TitleAt home in the 60s
NameGustafson, Donna (author), Marter, Joan (chair), Sidlauskas, Susan (internal member), Zervigon, Andres (internal member), Hadler, Mona (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Art, American--20th century--History and criticism,
Home in art
DescriptionThis dissertation investigates the use of the image of the home as image and subject in American art between 1960 and 1975, drawing connections between the social and political issues connected with housing, Civil Rights, the Woman's Movement, and the Cold War. Postwar representations of the American home were complex and multivalent, due, in part, to the housing crisis after World War II that was met by the suburbanization of the nation, and the newly energized postwar economy that brought the single-family, suburban home to the center stage of public and private life. As art historians have previously described, Abstract Expressionism created a masculine context for the American art world that excluded women and non-white, non-heterosexual male artists from creative agency. The decline of Abstract Expressionism gave rise to a re-engagement with images of domesticity, the home, and common objects of everyday life. Domesticity, seen as the anti-modern, played a significant role in the iconography of the male dominated field of Pop Art and also in the work of artists outside of the Pop stylistic umbrella. Representations of the American home, and its corollary, domesticity, appear frequently in the work of Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, and Tom Wesselmann; and in key works by Nancy and Ed Kienholz, Hans Haacke, Dan Graham, Martha Rosler, and Romare Bearden. Through an interdisciplinary approach to the material, the works of art themselves, I set the image and symbol of the American home within an art historical and contextual history that reveals a preoccupation with issues of domesticity, visibility and invisibility, theatricality, surface and depth, public and private space, and how space is structured and represented. Gender politics and the representation of women is an important subtext throughout this dissertation coming to center stage in the last chapter's examination of Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro's collaboration with the students of the Feminist Art Program at Cal Arts in 1971-72, Womanhouse. I argue that Womanhouse should be understood within the larger context of the 1960s interest in the home as a subject for art. Womanhouse was both a feminist rebuttal to the sequestering of the woman in the home and a reaction against the art world's pilfering of the domestic as a neo-dada, anti-art subject. Womanhouse re-colonized the interior of the home as a feminine and feminist space and reclaimed it as an active showcase of female creativity.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 328-344)
Noteby Donna Gustafson
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.