii This exhibition featured studio paintings in the following categories: history painting, images of progress, Indians, everyday frontier life, natural scenery, and inventions. Underpinning the show was a revisionist approach by historians of the American West who had been increasingly questioning the "manifest destiny" concept enshrined in the view that providence had impelled American expansion. They favored a revisionist, multiculturalist approach that emphasized the role of Indians, Hispanics, and women.xxxiv Some scholars professing this view seem impelled to indict white Americans for all that had gone wrong in the region--and by implication throughout the world. Not only did the curators lean towards this more extreme approach, but they also strove to bludgeon the viewer into accepting it with lengthy, tendentious wall captions. Even Yale's Alan Trachtenberg, who sympathized with many goals of the exhibition, noted that "in their compulsion to demystify, to expose virtually every displayed work as serving a hegemonic function, the curators [produced] a simplistic, negative version of the West--a remythologizing of the subject ... as the locus of all that is wrong with America."xxxv Clearly those who wish to reveal the ideological messages that they claim underlie famous works must achieve a better fit between the ascribed meanings and the presented images.
As the century draws to a close, more and more scholars inclined to a leftist point of view are taking up "cultural studies" of current film, television, popular music, and so forth.xxxvi These media products are held to be the true arts of our time--and also the arts of the people. This overtly celebratory approach contrasts with the debunking, skeptical one evinced in "The West as America." Left-leaning cultural critics are thus caught between an affirming populism and a debunking exposure of ideology. Perhaps it is well to have a choice, but how does one decide which of these two contrasting views is appropriate in any particular instance?

Social Discontinuities.
Most theories of historical development--including Marxist ones--tend to assume continuity. At most there are successive stages set off by landmarks in a relatively uniform development. Another view, however, as old as the Genesis accounts of the Flood and the fall of the Tower of Babel, singles out catastrophes as agents of cataclysmic cultural shifts. This approach may be termed saltationist, from Latin saltus, "leap."
It is generally agreed that the drastic decline in the standards of Egyptian civilization known as the Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1786-1570 B.C.) was caused, or at least intensified by the invasion of a foreign people, the Hyksos. Later, when Egypt managed its remarkable recovery in the New Kingdom it had acquired the horse (unknown before the Hyksos introduced it) and an interest in foreign expansion. In comparison with what went before, New Kingdom art has a markedly more elegant and worldly quality. So this incursion first produced decline and destruction; but cultural innovations arose on the ashes of the former society. Since the time of Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), the migrations of the Germanic peoples in the fifth century of our era have been thought to have ended Roman imperial civilization, including its art. Twentieth-century scholarship, however, has shown that important changes were under way in Roman art as early as ca. 170 A.D. so that these invasions at most confirmed an earlier development. It is generally conceded, though, that the conquest of England by the Normans in 1066 led to the introduction of Romanesque architecture into that country.
In the middle of the fourteenth century Europe was ravaged by a terrible plague, the Black Death, that carried away as many as half the inhabitants of the most affected regions. In a landmark book Millard Meiss argued that this catastrophe was responsible for a change in the mood of art in Tuscany, which shifted from the plastic and joyous art of Giotto and his followers to the flat, abstract, austere style found in the work of Nardo di Cione and Orcagna.xxxvii Undoubtedly, Meiss was aided in his perceptions of late medieval art by the catastrophes of fascism and World War II, which ended six years before his book appeared.
The 1527 sack of Rome by soldiers in the service of emperor Charles V has been held responsible for the end of the high Renaissance and its replacement by the more ambiguous, tormented style of mannerism. André Chastel has shown that the mannerist traits had already appeared in Rome under the auspices of the Medici pope Clement VII before the sack; nevertheless, the effects on the art world of the eternal city were very serious, for some artists were plunged into a deep and lasting depression, while others dispersed to various parts of Italy and France.xxxviii
The French Revolution did not alter the popularity of the neoclassical style, which had started earlier--but that event was regarded by many as a great advance rather than a catastrophe. France's loss of the war with Prussia in 1871, together with forebodings occasioned by population decline, undoubtedly conditioned the art and literature of the so-called "decadent" phase, characterized by a sense of psychological introversion and fatalistic resignation.xxxix A similar "decadence" (as well as modernist innovation) flourished in Weimar Germany after the military defeat of 1918.xl
The most remarkable event of the late twentieth century has been the collapse of communism, which has had an immediate effect on art (if that is what it is to be called) owing to the destruction and removal of countless sculptures of Stalin, Lenin, Dzherzhinski and others. The disappearance of communism has been widely welcomed, but the prolonged and painful period of readjustment in eastern Europe may produce cultural effects that are hard to foresee. If ecologists are correct, the mounting effects of the abuse of the planet will have disastrous effects on the life style of human beings, and this decline will then have cultural consequences.

The Imagery of State Power.
Much of the most vital thinking in political theory in the twentieth century--ranging from anarchism and libertarianism to socialism and communism--has been concerned with delineating the boundaries dividing state power from the realm of the individual.xli Yet the way in which the claims of the state are projected visually has not been studied comprehensively by art historians.xlii There follows a review of some key points of this visual assertiveness--artistic propaganda, if you will. In the absence of an overall theory, one can note several guiding features: for the early objects, archaeological methodology, including site studies and comparison with related pieces; political theory as a source for imagery (important especially in medieval and Renaissance studies); and social history, including that of modern political movements, such as anarchism, socialism, and third-world nationalism.
