Contact Us

Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions

ETD Help

Policies and Procedures

Copyright and Patents

Access Restrictions

Search ETDs:
Advanced Search
Browse by:
Browse ProQuest
Search ProQuest

Laney Graduate School

Rollins School of Public Health

Candler School of Theology

Emory College

Emory Libraries

New ETD website is now LIVE and located here: etd.library.emory.edu

The Persistence of Memory: The Consecration of Artists in the US Field of Modern Art

Braden, Laura E. A. (2011)
Dissertation (241 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: Dowd, Timothy J
Committee Members: Boli, John E ; Johnson, Cathryn ; Janssen, Susanne (Erasmus University);
Research Fields: Sociology, General; Sociology, Organizational; Art History
Keywords: artists; organizations; textbooks; canonization; Museum of Modern Art; gender; nationality
Program: Laney Graduate School, Sociology
Permanent url: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/b6txz

Abstract

This dissertation examines how individual attributes, e.g., gender and nationality, and
field level factors, e.g., extent and type of museum exhibition, affect the chances and
extent of an artist's recognition within the art historical canon. Over the course of the
20th century, I track the population of 308 artists that exhibited at the 1913 Armory
Show-the watershed visual art exhibition credited for introducing US audiences to
modern art-through exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, the first US museum
dedicated to modernist aesthetics, and college-level, survey art history textbook editions.
After establishing the historical context of the modern art movement in the United States
at the beginning of that century, my first chapter examines the early factors that shaped
retrospective consecration in textbooks published during the last 20 years (1989-2009).
The results of this chapter indicate the role of early MoMA exhibition decisions in
highlighting artists through small group and solo shows and as a gatekeeper, preferring
male and European Armory artists. Given the importance of early organizational choices,
my second chapter examines the establishment of the modern art field within the US
during the first half of the 20th century by examining the interaction between academia
and MoMA. I follow the changing canonical choices of texts, through eight early
editions (1926-1970), and MoMA, through approximately 1,000 exhibitions (1929-1968).
Results for this chapter show that MoMA served as an early leader in modern art's canon
creation, with textbooks following the Museum's artist selections. As the field
professionalized, however, MoMA and texts' choices coalesced, largely excluding both
female and non-European artists. Focusing on MoMA exhibition choices, my third
chapter explores how the Museum connected Armory artists to each other through in-
common exhibition. Results reveal that MoMA worked not simply to highlight
individual artists but also created meaningful network connections between Armory
artists. Thus, those artists who were repeatedly connected to a large network of peer
Armory artists through MoMA exhibition receive increased coverage within
contemporary text editions (1970-2009). Overall, this research specifies the importance
of field level factors and individual attributes in the historical creation of the cultural
canon.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION 1
References for Introduction 9


CHAPTER ONE From the Armory to Academia: Careers and Reputations of Early Modern Artists in the United States
16
1. Introduction 16
2. Consecration and legitimation 17
3. Modern art in the US: The 1913 Armory Show 20
4. Artist attributes 24
4.1. Early European success 24
4.2. Nationality 26
4.3. Gender 27
4.4. Posthumous exhibition 28
5. Legitimating organization: Museum of Modern Art 29
6. Data 32
6.1. Dependent variables 32
6.2. Independent variables 34
7. Results 36
7.1. Descriptive statistics 37
7.2. Regression models 39
7.3. The MoMA effect 41
8. Discussion 43
Appendix 1-A.
Additional notes on data sources. 47
Appendix 1-B.
Armory artists omitted from art history textbooks of the early 21st century. 49
Appendix 1-C.
The impact of artist attributes and a legitimating organization
upon the number of textbook pages devoted to each Armory artists 49
Appendix 1-D.
The impact of artist attributes and a legitimating organization
upon the number of textbook pages devoted to each Armory artists 52
References for Chapter One 53

CHAPTER TWO Building a Canon: The Early Years of the US Field of Modern Art 59
1. Introduction 59
2. Conceptualizing the emergent field of modern art:
DiMaggio's foundational work 60
3. Engaging the emergent field of modern art in the US:
building on the foundation 63
3.1. The rise of a legitimating ideology: art history in the US 64
3.2. The dynamics of field construction 67
3.3. Canon formation and artists 69
4. Documenting the emergent field of modern art in the US:
canonical choices 72
4.1. The choices of MoMA and survey textbooks 72
4.2. Canonical choices and the attributes of artists 75
5. Data 79
5.1 Dependent variables 79
5.2. Independent variables 81
6. Results 81
6.1. Textbook and MoMA choices regarding Armory artists 81
6.2. Descriptive statistics 83
6.3. Canonical choices by Gardner's Art through the Ages 84
6.4. Canonical choices by the Museum of Modern Art 89
6.5. Canonical choices by Janson's History of Art 94
7. Conclusions and discussion 95
References for Chapter Two 107

