Sculpture in Gotham: A Selected Bibliography

April 14th, 2018

Public sculpture is a big draw in today’s cities. Nowhere is this more the case than in New York, where urban art has become synonymous with the municipal ‘brand’, highlighting the metropolis as vibrant, creative, tolerant, orderly and, above all, safe. Sculpture in Gotham tells the story of how the City of New York became committed to public art patronage, beginning in the mid-1960s. In that moment of political turbulence, cultural activists and City officials for a time shifted away from traditional monuments, and joined forces to sponsor ambitious sculptural projects as an instrument for urban revitalization.
Focusing on specific people, agencies and organizations, and both temporary and permanent projects over the decades since the 1960s, Sculpture in Gotham reveals the changing forms and meanings of municipal public art. It illustrates how all this happened at a time when art theories and styles were changing markedly, and when municipalities were reeling from racial unrest, economic decline and countercultural challenges to culture and the state. Connecting public art activity to agendas of urbanism, Sculpture in Gotham offers new contexts for tracking national cultural trends through the exploration of one specific locality. It also provides a new understanding of civic activism and collaboration as a cultural force in urban America. Michele will discuss Sculpture in Gotham on Saturday, 4/21, 3pm at the Co-op.

Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York, by Hilary Ballon and Kenneth T. Jackson

New York's Underground Art Museum: MTA Arts and Design, by Sandra Bloodworth and William Ayres

Creative Time: The Book, by Creative Time

Memorial Mania: The Public Feeling in America, by Erika Doss

City Art: New York's Percent for Art Program, by Eleanor Heartney, et. al.

Whose Art Is It, by Jane Kramer

Contemporary Public Sculpture: Tradition, Transformation, and Controversy, by Harriet Senie

A Companion to Public Art, by Harriet Senie and Cher Krause Knight

About Michele Bogart: Michele H. Bogart has taught art history and American visual culture studies at Stony Brook University since 1982. Bogart is author of Public Sculpture and the Civic Ideal in New York City, 1890-1930 (1989/1997), recipient of the 1991 Charles C. Eldredge Prize; Artists, Advertising, and the Borders of Art (1995); The Politics of Urban Beauty: New York and Its Art Commission (2006), all published by the University of Chicago Press; and now, Sculpture in Gotham: Art and Urban Renewal in New York (2018) (Reaktion Books). She was a talking head in the documentary on movie poster artist Reynold Brown ("The Man Who Drew BugEyed Monsters"), which aired on PBS television in July 1996; for the 2007 DVD documentary on artist Norman Rockwell, produced by Lucasfilm as part of its 12-volume “Young Indiana Jones” series; and for a November 2012 segment on public art for Kulturen på News, TV2 News, Denmark. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow and Terra Foundation Visiting Professor of American Art at the JFK Institut, Freie Universität von Berlin, and is presently a Senior Fellow at the Rockwell Center for Visual Studies at the Norman Rockwell Museum. From 1999 through 2003 she was Vice President of the Art Commission of the City of New York (since renamed the Public Design Commission [PDC]), the City’s design review agency. She presently serves on the PDC’s Conservation Advisory Group and on the boards of the New York Preservation Archive Project and the Associates of the Art Commission.



Posted in: