By Donna M. Binkiewicz
The nationwide Endowment for the humanities is usually accused of embodying a liberal schedule in the American govt. In Federalizing the Muse, Donna Binkiewicz assesses the management and pursuits of Presidents Kennedy via Carter, in addition to Congress and the nationwide Council at the Arts, drawing an image of the foremost avid gamers who created nationwide arts coverage. utilizing presidential papers, NEA and nationwide information fabrics, and various interviews with coverage makers, Binkiewicz refutes persisting ideals in arts investment as a part of a liberal schedule through arguing that the NEA's origins within the chilly conflict period coloured arts coverage with a extraordinarily reasonable undertone.
Binkiewicz's examine of visible arts supplies finds that NEA officers promoted a modernist, summary aesthetic in particular simply because they believed this kind of type could most sensible exhibit American success and freedom. This at first led them to overlook many modern paintings types they feared might be perceived as politically troublesome, resembling pop, feminist, and ethnic arts. The enterprise used to be unable to stability its investment throughout various paintings kinds earlier than dealing with severe price range cutbacks. Binkiewicz's research brings very important historic point of view to the perennial debates approximately American artwork coverage and sheds mild on provocative political and cultural concerns in postwar America.
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Additional info for Federalizing the Muse: United States Arts Policy and the National Endowment for the Arts, 1965-1980
Pell’s ﬁrst assignment in Congress was on the Labor and Public Welfare Committee, which allowed him access to legislative agendas for both education and the arts. He also found a place on the Rules and Administration Committee, where he learned about and inﬂuenced Senate administration. It is a mark of Pell’s importance to the Democratic Party and of his ability to work with inﬂuential members of Congress that he was able to serve on so many powerful committees during such a short tenure in o≈ce.
Although Greenough’s George Washington proved less than successful, Congress continued to hire artists to adorn the nation’s capital, generally with historical paintings and sculptures which they considered more acceptable. Some congressmen called for support for the arts by various additional means in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the United States sought a larger role in international a√airs and worked to bolster its national status. In the 1870s, Rep. ∞≥ While these attempts at arts policy indicated concern for the arts by some in the national legislature, their failures demonstrated that the majority in Congress remained unconvinced that the arts were worthy of national support.
This e√ort would, ultimately, produce an American culture worthy of world acclaim. Not only were the arts important for domestic welfare, but they also promoted foreign policy interests by showcasing American leadership and freedom. Indeed, these applications would become a vital selling point for later arts policy. In 1960, Kennedy asserted that the American government should support the arts, ‘‘for art . . ’’∑ He reiterated these sentiments in a Saturday Review article advocating expanded international exchange programs and State Department cultural programs.