My research seeks to complicate the story of American modernism by showcasing that the roots of the twentieth-century art world are mired in the complexities of lived experience and visual culture. I do so by examining the roles played by religion, race, region, and consumption in art’s production, display, and reception. I show that religious belief and practices helped formed our conception of modern aesthetic experience; that artists of the African diaspora turned to religious expressions of all kinds to create a self-consciously Modern art and identity; that myriad modernisms developed in different regions of the country in response to local cultures, politics, and traditions; and that department stores, as much as museums and world’s fairs, were central to educating audiences and providing space for modern art’s appreciation, display, and dissemination.
Address: 206 Swallow Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
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