The Narmer palette of about 3100 B.C., a foundation document of the history of Egyptian dynastic art (and therefore of Western art as a whole), depicts the victorious pharaoh smiting a kneeling enemy.xliii This motif, repeated with variations throughout Egypt's history, displays the perennial victory of pharaonic power. The contemporaries of the Egyptian Late Period, the Assyrians, projected their power in a more diffuse, extended way, by elaborate reliefs lining the approaches to their palaces showing the rulers with exaggerated muscles accompanied by gigantic protective beasts with similar physical development.xliv
The European Middle Ages created a remarkable repertoire of tangible symbols of power--crowns, scepters, orbs, swords, and thrones--which were all the more effective in that they were believed to be invested with a powerful sacred numen or indwelling potency. The serious study of these objects and their meanings was inaugurated, virtually single-handedly, by the German historian Percy Ernst Schramm (1894-1970), who explicated the surviving objects (Herrschaftszeichen) by turning to literary testimonies describing their use and to illustrations in illuminated manuscripts contemporary with the objects.xlv An essential "performative" element was the ritual of coronation and investiture when these symbols of office would be transferred from one individual to another.
As a rule, the privilege of wielding these objects was restricted to ruling potentates. The prime symbols of the European nobility, reflecting their hereditary claims to status, lay in the field of heraldry.xlvi Although blazons, or armorial bearings, have attracted notice in works of art as indications of date and provenance, art historians have generally ignored them as compositions in their own right. Because of the stability of heraldic forms, which ring changes on relatively few variables, they are ideal candidates for semiotic analysis (see below). Attention might also extend to maces, badges, buttons--even shopping bags and tee-shirts bearing messages--though here we touch on categories that have little appeal even for the most devoted practitioner of "cultural studies."
The city-states of northern and central Italy created a new type of polity, the commune, in which power was held by a number of elected officials. These officials and the bureaucracy that served them met in the palazzo comunale, or town hall. Several of these civic buildings have preserved murals setting forth the ideology of the communal regime. The most famous of these, and rightly so, are the frescoes of Good Government and Tyranny executed by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the Sala della Pace of the Palazzo Comunale of Siena between 1337 and 1340.xlvii The splendid paintings combine allegorical personifications of the virtues and vices with naturalistic renderings of city and country under the two types of government. Despite some disagreement among scholars as to whether the underlying scheme reflects more the ideas of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas or an emerging indigenous current of prehumanistic thought, the underlying message is clear: Siena flourishes because its government is founded on justice and good order.xlviii The frescoes proclaim this achievement, while enjoining the council, which met in this room, not to waver from the precepts of wisdom.
In a pathfinding monograph Janet Cox-Rearick revealed the vital importance of cosmo-astrological themes in the Medici art of Florence and Rome.xlix Tenaciously deciphering a half-forgotten language, her analysis disclosed that the imagery progressed through three distinct phases: the republican era (ending in 1494), when the veiled character of Medici domination restricted the imagery to a personal level; the pivotal years of the Medici Pope Leo X (1513-21) with their message of the return of the Golden Age, the iconography buttressing Medici claims to legitimacy; and the triumphalist phase under Duke, then Grand Duke Cosimo I (1537-1574), when the imagery became integrated into a program of Medici absolutism. The leitmotifs of the paintings had counterparts in contemporary literature (itself harking back to classical Latin texts) and in the temporary embellishments of great festivals of state. In all these realms Cox-Rearick showed the interaction of contingent, individual themes (based on the natal horoscopes and personal names and devices) with universal ones (the governance of the planets and the motif of eternal return as symbolized by the zodiac)--in short, the mingling of dynasty and destiny. The thematic clusters thus complemented one another, proclaiming the worthiness of each individual ruler and, in a different key, the legitimacy of the regime.
A major source of state imagery in the Renaissance and baroque periods was the great festivals of state which united the visual arts, drama, music, and costuming to produce multimedia extravaganzas.l The impress that these left on contemporaries made them a potent source of imagery in the other arts. In particular, the tradition of the entrées joyeuses, the ceremonial entries of rulers to cities, represented a deliberate harking back to ancient Roman imperial ceremonies of the laudes regiae. Although it put an end to these traditions, the French Revolution created its own
For the Renaissance and baroque periods the approach to certain works of art in terms of the imagery of statecraft is particularly inviting in that it has the potential of revitalizing a host of different objects of study, from maps to tapestries.lii
At the behest of several ambitious popes, the layout of the city of Rome itself underwent major changes in an endeavor to reflect papal glory. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries these urban renewal schemes were restricted to certain parts of the city, while during the pontificate of Alexander VII (1655-1667) they extended, in theory at least, to the entire urban fabric.liii
The resplendent seventeenth-century decorations of the Palazzo Barberini, frescoes by Andrea Sacchi and Pietro da Cortona, were designed to shore up the regime of Pope Urban VIII and his nephews.liv Unlike Siena and Florence in their heyday, Rome was badly governed by the Barberini, and the elaborate imagery of the frescoes served a protective function: to assure that all was well when it was not. Unfortunately, few scholars have cared to discuss the relation of this papal imagery to the blighting of the economy and culture which affected all of southern Europe as the Counter-Reformation tightened its grip. As is well known, the word propaganda derives from the papal institution called the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (founded in 1622).
