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African Material Culture

Edited by Mary Jo Arnoldi, Christraud M. Geary, and Kris L. Hardin

"This volume has much to recommend it -- providing fascinating and stimulating insights into many arenas of material culture, many of which still remain only superficially explored in the archaeological literature." -- Archaeological Review

"... a vivid introduction to the topic.... A glimpse into the unique and changing identities in an ever-changing world." -- Come-All-Ye

Fourteen interdisciplinary essays open new perspectives for understanding African societies and cultures through the contextualized study of objects, treating everything from the production of material objects to the meaning of sticks, masquerades, household tools, clothing, and the television set in the contemporary repertoire of African material culture.

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African Museums in the Making

Reflections on the Politics of Material and Public Culture in Zimbabwe

Munyaradzi Mawere

One of the central theoretical and practical issues in post-colonial Africa is the relevance, nature, and politics at play in the management of museum institutions on the continent. Most African museums were established during the 19th and 20th centuries as European imperialists were spreading their colonial tentacles across the continent. The attainment of political independence has done little to undo or correct the obnoxious situation. Most African countries continue to practice colonial museology despite surging scholarship and calls by some Afro-centric and critical scholars the world over to address the quandaries on the continent�s museum institutions. There is thus an unresolved struggle between the past and the present in the management of museums in Africa. In countries such as Zimbabwe, the struggle in museum management has been precipitated by the sharp economic downturn that has gripped the country since the turn of the millennium. In view of all these glitches, this book tackles the issue of the management of heritage in Zimbabwe. The book draws on the findings by scholars and researchers from different academic orientations and backgrounds to advance the thesis that museums and museology in Zimbabwe face problems of epic proportions that require urgent attention. It makes insightful suggestions on possible solutions to the tapestry of the inexorably enigmatic amalgam of complex problems haunting museum institutions in Zimbabwe, calling for a radical transformation of museology as a discipline in the process. This book should appeal to policy makers, scholars, researchers and students from disciplines such as museology, archaeology, social-cultural anthropology, and culture and heritage studies.

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African Video Movies and Global Desires

A Ghanaian History

Carmela Garritano

African Video Movies and Global Desires is the first full-length scholarly study of Ghana’s commercial video industry, an industry that has produced thousands of movies over the last twenty years and has grown into an influential source of cultural production. Produced and consumed under circumstances of dire shortage and scarcity, African video movies narrate the desires and anxieties created by Africa’s incorporation into the global cultural economy.

Drawing on archival and ethnographic research conducted in Ghana over a ten-year period, as well as close readings of a number of individual movies, this book brings the insights of historical context as well as literary and film analysis to bear on a range of movies and the industry as a whole. Garritano makes a significant contribution to the examination of gender norms and the ideologies these movies produce.

African Video Movies and Global Desires is a historically and theoretically informed cultural history of an African visual genre that will only continue to grow in size and influence.

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Afro-Cuban Religious Arts

Popular Expressions of Cultural Inheritance in Espiritismo and Santería

Kristine Juncker

This book profiles four generations of women from one Afro-Cuban religious family. From a plantation in Havana Province in the 1890s to a religious center in Spanish Harlem in the 1960s, these women were connected by their prominent roles as leaders in the religions they practiced and the dramatic ritual artwork they created. Each woman was a medium in Espiritismo--communicating with dead ancestors for guidance or insight--and also a santera, or priest of Santería, who could intervene with the oricha pantheon.

Kristine Juncker argues that by creating art for more than one religion these women shatter the popular assumption that Afro-Caribbean religions are exclusive organizations. Most remarkably, the portraiture, sculptures, and photographs in Afro-Cuban Religious Arts offer rare glimpses into the rituals and iconography of these religions. Santería altars are closely guarded, limited to initiates, and typically destroyed upon the death of the santera, while Espiritismo artifacts are rarely considered valuable enough to pass on. The unique and protean cultural legacy detailed here reveals insights into how ritual art became popular imagery, sparked a wider dialogue about culture inheritance, attracted new practitioners, and enabled the movement to explode internationally.

