Visual Shock

A History of Art Controversies in American Culture

By Michael G. Kammen
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9781400034642, 450pp.)

Publication Date: November 6, 2007

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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.

About the Author
Michael Kammen, the Newton C. Farr Professor of American History and Culture at Cornell University, is a past president of the Organization of American Historians. He is the author or editor of numerous works, including "People of Paradox: An Inquiry Concerning the Origins of American Civilization," which won the Pulitzer Prize for History, and "A Machine That Would Go of Itself: The Constitution in American Culture," awarded the Francis Parkman Prize and the Henry Adams Prize. He has lectured throughout the world.
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