A cycle of twenty-four paintings executed by Peter Paul Rubens in France devoted to the life of Maria de' Medici (1622-25) is so complex and learned that scholars still disagree on its But here too the overall message is plain: in an age of absolutism the doings of the great and their relatives are of supreme importance to their subjects (or at least so the rulers would like to assume).
In northeastern Italy the imposing Palladian villas with their eloquent language of classical antiquity must have been a source of awe to the peasantry. The Palladian great house type migrated to many parts of Europe, where it flourished above all during the eighteenth century. In England the type had to confront and displace the existing models, which followed either the picturesque vernacular of Elizabethan lineage or the pompous baroque championed by Sir John Vanbrugh. The English country house, its furnishings and functioning, has attracted much scholarly and general interest in the last few years.lvi In many instances these structures were surrounded by vast landscape gardens; as the "English garden" this new, looser form of landscaping was exported to the continent.lvii The eighteenth-century Palladian country house is linked, it seems fair to say, with English Augustan literature and with the political system of mixed powers confirmed by the installation of the Hanoverian dynasty in 1714. Yet full understanding of the cultural significance of the English country house depends on solving the antecedent questions concerning the transformation of the English aristocracy from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, one of the most hotly debated issues among social historians.lviii
Much simpler are political emblems. Prominent among these are personifications. The image of Britannia, formerly ubiquitous on the copper penny of the United Kingdom, descended from the Roman symbolism of the provinces of the empire. In the United States, Uncle Sam (possibly derived from the initials U.S.) was first mentioned in a Troy, N.Y., newspaper article of 1813. At all events these two figures have acquired a certain boring stability, probably reflecting the fact that the constitutional organization of the countries they personify undergoes little fundamental change. France's Marianne has displayed more variable fortunes, reflecting the ebb and flow of republican fervor and the opposition it has engendered.lix
According to legend, the emperor Constantine saw the emblem of the chi-rho, the first two letters of Christ's name in Greek, in a vision in 312. This form, also known as the chrismon, became ubiquitous as a Christian symbol, replacing the fish (derived from an anagram) which had been common during the earlier years in which the church was persecuted. The two great emblems of twentieth-century totalitarianism, the swastika and the hammer and sickle, reflect two quite different principles. The swastika is an age-old form found in many different cultures with many different meanings. Early investigators identified the form, also known as the gammadion or fylfot, with the sun or with good luck; it seems to have had no single universal meaning.lx The Nazis decided that its "Aryan" ascendancy was paramount, and hence took it for themselves. By contrast, the hammer and sickle is a emblem invented expressly to promote the cause of the bolsheviks by emblematically fusing the two social groups the party claimed to be serving: the workers and the peasants.
It is well known that Hitler and Stalin sought to harness the fine arts to their purposes.lxi However, much of the art produced under Nazi auspices has remained in vaults in Germany and the United States, where it is unavailable for study. Students of art in the former Soviet Union tend to favor nonofficial art, rather than the works produced at the behest of the regime. It must be conceded, then, that in both instances we still know too little about state art policies, and their effectiveness in consolidating their respective regimes.
In Mussolini's Italy the situation was more complex.lxii On the one hand, the temptation to grandiose rhetoric based on the purported revival of the Roman empire led to classical gestures in architecture and monumental sculpture. On the other hand, fascism had links to futurism and also proved receptive to the international style in architecture (Giuseppe Terragni's Casa del Fascio in Como being the archetypal example).
With their bright colors, bold images, and stark lettering, posters are a distinctively modern device for "mobilizing the masses." During the two world wars and after both sides borrowed freely from each other in creating posters that dramatically exhorted the viewer to give his or her all, while caricaturing the enemy as a fiend in human shape.lxiii
During the 1920s and 1930s such artists as Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros covered walls in public buildings in Mexico City and Guadalajara with vast mural cycles depicting the history of their country.lxiv This activity, so different from European modernism, seemed to attest that the Mexican Revolution had not only redirected the country's political life, but also revitalized its culture. During the Depression the major artists also worked in the United States, where their style was appreciated as distinctively Mexican, but it still influenced the social realist art of American painters.lxv The intellectual background of this work lay in the enhanced awareness of the Mexican people as a fusion of indigenous and European strains--the raza cósmica--and of the importance of the Amerindian contribution (indigenismo).lxvi Accordingly, the artists reversed the usual stereotypes, showing the Amerindians as heroic and the whites often as oppressors. This ideology was a distinct achievement of Mexico--no other Latin American country created such a construct--and the art was clearly received as mirroring it.
As time went on, however, enthusiasm for the Mexican Revolution waned as it was perceived that its myth served more and more as the justification for a monolithic regime controled by the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Accordingly, a shift in perception of the murals took place, in which they were seen as the creation of the same largely European-derived elite that ruled the country. No longer taken at face value as proclamations of popular sovereignty based on Mexican history, they were seen as a tool of the regime. The dissolution of ideals is clearly evident in one last diffuse enterprise, David Alfaro Siqueiros' enormous March of Humanity Towards the Cosmos at the Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros in Mexico City (1964-71).lxvii Here the glorification of the Revolution dissolves into a vague "universalist" symbolism.
