Show Less

Things of the Spirit

Art and Healing in the American Body Politic, 1929-1941


George Van Cleve Speer

In the 1930s, the crises brought about by the Depression, climatic devastation, and the rearmament of Europe led Americans from all walks of life to believe that capitalism and technology had synthesized into a monstrous force that threatened the human race. And yet, this chaotic decade also witnessed an unprecedented level of support, both rhetorical and institutional, for the importance of art in the lives of everyday Americans. This book investigates that paradox, asking why, when simple survival presented its own obstacles, our historically pragmatic culture began to define art as a necessity rather than a luxury. To answer this question, the book traces the symbolism of the embattled and recuperative body across a broad spectrum of American culture in the Machine Age. The book situates this symbolism within the commentary of artists, novelists, critics, and educators who trusted in the power of artistic expression and the experience of art to restore the health of the body politic.


Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Bibliography 215


Bibliography Adas, Michael. Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology, and Ideologies of Western Dominance. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989. Adams, Henry. Thomas Hart Benton: An American Original. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. Agee, James and Walker Evans. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1941. America Today: A Book of 100 Prints. New York: Equinox Press, 1936. “American Artists’ Congress Opens First Annual in Eight Cities.” Art Digest, February 15, 1937. Azuela, Alicia. “Public Art, Meyer Schapiro and Mexican Muralism.” Oxford Art Journal 17, 1 (1994): 55–59. Baigell, Matthew and Julia Williams, eds. Artists Against War and Fas- cism: Papers of the First American Artists’ Congress. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1986. Baughman, James L. Henry R. Luce and the Rise of the American News Media. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 2001. Benton, Thomas Hart. An Artist in America. New York: Halcyon House, 1939. Blake, Casey Nelson. Beloved Community: The Cultural Criticism of Ran- dolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, & Lewis Mumford. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990. Boger, Astrid. People’s Lives, Public Images: The New Deal Documentary Aesthetic. Tubingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 2001. Bogart, Michelle H. Artists, Advertising, and the Borders of Art. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. Bohan, Ruth. Looking into Walt Whitman: American Art, 1850–1920. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006. Borkin, Joseph. The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1997. Brenner, Anita. Idols Behind Altars. New York: Payson & Clarke Ltd...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.