Laughing Through the Armory Show & Blacks and White in the Art World: Does Class Matter?

November 4, 2005 - 12:15pm to 1:15pm

The Harris School of Public Policy Studies, 1155 E. 60th Street, Room 140C

A "Focus on New Scholars" Workshop featuring dissertation research presented by J. Stan Barrett, Ph.D., English Language and Literature, and Stephanie Williams, Ph.D, Sociology

The nation's first major exhibition of modern and avant-garde art, The 1913 Armory Show in New York incited curiosity, criticism and controversy among the American press and public. Barrett examines how the show's organizers capitalized on promotional and press techniques pioneered by P.T. Barnum to generate a media circus and sensationalized public and critical response to the show.

Drawing on her interviews with black and whites visiting the Philadelphia Art Museum, Williams examines issues affecting audience development among black Americans at major mainstream art museums, attempts by major art museums over the last 20 years to diversify their exhibitions, and comparisons of demographics and cultural participation habits among black and white museum visitors.

Read Barrett's working paper, Laughing through the Armory Show

About J. Stan Barrett: Barrett, who holds a Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Michigan, has completed his dissertation Imagining Audiences: American Modernism in the Age of Publicity and is writing on 1930s American poetry, focusing on conceptions of audience in the work of George Oppen and Louis Zukofsky. His essay on Wallace Stevens and radio will appear in the forthcoming Broadcasting Modernism ( University of Florida Press).

About Stephanie Williams: Williams, a Hyde Park native who holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania , completed her post-doctoral work at Harvards W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African-American Research. A research consultant for Nielsen Media Research and research assistant with the Cultural Policy Center , Williams has studied African American participation in the fine arts as an outgrowth of her desire to learn more about black people and her interest in understanding the differences among those who do and do not take part in the art world.

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