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Unfamiliar Objects in Familiar Spaces: The Public Response to Art-in-Architecture

Steven Tepper
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Steven Tepper: Princeton University

No 54, Working Papers from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies.

Abstract: Over the last three decades the federal government, through its Art-in-Architecture program, has funded more than 200 permanent art installations in cities throughout America. This study examines the public response to a sample of 41 such public art projects and attempts to illuminate the factors that lead to official or organized conflict. Findings suggest that controversies are most likely to erupt over abstract art placed in relatively small cities and cities experiencing high rates of population growth. This is especially true when the community is not asked to participate in the project in any meaningful way. And although artistic freedom is the norm, in a few cases, community participation led to editing of provocative or challenging content from a proposed artwork.

JEL-codes: Z11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1999-03
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