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Even our field of art education has to involve ethics.
Are you trying to fabricate your own version of history in order to fit a
personal agenda? Katherine's short and selective list and your statement,
which follows, would suggest that this may be the case. You wrote:
" i think it is high time for inclusion, and to help young people realize
white guys whose stuff is in museums aren't the only ones who've been making
important art all this time. you are very, very correct in saying "the
list" should be longer, and more feminine and colorful and diverse! also,
what's marginal to me, or you, may be very influential to someone else.
surely the students who select an artist will be able to explain how their
choice was influential."
Aside from the fact that you fabricated a quote and attributed it to me
("""the list" should be longer, and more feminine and colorful and
diverse!"), it would seem that we in art education have an obligation to
seek and provide a balanced assortment of representatives when we find
ourselves in a situation, like Katherine, who was asked for:
"names of 19th or 20th century artists who have had the greatest influence
on the American culture."
Katherine asked for our suggestions, "opinions, " and I provided my
reaction to her list. I was concerned that the majority of her selections
were taken from the latter part of the requested time period, 19th or 20th,
and the list was not very inclusive. I felt that it needed to be much
longer. According to your agenda, your response to my suggestions included
the statement " i think it is high time for inclusion" and yet you failed to
offer a single additional name to Katherine's list.
Although you conveniently omitted the entire version of my response to
Katherine's list, I said:
"you will do well to look to the artists of Europe in the 1800s and early
1900s. The inclusion of DuChamp and Picasso in your list seems to demand
the additions of the Bauhaus, the other Dada, the Surrealists, the
Impressionists, the Post-Impressionists etc. These artists provided the
influence, the seeds, for many of the late 20th Cent. folks on your list."
If your understanding of the history, and art history, is not sufficient to
make sense of this statement, I will try to elaborate
To understand artists like Marcel DuChamp, Picasso, and Pollock, one must
understand how WWI and WWII had shaken traditional faith in, and reliance
upon, Europe's classical reason as a primary force in the evolution of
Western culture. DuChamp was only one of many male "AND FEMALE" creative
individuals involved in Dada which, among other things, searched for an
alternative to the methods of traditional western/classical rational
thought. The combined exploration of the group, not simply DuChamp, led to
the development of directions which were to influence Surrealism, Cubism,
Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and the assortment of Conceptual or
"Idea Art" activities which interested Lucy Lippard late in our century If
Katherine's list included Critics and Historians like Lucy Lippard and
Whitney Chadwick at the expense of other artists, perhaps it should have
included an infamous "white guy" and second rate artist by the name for
Adolf Hitler, for unfortunately, his is one of the "names of 19th or 20th
century artists who has had the greatest influence on the American culture."
(I.e. the war effort, women working outside the home, the G.I Bill, the
Cold War, the Space Race, etc. etc. )
To understand the contribution of individuals other then Frank Lloyd
Wright, one would do well to research some of the many male "AND FEMALE"
crafts persons and artists from Art Nouveau, the many male "AND FEMALE"
artists, designers and architects of the Bauhaus. Their ideas can be traced
from war-torn Europe to Chicago, California and numerous other parts of our
country. Their influence is all around us, in package design, clothing,
home appliances, furniture, buildings, city planning, cars, airplanes,
computers and space vehicles.
Katherine's list, included the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago
and the Armory Show. However, my reaction to their inclusion in the list
at the expense of the individual artists who were represented in those
exhibitions, ( the artists of Impressionism, Post Impressionism,
Expressionism, Cubism, etc,) was prompted by the reality that a seventh
grade term paper topic works best when it limits the child in that age range
to a manageable body of information and research. When I saw the
exhibitions listed as a term paper topic and the majority of the artists of
the exhibitions omitted from the list, I was concerned that the child who
took those two topics would be overwhelmed in the task of trying to deal
with such a diverse body of influences at the same time.
At 06:05 PM 2/14/98, you wrote:
>At 02:28 AM 2/14/98 -0600, Robert Alexander Fromme wrote:
>>Please consider a couple additional concerns before you settle upon the
>>1. Historians suggest that Abstract Expressionism in the 1940s marked the
>>first major American movement and prior to that time the majority of the
>>influences and chances were taking place in Europe.
>>2. Are you sure that Lucy Lippard, Jacob Lawrence, Joseph Cornell, Miriam
>>Shapiro,Whitney Chadwick, Norman Rockwell, Laurie Anderson have had the
>>greatest influence on American culture? For some of us, they would seem
>>marginal, at best.
>>Well, good luck with your list making project. Seems like it could be a
>>lot longer, at least.
>using your intro, "historians suggest...", historians like whitney chadwick
>suggest that there has been an intentional marginalization of artists like
>many of those mentioned by katherine, by the powers that be, or powers that
>were, in the artworld (european/american white males). i think it is high
>time for inclusion, and to help young people realize white guys whose stuff
>is in museums aren't the only ones who've been making important art all
>this time. you are very, very correct in saying "the list" should be
>longer, and more feminine and colorful and diverse! also, what's marginal
>to me, or you, may be very influential to someone else. surely the
>students who select an artist will be able to explain how their choice was
>Art Teacher, Kanapaha Middle School, Gainesville, FL
>Doctoral Student, Art Education, Florida State University
Robert Fromme <rfromme> or <rfromme>