Some of the newly independent third-world countries have created new capitals. Here they are faced with a significant choice of symbolism, whether to signal a new start by using a modern abstract idiom without roots in the country, as in Louis Kahn's work at Dhaka in Bangladesh, or to reemploy traditional forms, as in the parliament houses of Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.lxviii
The above account has sufficed to show that considerable material has accumulated on the effort of states to enhance their power through visual communication. There remains a question supplied by the new field of reception theory: to whom were these proclamations addressed? As a royal household item, the Narmer Palette can only have been directed at a very narrow circle, the pharaoh and his entourage, while later Egyptian renderings of the theme on temple walls reached a larger audience. The Assyrian reliefs were intended to impress even foreign visitors, as did, of course the Mexican murals and the architecture of the capitals in third-world countries. It seems that there should be a new approach, which might perhaps be termed "visual rhetoric" to study the devices used in such works and their effect on audiences.
A related problem is that of the effectiveness of such visual proclamations. Clearly the response depends in large measure on external considerations. When the Mexican Revolution still enjoyed the esteem of foreign opinion, its cultural adjuncts seemed vital as well; yet this esteem faded. Moreover, with the triumph of European modernism and abstract expressionism the style of the muralists came to seem old fashioned.
The preceding discussion has reviewed a disparate collection of objects of study, united by their political character. In contast with, say, the deconstruction and psychoanalytic approaches, researchers have as yet no unified body of theory to correlate these studies. Instead of fanning out from the bastion of a single unified theory, scholars are working from a number of "growing points," often in isolation from one another. Yet it may be that this piecemeal approach, which attends to historical specificity and methodological pluralism, will--in the long run--provide a better model than monolithic doctrines imported from outside.

Culture Wars.
In the 1980s and 1990s the art world was convulsed by a controversy that has come to be called the culture wars.lxix The disputes took place at the interface between avant-garde tastes and public exposure to them, especially as seen in monumental works in cities.lxx The controversy over Richard Serra's huge Tilted Arc, removed from New York City's Federal Plaza in the summer of 1989, was a focal point. Understandably, the sculptor protested against the dismantling of his work. Yet during the very same year the removal of statues of Stalin and his associates from public display in eastern European cities showed that not every art work has an inviolable right to remain where it was first placed. Moreover, disputes about public sculpture are not new in America, witness the fate of Luigi Persico's (1791-1860) sculptural groups for the United States Capitol, which were attacked on xenophobic and prurient grounds and consequently removed to storage.lxxi At the beginning of the century William Randolph Hearst's proposal for a memorial to the battleship Maine in New York met sustained criticism.lxxii
In comparison with what was to come, the offence given by Serra's work seems modest. Increasingly, daring artists--mostly feminist, gay, and lesbian--sought to use taboo material in their art. The most notorious clash engendered by these explorations was triggered by the work of the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1947-1989). In June of 1989 the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. canceled a retrospective exhibition of his photographs because of a few explicit homoerotic images. The exhibition circulated as scheduled to a number of other cities, however, and in Cincinnati the museum director was brought to trial, but acquitted. This controversy, and a similar one surrounding Andres Serrano's Piss Christ (a photograph of a crucifix immersed in urine), drew the ire of conservatives, who assaulted the National Endowment for the Humanities for disbursing funds to create and exhibit such work.
Strictly speaking, one should distinguish the dispute over funding with public money from the prosecution of the museum director with the intent of closing the show and preventing similar ones from opening. Only the latter is censorship. A legitimate debate over whether public funds should be used for certain types of art is still possible without raising the issue of censorship. After all, pornographic videos continue to flourish without public subsidy. Unfortunately, the urge to censor, which comes from both the right and the left, is increasing in late twentieth-century America.
Images like those of Mapplethorpe and Serrano rang alarm bells for individuals like the Reverends Wildmon and Falwell and Senator Jesse Helms who believe that the display of such images has a deleterious effect on morals. If these outrages continue to be tolerated, they opine, America will go the way of Sodom and Gomorrah. Defenders of the controversial images retreat, a little disingenuously, to a formalist gambit: "look at the masterful handling of light and shade!" they exclaim. Such works are said to be harmless, leaving no lasting impress on the viewer--except an aesthetic one. Yet when it comes to art works advocating "progressive" politics, such as those of Hans Haacke, which excoriate multinational firms as well as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, those on the left hold that art can have an effect, a beneficial one, on social evolution.
But can it? And if so, how much? No one seems to have devised an objective way of measuring such effects.
Moreover, the attempt to create effective "agit-prop" art may lower standards to the point that the effort is scarcely worthwhile. Writing of the 1993 Whitney Biennial, an exhibition notable for its showcasing of left-leaning "political artists," the critic Eleanor Heartney noted "the tendency of artists, curators and art educators to reduce contemporary art to the role of social work or therapy. Much of the work here is numbingly didactic, easily summed up in a sentence or two. In a curious way this tendency to privilege social message over esthetic considerations parallels the attitude of the religious right in its demand that art be morally uplifting."lxxiii
It may be that both sides of the controversy, right and left, harbor excessive expectations of art's capacity to promote major structural change in society. (Those opposed to pornography similarly claim that it incites to rape and other antisocial behavior, but others dispute this.) In the aftermath of the Vietnam war many artists longed to escape from their formalist ivory tower, and to play a role in changing society. Now their wish seems to have been granted, at least on the level of discussion. But talk is not change. The fact that Falwell and Helms trumpet that what they perceive as obscenity is having a pernicious effect is no proof that it actually is.
