Privatising Culture

Privatising Culture

Corporate Art Intervention Since the 1980s

Book - 2002
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Random House, Inc.
Corporate sponsorship and business involvement in the visual arts have become increasingly common features in our cultural lives. From Absolut Vodka’s sponsorship of art shows to ABN-AMRO Bank’s branding of Van Gough’s self-portrait to advertise its credit cards, we have born witness to a new sort of patronage, in which the marriage of individual talent with multinational marketing is beginning to blur the comfortable old distinctions between public and private.

Chin-tao Wu’s book is the first concerted attempt to detail the various ways in which business values and the free-market ethos have come to permeate the sphere of the visual arts since the 1980s. charting the various shifts in public policy which first facilitated the entry of major corporations into the cultural sphere, it analyses the roles of governments in injecting the principles of the free market into public arts agencies—in particular the Arts Council in Great Britain and the National Endowment for the Arts in the USA. It goes on to study the corporate take-over of art museums, highlighting the ways in which ;cultural capital’ can be garnered by various social and business ‘elites’ through commercial involvement in the arts, and shows how corporations have succeeded in integrating themselves into the infrastructure of the art world itself by showcasing contemporary art in their own corporate premises.

Mapping for the first time the increasingly hegemonic position that corporations and corporate elites have come to occupy in the cultural arena, this is a provocative contribution to the debate on public culture in Britain and America.

Norton Pub
From Absolut Vodka's sponsorship of student art shows to BMW's logo on the banners advertising major art exhibitions, corporate sponsorship and business involvement in the visual arts have become increasingly common features of our cultural lives. Chin-tao Wu's book is the first concerted attempt to detail the various ways in which business values and the free-market ethos have come to permeate the sphere of the visual arts since the 1980s. It analyzes the role of government in injecting the principles of the free market into public arts agenciesin particular the Arts Council in Great Britain and the National Endowment for the Arts in the USA. It looks at the corporate take-over of art museums, highlighting the ways in which cultural capital can thereby be garnered by business elites; and it considers the ways in which corporations have succeeded in integrating themselves into the infrastructure of the art world itself by showcasing contemporary art in their own corporate premises. 20 color and 40 b/w photographs.

Book News
Wu (Nanhua U., Taiwan) describes and analyzes how contemporary culture, and especially art, has been subjected to the processes of privatization in Britain since the Thatcher era and in the US since the Reagan era. The study began as her 1997 Ph.D. dissertation in the history of art for University College London. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: London ; New York : Verso, [2002]
Copyright Date: ©2002
ISBN: 9781859846131
1859846130
Branch Call Number: 708 WU
Characteristics: xvii, 392 : illustrations ; 21 cm

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