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Afterimage of Empire

Photography in Nineteenth-Century India

Zahid R. Chaudhary

Afterimage of Empire provides a philosophical and historical account of early photography in India that focuses on how aesthetic experiments in colonial photography changed the nature of perception. Considering photographs from the Sepoy Revolt of 1857 along with landscape, portraiture, and famine photography, Zahid R. Chaudhary explores larger issues of truth, memory, and embodiment.

Chaudhary scrutinizes the colonial context to understand the production of sense itself, proposing a new theory of interpreting the historical difference of aesthetic forms. In rereading colonial photographic images, he shows how the histories of colonialism became aesthetically, mimetically, and perceptually generative. He suggests that photography arrived in India not only as a technology of the colonial state but also as an instrument that eventually extended and transformed sight for photographers and the body politic, both British and Indian.

Ultimately, Afterimage of Empire uncovers what the colonial history of the medium of photography can teach us about the making of the modern perceptual apparatus, the transformation of aesthetic experience, and the linkages between perception and meaning.

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Agitating Images

Photography against History in Indigenous Siberia

Craig Campbell

Following the socialist revolution, a colossal shift in everyday realities began in the 1920s and ’30s in the former Russian empire. Faced with the Siberian North, a vast territory considered culturally and technologically backward by the revolutionary government, the Soviets confidently undertook the project of reshaping the ordinary lives of the indigenous peoples in order to fold them into the Soviet state. In Agitating Images, Craig Campbell draws a rich and unsettling cultural portrait of the encounter between indigenous Siberians and Russian communists and reveals how photographs from this period complicate our understanding of this history.

Agitating Images provides a glimpse into the first moments of cultural engineering in remote areas of Soviet Siberia. The territories were perceived by outsiders to be on the margins of civilization, replete with shamanic rituals and inhabited by exiles, criminals, and “primitive” indigenous peoples. The Soviets hoped to permanently transform the mythologized landscape by establishing socialist utopian developments designed to incorporate minority cultures into the communist state. This book delves deep into photographic archives from these Soviet programs, but rather than using the photographs to complement an official history, Campbell presents them as anti-illustrations, or intrusions, that confound simple narratives of Soviet bureaucracy and power. Meant to agitate, these images offer critiques that cannot be explained in text alone and, in turn, put into question the nature of photographs as historical artifacts.

An innovative approach to challenging historical interpretation, Agitating Images demonstrates how photographs go against accepted premises of Soviet Siberia. All photographs, Campbell argues, communicate in unique ways that present new and even contrary possibilities to the text they illustrate. Ultimately, Agitating Images dissects our very understanding of the production of historical knowledge.

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AIA Guide to Chicago

Laurie Petersen

An unparalleled architectural powerhouse, Chicago offers visitors and natives alike a panorama of styles and forms. The third edition of the AIA Guide to Chicago brings readers up to date on ten years of dynamic changes with new entries on smaller projects as well as showcases like the Aqua building, Trump Tower, and Millennium Park.Four hundred photos and thirty-four specially commissioned maps make it easy to find each of the one thousand-plus featured buildings, while a comprehensive index organizes buildings by name and architect. This edition also features an introduction providing an indispensable overview of Chicago's architectural history.

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Airport Urbanism

Infrastructure and Mobility in Asia

Max Hirsh

Thirty years ago, few residents of Asian cities had ever been on a plane, much less outside their home countries. Today, flying, and flying abroad, is commonplace. How has this leap in cross-border mobility affected the design and use of such cities? And how is it accelerating broader socioeconomic and political changes in Asian societies?

In Airport Urbanism, Max Hirsh undertakes an unprecedented study of airport infrastructure in five Asian cities—Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. Through this lens he examines the exponential increase in international air traffic and its implications for the planning and design of the contemporary city. By investigating the low-cost, informal, and transborder transport systems used by new members of the flying public—such as migrant workers, retirees, and Asia’s emerging middle class—he uncovers an architecture of incipient global mobility that has been inconspicuously inserted into places not typically associated with the infrastructure of international air travel.