CHAPTER THREE Stabilizing the Canon: The Later Years of the US Field of Modern Art 118
1. Introduction 118
2. The importance of artistic networks 119
3. The impact of artistic networks 125
3.1. Artists of the 1913 Armory Show 125
3.2. Network structure and consecration 127
4. Data 133
4.2. Dependent variables 134
4.3. Independent variables 136
5. Results
5.1. Exhibition and network patterns 138
5.2. Descriptive results 144
5.3. Regression analysis 145
6. Discussion and conclusion 152
References for Chapter Three 160

CONCLUSION 168
References for Conclusion 179

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1-A.
The 58 Armory Show artists featured in at least one of the three textbooks. 183
Table 1-B.
The top artists with the highest number of pages in each of the three textbooks. 184
Table 1-C. Descriptive statistics. 185
Table 1-D.
The top five artists with the highest number of artworks displayed at the Armory Show. 186
Table 1-E.
The Armory Show artists with solo and group MoMA exhibition, 1929-1967. 187
Table 1-F.
Logistic regression analyses (odds ratios) for the effects of artist attributes and
MoMA exhibition on the likelihood of inclusion in three art history textbooks. 188
Table 1-G.
Logistic regression analyses (odds ratios) for the effects of artist attributes
on the likelihood of exhibiting at MoMA, 1929-1967. 189
Table 1-H.
OLS regression analyses for the effects of artists attributes and a legitimating organization on the aggregate number of pages dedicated to an Armory artist within all three art history textbooks. 190
Table 1-I.
The 250 Armory Show artists omitted from textbooks. 191
Table 1-J.
Logistic regression analyses (odds ratios) for the effects of artist attributes and a legitimating organization on the likelihood of recognition within the three individual art history textbooks. 201
Table 1-K.
OLS regression analyses for the effects of artist attributes and legitimating organization on the number of pages dedicated to an Armory artist within the three individual art history textbooks. 202
Table 2-A.
Summary of independent variables. 203
Table 2-B.
All 89 Armory Show artists featured in the five editions of Gardner's text, 1929-1970. 204
Table 2-C.
All 35 Armory Show artists featured in the three editions of Janson's text, 1959-1969. 207
Table 2-D.
All 127 Armory Show artists featured in the approximately 40 years of MoMA exhibition, 1929-1968. 209
Table 2-E.
Descriptive statistics. 214
Table 2-F.
Correlation matrix. 215
Table 2-G.
OLS regression analyses for the effects of artist attributes and type of MoMA exhibition on the number of pages dedicated to Armory Show artist within the five editions of Gardner's Art through the Ages, 1926-1970 216
Table 2-H.
OLS regression analyses for the effects of artist attributes and textbook edition on the number of exhibitions representing an Armory Show artists in the Museum of Modern Art from 1929 to 1968 217
Table 2-I.
OLS regression analyses for the effects of artist attributes and type of MoMA exhibition on the number of pages dedicated to Armory Show artist within the three editions of Janson's History of Art, 1959-1969 218
Table 3-A.
Leading Armory artists in terms of MoMA exhibitions and connections, 1929-1968. 219
Table 3-B.
Top nine artists with highest number of MoMA exhibitions and highest percentage of repeat ties, from 1929-1968. 220
Table 3-C.
Top Armory artists in terms of exhibition network and nationality, 1929 to 1968. 221
Table 3-D.
Top Armory artists in terms of MoMA exhibition with female Armory artists and Armory artists with prior solo exhibitions at MoMA, 1929-1968. 222
Table 3-E.
Descriptive statistics for network variables of Armory artists exhibiting together at MoMA, 1929-1968 (996 exhibitions). 223
Table 3-F.
Correlation matrix. 224
Table 3-G.
Ordinary least squares regression analysis of MoMA exhibition, 1929 through 1968, network variables on art history textbook coverage of the 1913 Armory Show artists. 225

Files

application/pdf Dissertation/Thesis 241 pages (858 KB) [Access copy of Dissertation/Thesis]
Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.