Visual Shock by Michael Kammen
A History of Art Controversies in American Culture

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In this lively narrative, award-winning author Michael Kammen presents a fascinating analysis of cutting-edge art and artists and their unique ability to both delight and provoke us. He illuminates America’s obsession with public memorials and the changing role of art and museums in our society. From Thomas Eakins’s 1875 masterpiece The Gross Clinic, (considered “too big, bold, and gory” when first exhibited) to the bitter disputes about Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial, this is an eye-opening account of American art and the battles and controversies that it has ignited.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Michael Kammen

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Michael Kammen was born in Rochester in 1936. He took his BA at George Washington University and his PhD at Harvard. He is Newton C. Farr Professor of American History and Culture at Cornell University, where he has taught since 1965. A past President of the Organization of American Historians, he is the author or editor of numerous works and has lectured throughout the world. His People of Paradox was a Pulitzer Prize winner.
Published April 15, 2009 by Vintage. 480 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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The Pulitzer Prize–winner, for People of Paradox (1972), who has written extensively on a variety of issues relating to American culture (American Culture, American Tastes, 1999, etc.), organizes this text thematically, a decision that pays high explanatory dividends but also forces him to deal w...

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Publishers Weekly

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From the Washington Monument to the 1913 Armory show to 9/11 memorials, controversies over art exhibitions, memorials and public art have abounded in the U.S. In this expansively researched history of major and lesser-known disputes from the 1830s to the 21st century, Pulitzer Prize winner Kammen...

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