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Grant number: FT-56899-09

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FT-56899-09

Amy Woodson-Boulton
Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, CA 90045-2650)

Temples of Art in Cities of Industry: Beauty as Social Transformation in England, 1870-1930

My manuscript examines the visual culture, politics, and ideas that led Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester to establish art museums in an effort to redeem capitalist society and rectify the moral and physical ugliness of industrialization. I argue that museum supporters promoted art as a means of social reform not in terms of traditional art history or connoisseurship, but because it offered the experience of beauty, which they imagined as a universal language open to even uneducated viewers. Utilizing many previously unused archival materials, my work explores how art museums formed a crucial part of the formation of the modern State, as it took responsibility for the physical and moral well-being of its citizens in the wake of the unprecedented changes of the nineteenth century. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to the history of cities, ideas, institutions, and art, this book will speak to scholars and advanced undergraduates interested in the place of art in modern society.

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Project fields:
British History

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2009 – 7/31/2009