In any event the controversies raised a host of questions that will take time to sort out. One is whether, in the modern age, art of high quality can also have a mobilizing effect. That is, can the gap between art and propaganda be bridged? Another issue is the relation of elites to broader public taste. Some modern art has successfully communicated itself to a larger public, but the prospects for postmodern work, including its political discourse, are problematic.
Then there is the question of how artists and themes emerge from obscurity to be inscribed "on the agenda" of the present which, after some sifting, becomes the roster of history. Censorship in the visual arts has occurred at least since the New Kingdom in Egypt.lxxiv Such repressive activity can remove works from consideration, destroy them, and, through its chilling effect, prevent them from coming into existence in the first place. Yet in a relatively open society scandal can help an artist to become a household word. It has been said that there is no bad publicity. In this light the would-be censors are, whether they wish to or not, actually aiding the spread of the reputations of those they detest. In a democratic society, which cannot suppress cultural expression by stealth, this is the censor's dilemma. In any event, sexuality and gender concepts are issues central to our society today, and art that deals with these questions effectively is likely to continue to be significant. The historiography of such work is still in flux.

The contributions of the socio-political approaches have been quite disparate. Perhaps this result is inevitable, since several different methodologies are at work. Moreover, the scholarship in this area must always interact with mainstream history, which has its own shifting methodologies and interests. For these reasons it is doubtful if the socio-economic approach will coalesce sufficiently to become dominant. However, it has shown a real capacity for enrichment of perspectives, and for linking art with life.

i Henry Kraus, Gold Was the Mortar: The Economics of Cathedral Building, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979; Wolfgang Schöller, Die rechtliche Organisation des Kirchenbauens im Mittelalter vornehmlich des Kathedralbauens, Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 1989; Martin Warnke, Bau und Öberbau: Soziologie der mittelalterlichen Architektur nach den Schriftquellen, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1984.
Two case studies are Barbara Abou-el-Haj, "The Urban Setting for Late Medieval Church Building: Reims and Its Cathedral Between 1210 and 1240," Art History, 11 (1988), 17-41; and Stephen Murray, Building Troyes Cathedral: The Late Gothic Campaigns, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.
ii Richard A. Goldthwaite, The Building of Renaissance Florence, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980.
iii James Ackerman, Palladio, London: Penguin, 1966. See also Kurt Forster, "Back to the Farm: Vernacular Architecture and the Development of the Renaissance Villa," Architectura, 1 (1974), 1-12. Ackerman has since modified his views somewhat; see his The Villa: Form and Ideology of Country Houses, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990.
iv John Michael Montias, "Socio-economic Aspects of Netherlandish Art from the Fifteenth to the Seventeenth Century," Art Bulletin, 72 (1990), 358-73. A distinguished economic theorist in his own right, Montias has produced invaluable work in the Dutch field: Artists and Artisans in Delft: A Socio-economic Study of the Seventeenth Century, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982; Vermeer and His Milieu: A Web of Social History, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.
v See, e.g., the pessimistic reflections by Hilton Kramer, in The New Criterion Reader: The First Five Years, New York: The Free Press, 1988, pp. xi-xv, and continuing commentary by Kramer in The New Criterion monthly.
vi Steven W. Naifeh, Culture Making: Money, Succes, and the New York Art World, Princeton: The History Department of Princeton University, 1976; Diana Crane, The Transformation of the Avant-Garde, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. An illustrated collection of first-person accounts is Laura de Coppet and Alan Jones, eds., The Art Dealers: The Powers Behind the Scene Tell How the Art World Works, New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1984 (the subtitle must be taken with a grain of salt). For the story of one bizarre, atypical gallery, ending in a murder, see David France, Bag of Toys: Sex, Scandal, and the Death Mask Murder, New York: Warner Books, 1992.
vii Peter Watson, From Manet to Manhattan: The Rise of the Modern Art Market, New York: Random House, 1992.
viii Denis Dutton, ed., The Forger's Art: Forgery and the Philosophy of Art, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.
ix Margaret A. Rose, Marx's Lost Aesthetics: Karl Marx and the Visual Arts, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
x Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfort School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973. For links with art history, see Andreas Berndt et al., eds., Frankfurter Schule und Kunstgeschichte, Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1992.
xi Richard Wolin, Walter Benjamin: An Aesthetic of Redemption, New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.
xii Thomas Y. Levin, "Walter Benjamin and the Theory of Art History: An Introduction to 'Rigorous Study of Art,'" October, 47 (Winter 1988), 77-90 (pp. 84-90 contain Levin's translation of a pertinent review by Benjamin).
xiii Susan Buck-Morss, The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989.
xiv in Hannah Arendt, ed., Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn, New York: Schocken, 1969, pp. 217-51.
xv Werner Fuld, "Die Aura: Zur Geschichte eines Begriffes bei Benjamin," Akzente, 26 (1979), 274-86.
