Session: Fall 2012

MUSM:3080:0001 (024:181:001)    Mktg/Promoting/Politicking Public Art
25 of 25 enrolled    


Sem. Hrs:



College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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ARTH:3080 ( 01H:180 )

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General Catalog:

How public art projects are conceived, created, and paid for; projects sponsored and funded by federal, state, and local governments and private businesses 1960 to present; projects' operational structures, how artists are selected; Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Serra's Tilted Arc, recent projects.


The goal of this course is to study and analyze the post World War II phenomenon of Art commissioned by the Federal, State, and Local City governments of the United States for public places and financed with public funds from the 1960's to the present.  Selected government projects will be studied comparatively with public and semi-public projects generated and sponsored by private citizen groups and public business corporations.  Reference will also be made to similar major International Public Projects. 

The historical tradition of American government patronage will be reviewed first in order to establish a foundation for the developments after the 1960's.  The WPA/PWA program of the early 1930's will provide a comparative and contextual basis for our study of contemporary issues.  The controversial factors that have emerged over the years and which have sabotages or altered many programs wil be reviewed, as well as the structure and selection process of government patronage and its positive and negative effects on art, process of government patronage and its positive and negative effects on art, artist, and public.  Specific monuments will be reviewed in regard to their Urban and Regional Political context. The role of the individual citizen and the corporate art advocate as well as that of the artist will be considered with particular regard to procedures and policies which might better achieve or guarantee the success of a project.

Public Art has become a big business with inevitable major political and personal consequences for the artist, the public, and the status, condition and future of the arts.  Among the issues to be considered will be censorship, artistic freedom, the role of the law, and the effects of the media on artistic developments and public taste.  It is hoped that our study, review, and discussions will provide students with the knowledge of how to conceive and advocate a public art project, as well as how to best organize the business of fundraising, the selection process, and the campaigning for public acceptance of the project.

Digital projection will support the lectures and class discussion.  The final grade will be based upon the completion of two written assignments: (1) a short paper of five (5) pages critiquing a specific existing public art project; (2) either a research paper (8-10 pagees) on a specific existing or projected monument or personally conceived idea for a public art project or program completed in the format of a complete prospectus for presentation to a committee.  This prospectus would demonstrate the viability, need, and way in which this project would serve the community as well as the administrative structure for advocating and financing the project.    


Approved GE:



an introductory course in an appropriate area for art majors.







Time and Location:
11:00A - 12:15P TTh 112 ABW
Minimum Fee Hours:
Enrollments in this section for 0 - 3 will be charged as 3 semester hours
Course Fees:

Fee Per Course: $10.00



Grading Instructions:


Wallace Tomasini (Primary Instructor)
Textbooks and Materials:
The following textbook and material information is for planning purposes only and could be modified. Final textbook information will be available four weeks before the start of the semester. Please check then to finalize your textbook and material purchases:

Cross References
(i.e. Also offered as):
01H:180:0001 (ARTH:3080:0001)
Co-Existing Sections
(i.e. Separate sections meeting in the same room):
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Museum Studies ( Website     |   General catalog   )
Director: Russell Ciochon

Address: 114 Macbride Hall (MH)
+1 (319)- 335 - 2751

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