MoMA Goes to Paris in 1938: Building and Politicizing American Art (Hardcover)
Three Centuries of American Art in 1938 was the Museum of Modern Art’s first international exhibition. With over 750 artworks on view in Paris ranging from seventeenth-century colonial portraits to Mickey Mouse and spanning architecture, film, folk art, painting, prints, and sculpture, it was the most comprehensive display of American art to date in Europe and an important contributor to the internationalization of American art. MoMA Goes to Paris in 1938 explores how, at a time when the concept of artworks as “masterpieces” was very much up for debate, the exhibition expressed a vision of American art and culture that was not only an art historical endeavor but also a formulation of national identity. Caroline M. Riley demonstrates in what ways, at the brink of international war in the politically turbulent 1930s, MoMA collaborated with the US Department of State for the first time to deploy works of art as diplomatic agents.
About the Author
Caroline M. Riley is Research Associate in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of California, Davis. A curator and academic, she is a historian of American visual culture in a global context.