xvi Jacqueline Baas, "Reconsidering Walter Benjamin: 'The Age of Mechanical Reproduction in Retrospect," In Gabriel P. Weisberg and Laurinda Dixon, eds., The Documented Image: Visions in Art History, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1987, pp. 337-47.
xvii Lee Congdon, Exile and Social Thought: Hungarian Intellectuals in Germany and Austria, 1919-1933, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991, p. 10. An account of Antal's work, written from a New Left point of view, is Anna Wessely, "Die Aufhebung des Stilbegriffs--Frederick Antal's Rekonstruktionkünstlerischer Entwicklungen auf marxistischer Grundlage," Kritische Berichte, 4:2/3 (1976), 16-35.
xviii Frederick Antal, Florentine Painting and Its Social Background: The Bourgeois Republic before Cosimo de' Medici's Advent to Power: XIV and Early XV Centuries, London: Kegan Paul, 1948; see review by Millard Meiss, Art Bulletin, 31 (1949),143-50. David Carritt has furnished a biographical forward to Antal's posthumous publication, Classicism and Romanticism with Other Studies in Art History, New York: Harper & Row, 1966, pp. xiii-xvi; this volume also includes Antal's "Remarks on the Method of Art-History," pp. 175-89.
xix New York: Knopf, 1951. This book achieved a wide circulation through the paperback reprint in Vintage Books (1957). See the trenchant review by Ernst Gombrich, Art Bulletin, 35 (1953), 79-80.
Hauser offered somewhat different versions of his basic concepts in two other books: The Philosophy of Art History, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1959; and The Sociology of Art, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982.
xx Michael R. Orwicz, "Critical Discourse in the Formation of a Social History of Art: Anglo-American Response to Arnold Hauser," Oxford Art Journal, 8:2 (1985), 52-62.
xxi See, e.g., Otto Karl Werckmeister, "The Depoliticized, Attenuated Version," Art History, 7 (1984), 345-48.
xxii Lucy R. Lippard, Get the Message: A Decade of Art for Social Change, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1984.
xxiii An ambitious statement of the program, more thoughtful than most, is Nicos Hadjinicolaou, Histoire de l'art et lute des classes, 2nd ed., Paris: François Maspero, 1974. See also Alan Wallach, "Marxism and Art History," in B. Ollman and E. Vernoff, eds., The Left Academy, New York: Praeger, 1984, pp. 25-53.
xxiv T. J. Clarke, "On the Social History of Art," in his Image of the People, London: Thames and Hudson, 1973, pp. 9-20.
xxv Image of the People deals with the art of Courbet, whom Clark believed had a special destiny of creating, however briefly, a genuine "socialist" art during this period. Clark's complementary The Absolute Bourgeois: Artists and Politics in France 1848-1851, Greenwich, Conn.: New York Graphic Society, 1973, deals with less progressive artists: Millet, Daumier, and Delacroix.
xxvi T. J. Clark, The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984. See the review by Françoise Cachin in New York Review of Books, May 30, 1985, pp. 24-27, 30.
xxvii "In Defense of Abstract Expressionism," October, 69 (Summer 1994), 23-48.
xxviii Robert L. Herbert, Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. For an overview of scholarship, not limited to the social theme, see Richard Shiff, "Art History and the Nineteenth Century: Realism and Resistance," Art Bulletin, 70 (1988), 25-48.
xxix Paul Hayes Tucker, Monet at Argenteuil, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982; idem, Monet in the '90s: The Series Paintings, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.
xxx  Fredric Jameson, "Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism," New Left Review, no. 146 (1984), 53-93, expanded into a stout book, Postmodernism, Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1990. On this agile cultural commentator, see Douglas Kellner, ed., Postmodernism/Jameson/Critique, Washington, D.C.: Maisonneuve Press, 1989.
xxxi A systematic account is Jon Elster, Making Sense of Marx, New York: Cambridge University Press, l985.  Historically oriented is Leszek Kola­kowski, Main Currents of Marxism, 3 vols., Oxford: Ox­ford University Press, l978. Less critically acute is Tom Bot­tomore, A Dictionary of Marxism, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, l983. 

xxxii Jules David Prown, "Art History vs. the History of Art," and Elizabeth Johns, "Histories of American Art: The Changing Quest," both in Art Journal, 44 (Winter 1984), 313-14, 338-44; Johns, "Scholarship in American Art: Its History and Recent Developments," American Studies International, 22 (October 1984), 3-40; Wanda Corn, "Coming of Age: Historical Scholarship in American Art," Art Bulletin, 70 (1988), 188-207 (an invaluable article).
xxxiii William H. Truettner, ed., The West as America: Reinterpreting Images of the Frontier, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991.
xxxiv For a balanced synthesis of old and new views, see Richard White, "It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own": A New History of the American West, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991. More openly revisionist accounts include: William Cronon, Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, New York: W. W. Norton, 1991; Richard Slotkin, Gunslinger Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth-Century America, New York: Atheneum, 1992; and Donald Worster, Under Western Skies: Nature and History in the American West, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
xxxv Alan Trachtenberg, "Contesting the West," Art in America, September 1991, pp. 118-23, 159 (cited, p. 121).
xxxvi For a comprehensive anthology, see Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, and Paula Treichler, eds., Cultural Studies, New York: Routledge, 1992.
