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The Federal Art Project and the Creation of Middlebrow Culture Hardcover – March 13, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


 “[Grieve’s] tightly constructed and well-argued book touches on critical contemporary issues regarding federal funding of the arts, especially during times of economic distress.”--Journal of Illinois History




"An interesting, well-written and thought-provoking book."--American Studies

Book Description

This intellectual history chronicles the processes of compromise and negotiation between high and low art, federal and local interests, and the Progressive Era and New Deal. Victoria Grieve examines how intellectual trends in the early twentieth century combined with government forces and structures of the New Deal's Federal Art Project to redefine American taste in the visual arts. Representing more than a response to the emergency of the Great Depression, the Federal Art Project was rooted in Progressive Era cultural theories, the modernist search for a usable past, and developments in the commercial art world in the early decades of the twentieth century. In their desire to create an art for the "common man," FAP artists and administrators used the power of the federal government to disseminate a specific view of American culture, one that combined ideals of uplift with those of accessibility: a middlebrow visual culture.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1st Edition edition (March 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 025203421X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252034213
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,146,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Minor Player on January 11, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book for those interested in the Federal Art Project of the WPA.
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