A People’s Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements
Chat with Nicolas Lampert about his new book. Hosted by Molly Crabapple.
Inspired by the pathbreaking work of Howard Zinn, a book that takes American art history out of the museum and into the streets
Most people outside of the art world view art as something that is foreign to their experiences and everyday lives. A People’s Art History of the United States places art history squarely in the rough-and-tumble of politics, social struggles, and the fight for justice from the colonial era through the present day.
Author and radical artist Nicolas Lampert combines historical sweep with detailed examinations of individual artists and works in a politically charged narrative that spans the conquest of the Americas, the American Revolution, slavery and abolition, western expansion, the suffragette movement and feminism, civil rights movements, environmental movements, LGBT movements, antiglobalization movements, contemporary antiwar movements, and beyond.
A People’s Art History of the United States introduces us to key works of American radical art alongside dramatic retellings of the histories that inspired them. Stylishly illustrated with over two hundred images, this book is nothing less than an alternative education for anyone interested in the powerful role that art plays in our society.
Nicolas Lampert is a Milwaukee-based interdisciplinary artist and author whose work focuses on themes of social justice and ecology. His artwork is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum, among others. Collectively, he works with the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. Lampert is a full-time faculty member (academic staff appointment) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Artists and works discussed include:
Native American wampum belts, Paul Revere’s Boston Massacre lithograph, Abolitionist slave ship illustrations, Jacob Riis’s photographs, Edward Curtis’s and Richard Throssel’s photographs of Native Americans, The Haymarket monument, The Masses, National Women’s Party banners, The Federal Arts Project, Miné Okubo’s Japanese internment camp sketches, Danny Lyon’s SNCC photographs, The Guerrilla Art Action Group, Suzanne Lacy’s performance art, ACT UP and Gran Fury, The Yes Men