xxxvii Millard Meiss, Painting in Florence and Siena After the Black Death, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951. Henk van Os, concedes the chief formal changes identified by Meiss (and, as he shows, anticipated by G. Gombosi in 1926). However, he believes that they came about not so much through a shift in spiritual attitude, but as a result of reorganization of craft production and patronage. These changes, however, were themselves occasioned by the Black Death ("The Black Death and Sienese Painting: A Problem of Interpretation," Art History, 4 (1981), 237-49.
xxxviii André Chastel, The Sack of Rome, 1527, trans. B. Archer, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983.
xxxix Jean Pierrot, The Decadent Imagination, 1880-1900, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981; Patrick Bade, "Art and Degeneration: Visual Icons of Corruption," in J. Edward Chamberlin and Sander L. Gilman, eds., Degeneration: The Dark Side of Progress, New York: Columbia University Press, 1985, pp. 220-40. An attempt at synthesis is offered by John Robert Reed, Decadent Style, Athens: Ohio University Press, 1985. For social and demographic concerns in France, see Robert A. Nye, Crime, Madness and Politics in Modern France: The Medical Concept of National Decline, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984.
xl The secondary literature on Weimar culture is very extensive; for an orientation (up to the date of publication), see John Willett, Art and Politics in the Weimar Period: The New Sobriety 1917-1933, New York: Pantheon Books, 1978.
xli Various theories calling for radical limitation of state power are usefully canvased in the celebrated book of Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, New York: Basic Books, 1968. The origins of the opposing thesis, which might be termed "populist totalitarian" and which tends to advocate merger of the state and people, emerge in J. L. Talmon, The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy, New York: Frederick A. Prager, 1960; and idem, Political Messianism: The Romantic Phase, New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1968. Marxist theory has been discussed in the preceding section.
xlii Two useful collections of individual case studies are Henry A. Millon and Linda Nochlin, eds., Art and Architecture in the Service of Politics, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1978; and Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, ed. "Images of Rule, Images of Interpretation" (special issue of Art Journal, 48:2, Summer 1989). For reasons that will become clear in the following paragraphs, a synthesis does not yet seem feasible.
xliii See the sophisticated analysis in Whitney Davis, Masking the Blow: The Scene of Representation in Late Prehistoric Egyptian Art, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992, pp. 161-200.
xliv John Malcolm Russell, "Bulls for the Palace and Order in the Empire: The Sculptural Program of Sennacherib's Court VI at Nineveh," Art Bulletin, 69 (1987), 520-39. More generally, see Leo Bersani and Ulysse Dutoit, The Forms of Violence: Narrative in Assyrian Art and Modern Culture, New York: Schocken, 1986.
xlv Percy Ernst Schramm, Herrschaftszeichen und Staatssymbolik: Beiträge zu ihrer Geschichte vom dritten bis zum sechszehnten Jahrhundert, 3 vols. and supplement, Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1954-78; idem, Kaiser, Könige und Päpste: gesammelte Aufsätze zur Geschichte des Mittelalters, 4 vols. in 5, Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1968-71. Schramm's personal politics have been subjected to a scathing critique by Norman Cantor, Inventing the Middle Ages: The Lives, Works, and Ideas of the Great Medievalists of the Twentieth Century, New York: William Morrow, 1991, pp. 79-113.
xlvi See, e.g., Julian Franklin and John Tanner, An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Heraldry, New York: Pergamon, 1970; Gerard J. Brault, Early Blazon: Heraldic Terminology in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972; Rodney Dennys, The Heraldic Imagination, New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1976; Ottfried Neubecker and John Philip Brooke-Little, Heraldry: Sources, Symbols and Meaning, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976.
xlvii Nicolai Rubinstein, "Political Ideas in Sienese Art: The Frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Taddeo di Bartolo in the Palazzo Pubblico," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 21 (1958), 179-207; U. Feldges-Henning, "The Pictorial Program of the Sala della Pace: A New Interpretation," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 35 (1972), 145-62.
xlviii The prehumanistic thesis is maintained by Quentin Skinner, "Ambrogio Lorenzetti: The Artist as Political Philosopher," in Hans Belting and Dieter Blume, eds., Malerei und Stadtkultur in der Dantezeit: Die Argumentation der Bilder, Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 1989, pp. 85-103.
xlix Janet Cox-Rearick, Dynasty and Destiny in Medici Art: Pontormo, Leo X, and the Two Cosimos, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984.
l Triumphal Celebrations and the Rituals of Statecraft, 2 vols., University Park: Pennsylvania State University, 1990.
li Mona Ozouf, Festivals and the French Revolution, trans. by Alan Sheridan, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988.
lii David Boisseret, ed., Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps: The Emergence of Cartography as a Tool of Governement in Early Modern Europe, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992; Wolfgang Brassat, Tapissereien und Politik: Funcktion, Kontexte und Rezeption eines repräsentativen Mediums, Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1992.
liii Christoph L. Frommel, "Papal Policy: The Planning of Rome During the Renaissance," in Robert I. Rotberg and Theodore K. Rabb, eds., Art and History: Images and Their Meaning, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988, pp. 30-66; Richard Krautheimer, The Rome of Alexander VII, 1655-1667, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.
liv John Beldon Scott, Images of Nepotism: The Painted Ceilings of Palazzo Barberini, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.
