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The Inclusive Vision

Essays in Honor of Larry Gross


Edited By Paul Messaris and David W. Park

Larry Gross is one of the most influential figures in the history of media studies. In this collection of original essays, his former students reflect on his groundbreaking contributions to three major developments: the emergence of visual studies as a distinct field of media theory and research; the analysis of media fiction as a symbol of power structures and a perpetuator of social inequalities; and the growing scholarly attention to the relationships between mass media and sexual minorities.

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14. The Hidden Female Face of New York (Carla Sarett)


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14. The Hidden Female Face of New York


As a young girl growing up in the 1960’s, I loved nothing more than going into the “city” as I then thought of New York. Its landmarks have become fixtures in my personal visual lexicon: fountains and statues of Central Park, the jeweled façade of Radio City Music Hall, the glowing Art Deco interiors. All of it feels magical to me, as it has to many filmmakers and photographers. But, I never imagined that any of that “magic” was created by women. To me, cities like New York—that is to say, great cities—were designed and built by men—great men, for sure.

In my first mental timeline of Art (which started with the Egyptians and ended at, in those days, maybe Jackson Pollock), there were, oh, three women of note: Georgia O’Keefe, Frieda Kahlo, and Mary Cassatt. My timeline, however flawed, was not an accident; it was cultivated from an early age. My suburban, upwardly mobile parents dutifully took me to The Metropolitan Museum and MoMA. I was given “serious” books like A Child’s History of Art and, when I was older, John Canaday’s Mainstreams of Modern Art, and packets from museum gift shops. My elementary school taught Art Education, which forced students to memorize artists, dates, countries, periods. But in all of that, I heard nothing of women in the “fine” (as opposed...

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