Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power

Duke Univ. Feb. 2016. 400p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780822358978. $34.95. FINE ARTS
Difficult issues of race reverberate throughout American society, so it should be no surprise that the art establishment and museums have been affected by political changes resulting from the civil rights movement. While black artists have been creating works throughout American history, it is only in the last half-century that their achievements have received any significant attention. Cahan (dean of the arts, associate dean, Yale Univ.; editor, I Remember Heaven: Jim Hodges and Andy Warhol) chronicles the endeavors, and in some cases considerable struggle, of black artists and their supporters to gain recognition and opportunities for public display of their art. This volume focuses on four exhibitions at four major New York City museums. The scholarly text is accompanied by black-and-white photos of artworks, demonstrators, and museum displays.
VERDICT The detailed coverage of this topic may be overwhelming to general readers but should intrigue those interested in the contemporary art world and readers who are concerned about racial justice in U.S. society. [See "Lives, Loves, Losses: Books for Black History Month and Beyond," LJ 11/1/15.]
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