lv Jacques Thuillier and Jacques Foucart, Rubens' Life of Marie de' Medici, trans. R. E. Wolf, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1969; Susan Saward, The Golden Age of Marie de' Medici, Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1982; Ronald Forsyth Millen and Robert Erich Wolf, Heroic Deeds and Mystic Figures: A New Reading of Rubens' Life of Maria de' Medici, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.
lvi The illustrations in the English periodical Country Life (from 1897 onwards), and the books Christopher Hussey derived from them contributed much to popular interest. However the subject really came alive with the volumes of Mark Girouard, above all his Life in the English Country House, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978.
lvii Peter Willis and John Dixon Hunt, The Genius of Place: The English Landscape Garden, 1620-1820, London: Elek,, 1975; David Jacques, Georgian Gardens, London: Batsford, 1983; John Dixon Hunt, Garden and Grove: The Italian Renaissance Garden in the English Imagination: 1600-1750, London: J. M. Dent, 1986. For the interaction in one continental country, see Dora Wiebenson, The Picturesque Garden in France, London: Zwemmer, 1978.
lviii The key work is the still-controversial book by Lawrence Stone, The Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1558-1641, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965. See the analysis by J. H. Hexter, On Historians: Reappraisals of Some of the Masters of Modern History, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979, pp. 149-226.
lix Maurice Agulhon, Marianne Into Battle: Republican Imagery and Symbolism in France, 1789-1880, trans. by Janet Lloyd, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981.
lx Thomas Wilson, The Swastika: The Earliest Known Symbol & Its Migrations, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1896; Renée Davis, La croix gamée: cette énigme, Paris: Presses de la Cité, 1967.
lxi For Germany see Barbara Miller Lane, Architecture and Politics in Germany, 1918-1945, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968; Peter-Klaus Schuster, ed., Nationalsozialismus und "Entartete Kunst," Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1987; Alexander Scobie, Hitler's State Architecture: The Impact of Classical Antiquity, University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990; Peter Adam, Art of the Third Reich, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1992. For the Soviet Union see Matthew Cullerne Bowne, Art Under Stalin, Oxford: Phaidon, 1991; Alexander Ryabushin and Nadia Smolina, Landmarks of Soviet Architecture 1917-1991, trans. Gerard Magennis, New York: Rizzoli, 1992; Boris Groys, The Total Art of Stalinism: Avant-Garde, aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond, trans. Charles Rougle, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.
lxii Richard A. Etlin, Modernism in Italian Architecture, 1890-1940,, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991. A panorama of the fascist arts appears in the exhibition catalogue Gli anni Trenta: arte e cultura in Italia, Milan: Comune di Milano, 1982. For a disturbing, but important binational perspective see Diane Ghirardo, Building New Communities: New Deal America and Fascist Italy, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989. Unconvincing, because it elides too many differences, is the "unified field" approach of Igor Golomshtok, Totalitarian Art: In the Soviet Union, the Third Reich, Fascist Italy, and the People's Republic of China, New York: HarperCollins, 1990.
lxiii Peter Paret, Beth Irwin Lewis, and Paul Paret, Persuasive Images: Posters of War and Revolution, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.
lxiv Lawrence Schmeckebier, Modern Mexican Art, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1939; Bernard S. Myers, Mexican Painting in Our Time, New York: Oxford University Press, 1956. The fact that, in English at least, there have been no more recent syntheses is indicative, first, of the neglect of these painters in the shadow of high Euro-American modernism, and, secondly, of the confusion that still prevails in an era in which the work of these painters is viewed more sympathetically.
lxv Laurance P. Hurlburt, The Mexican Muralists in the United States, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1989.
lxvi Benjamin Keen, The Aztec Image in Western Thought, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1971.
lxvii Leonard Folgarait, So Far from Heaven: David Alfaro Siqueiros' The March of Humanity and Mexican Revolutionary Politics, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
lxviii Lawrence J. Vale, Architecture, Power, and National Identity, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992. The complementary phenomenon of the projection of state power onto foreign soil through the construction of embassies and monuments is the focus of Ron Robin, Enclaves of America: The Rhetoric of American Political Architecture Abroad, 1900-1965, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.
lxix Richard Bolton, ed., Culture Wars: Documents from the Recent Controversies in the Arts, New York: New Press, 1992; Steven C. Dubin, Arresting Images: Impolitic Art and Uncivil Actions, New York: Routledge, 1992.
lxx Harriet F. Senie, Contemporary Public Sculpture: Tradition, Transformation, and Controversy, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992; Harriet F. Senie and Sally Webster, Critical Issues in Public Art: Content, Context, and Controversy, New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
lxxi [Phoebe Lloyd], "Persico, Luigi," in Matthew Baigell, ed., Biographical Dictionary of American Artists, New York: Harper & Row, 1979, pp.272-73.
lxxii Michele H. Bogart, Public Sculpture and the Civic Idea in New York City, 1890-1930, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989, pp. 185-204.
lxxiii Eleanor Heartney, "Identity Politics at the Whitney," Art in America, 81:5 (May 1993), p. 47.
lxxiv Jane Clapp, Art Censorship: A Chronology of Proscribed and Prescribed Art, Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1972; Moshe Carmilly-Weinberger, Fear of Art: Censorship and Freedom of Expression, New York; R. R. Bowker, 1986.

No comments:

Post a Comment