Drawing on material gathered in restricted zones of airports and border control facilities, Hirsh provides a fascinating, up-close view of the mechanics of cross-border mobility. Moreover, his personal experience of growing up and living on three continents inflects his analyses with unique insight into the practicalities of international migration and into the mindset of people on the move.

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Alexandre Hogue

An American Visionary--Paintings and Works on Paper

Susie Kalil

Presenting the unique vision of an American original . . .   Alexandre Hogue, a renowned artist whose career spanned from the 1920s to his death in 1994, inherited the view of an America that imagined itself as filled with limitless potential for improvement, that considered high art and great ideas accessible to ordinary working people, and that saw no reason for an intellectual chasm between a learned elite and the masses. He always viewed himself as a radical, yet his passion stemmed from a deeply conservative idea: that art, culture, and nature should form a central force in the life of every human being. His well-known Dust Bowl series labeled him as a regionalist painter, but Hogue never accepted that identity. His work reveals the spirit of Texas and the Southwest as he experienced it for nearly a century. In his later years Hogue worked in forms of crisply rendered nonobjective and calligraphic one-liner paintings. Bringing to light new information regarding the Erosion and Oil Industry series, this book gives special attention to lesser known, post-1945 works, in addition to the awe-inspiring Moon Shot and final Big Bend series. Each series—from the hauntingly beautiful Taos landscapes and prophetic canvases of a dust-covered Southwest to his depictions of the fierce geological phenomena of the Big Bend—serves as a paean to the awesomeness of nature. Houston-based curator and critic Susie Kalil grew close to Hogue from 1986 to 1994, a time during which she interviewed him, considered his oeuvre with him, and came to share his vision of the nature and purposes of art. In Alexandre Hogue she reveals Hogue as he presented himself and his work to her. Collections with Alexandre Hogue's paintings: Musee National D'Art Moderne, Pompidou, Paris DallasMuseum of Art Museum of Fine Arts, Houston The GilcreaseMuseum, Tulsa The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa University of Tulsa Tulsa Performing ArtsCenter Smithsonian Institution (NationalMuseum of American Art), Washington, DC OklahomaMuseum of Art, Okla City The SheldonMuseum of Art, University of Nebraska, Lincoln PhoenixArt Museum University of Arizona, Tucson Art Museum of SouthTexas, Corpus Christi Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Tx. StarkMuseum, Orange, Tx Southern MethodistUniversity, Dallas SpringfieldArt Museum, Springfield, Missouri WeatherspoonArt Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro The Federal Reserve Bank, Dallas The Williams Companies, Tulsa    

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Alien Agency

Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making

Chris Salter

In Alien Agency, Chris Salter tells three stories of art in the making. Salter examines three works in which the materials of art -- the "stuff of the world" -- behave and perform in ways beyond the creator's intent, becoming unknown, surprising, alien. Studying these works -- all three deeply embroiled in and enabled by science and technology -- allows him to focus on practice through the experiential and affective elements of creation. Drawing on extensive ethnographic observation and on his own experience as an artist, Salter investigates how researcher-creators organize the conditions for these experimental, performative assemblages -- assemblages that sidestep dichotomies between subjects and objects, human and nonhuman, mind and body, knowing and experiencing.Salter reports on the sound artists Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger (O+A) and their efforts to capture and then project unnoticed urban sounds; tracks the multi-year project TEMA (Tissue Engineered Muscle Actuators) at the art research lab SymbioticA and its construction of a hybrid "semi-living" machine from specially grown mouse muscle cells; and describes a research-creation project (which he himself initiated) that uses light, vibration, sound, smell, and other sensory stimuli to enable audiences to experience other cultures' "ways of sensing." Combining theory, diary, history, and ethnography, Salter also explores a broader question: How do new things emerge into the world and what do they do?

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