Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power - Art History Publication Initiative (Paperback)
  • Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power - Art History Publication Initiative (Paperback)
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Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power - Art History Publication Initiative (Paperback)

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£21.99
Paperback 360 Pages / Published: 02/02/2018
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In Mounting Frustration Susan E. Cahan uncovers the moment when the civil rights movement reached New York City's elite art galleries. Focusing on three controversial exhibitions that integrated African American culture and art, Cahan shows how the art world's racial politics is far more complicated than overcoming past exclusions.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822371458
Number of pages: 360
Weight: 862 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Using a number of interviews with artists and an analysis of internal museum documents, Cahan perfectly renders the tenor of those volatile times. The elites of the art museum world are brought to task for their misguided attempts at inclusiveness and subtle (and not-so-subtle) attempts to preserve the status quo. Anyone interested in American art and society will find plenty to ponder in this thoughtful work." -- Carolyn Mulac * Booklist *
"Cahan should be lauded for her meticulous investigations, starting her research in 1990, and conducting numerous interviews with the artists and administrators in question. She relays a taxonomical breadth of information that is as nauseating as it is intoxicating." -- Terence Trouillot * BOMB *
(Starred Review) "This essential publication, focusing exclusively on New York City's art museums in the wake of the civil rights movement, shines a revealing light on the artists, museum staff, and activists who were involved in the effort to force large art institutions to 'face artists' demands for justice and equality.' . . . This thorough and unrelenting examination gives invaluable history as well as context for the present struggle to create and maintain diversity in art museums." * Publishers Weekly *
"... [W]e owe Cahan a debt. American museums in the late 1960s and early '70s were suffused with the same racist assumptions and practices as other major social institutions. Many individuals within the cultural realm-curators, artists, critics, trustees and directors-acted disingenuously, even scandalously at times. While the prospect of a 'post-racial' society clearly continues to elude us in the era of Black Lives Matter, reexamining a selection of the exhibitions from a time of significant social upheaval can help us understand the ways in which we have changed, and how much further we have to go to achieve equality of opportunity and just representation." -- Steven C. Dubin * Art in America *
"Mounting Frustration is likely a report more relevant than any CNN production. . . . Aside from simply telling a story, Cahan spent five years working as a senior curator and arts program director for the Collection of Eileen and Peter Norton and Peter Norton Family Foundation. There, she assisted the Nortons in their mission to support emerging black artists. She has also done more written work and service related to social inequalities in the art community." -- Zuri Ward * Blavity *
"[M]eticulously researched. . . . As Mounting Frustration persuasively establishes, major museums in the US have historically done a deplorable job of representing black artists, other artists of color, and women artists, who are tokenized by ever-churning cycles of celebration and dismissal-what Cahan calls 'waves'-in part because large art institutions are not only dependent on but impregnated with the ideology of the ruling class that funds them." -- Julia Bryan-Wilson * Artforum *
"Mounting Frustration comprises well-researched, elegantly crafted case studies of the museum world in New York City during the rise of the Black Power movement. Telling the stories from the perspective of someone who worked in the trenches, Cahan offers the kind of insights and perspectives available to only those who understand the inner workings of institutions. . . . this book is vital for any inquiry into US museums and how those museums continue to take shape. Her pointed and precise use of archival material makes this book not just a history but also a model for scholarly inquiry. Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers." -- K. P. Buick * Choice *
"With an extensive bibliography and list of notes, Cahan does a thorough job of providing a detailed historical overview and analyses of the struggles African Americans faced with exhibiting their work in New York City museums. Highly recommended for students and faculty studying, and anyone interested in, museum studies, art history, and ethnic studies." -- Tina Chan * ARLIS/NA Reviews *
"Mounting Frustration powerfully zeroes in on the moment museums were forced to address the neglect of artists of color, mapping artists' ways of fighting the establishment and the ways in which artists and administrators chose to take action. . . . [W]hile critique can often read as a sermon, or laundry list, of how things should be, Cahan has instead researched and presented a chronology of museums' misguided practices that have helped maintain the art world as a place for racially privileged elites and the methods that curators and administrators used to do so-despite heavy resistance from artists and the public since the '60s."
-- Alexandra Fowle * The Brooklyn Rail *
"Mounting Frustration is a crucial read for anyone who is interested in understanding why the New York art world looks the way it does. The book also furthers an understanding of how activism and negotiation can be used to change institutions going forward." -- Isaac Kaplan * Artsy *
"Cahan's meticulously researched book makes an important contribution to understanding the strategies that the art world used to maintain prerogatives of power and position- a shameful story dispassionately and insightfully told." -- Peter M. Rutkoff * Journal of American History *
"Calling on meticulous archival research alongside twenty years of individual interviews with combatants from both sides, Susan Cahan has produced a major contribution to the institutional and intellectual history of American art museums.... A must-read book for anyone who wants to understand the issues of race in the art world system, both then and now." -- Fath Davis Ruffins * Winterthur Portfolio *

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