Reading Together

What if the entire community read the same book at the same time? Read and discuss Amy Waldman’s The Submission with people of all walks of life.

Visual Shock

(Book) Permanent link

Among the themes of this year’s Reading Together selection is the issue of public art and how communities respond to it. I recently came across this book in our collection and found it to be an interesting parallel. Kammen, a Pulitzer Prize winner for history, addresses the issue of public art from several angles, among them: Monuments, Memorials, and Americanism; Issues of Diversity and Inclusion; and The Dimensions and Dilemmas of Public Sculpture. In fact, one of the works chronicled in this latter chapter is Alexander Calder’s La Grande Vitesse in Grand Rapids, erected in 1969. Kammen describes how the Grand Rapids community went from questioning the size and cost of the sculpture, as well as the artist’s nonexistent relationship with Michigan or even the midwest, to ultimately embracing the work. “Today the piece is truly beloved and has become the stimulus for everything from festivals to children’s design contests. Controversy gave way to an era of good feelings, as least in this instance.”

The book includes several photographs and detailed notes, as well as a comprehensive index.


Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture



Posted by Karen Santamaria at 02/05/2013 11:37:04 AM 

More blog posts

Reading Together on TwitterReading Together on FacebookKPL YouTube ChannelKPL Flickr Photostream

In the News »

Mar 31, 2013
Brooke GladstoneBrooke Gladstone
"On the Media" in Kalamazoo
Mar 23, 2013
NPR host to speakNPR host to speak
as part of Reading Together program
Mar 19, 2013
NPR's Brooke GladstoneNPR's Brooke Gladstone
to speak at WMU
Mar 8, 2013
Amy WaldmanAmy Waldman
writing, the media and characters
Mar 6, 2013
Crowds turn out Crowds turn out
for Reading Together program
Mar 5, 2013
Amy WaldmanAmy Waldman
to speak tonight in Kalamazoo
Mar 4, 2013
The SubmissionThe Submission
A book about 9/11, that's not...
Feb 27, 2013
MLive Book ClubMLive Book Club
fiction ended up looking like real life
Feb 14, 2013
'The Submission' 'The Submission'
wins over this non-fiction reader
Feb 1, 2013
MLive Book ClubMLive Book Club
February's pick will be The Submission
Aug 29, 2012
Library announcesLibrary announces
Reading Together selection for 2013