1. Introduction: A Short History of the United States’ “Official” Public Art.
Roosevelt’s New Deal.
General Services Administration’s Art-in Architecture Program.
National Endowment for the Arts’ Art-in-Public-Places Program.
2. Conventional Wisdom: Populist Intentions within Established Paradigms.
Art as Monument, Art as Memorial.
Art as Amenity.
Art in the Park, Art as the Park.
Art as the Agora.
Art as Pilgrimage.
3. Culture to Go: From Art World to The World.
What Museums Do for Us.
Education, Outreach, Programming.
The Alternative Museum/Alternatives to Museums.
4. Not Quite “Art,” Not Quite “Public”: Lessons from the Private Sector.
The Art of Entertainment.
This is Special, I am Special.
Open Pocketbook, Open Agenda?.
5. Super Viewer: Increasing Individual Agency on the Public Art Front.
Power to the People.
Claiming Space and Place.
6. Conclusion: Art for All?.
The Trouble with (Re)Development.
Nonprofits and the Ephemeral Idyll.
Back to School.
Grieving Loss, Remembering Life.
Two Tales in One City.
"[Knight] offers a twenty-first-century definition of public art." (AfterImage, July 2009)
"A broad account of public art in the United States, from its history and growth to its current meaning and purpose." (Sculpture Magazine, March 2009)
"The thorough bibliography will greatly benefit public art professionals, artists, art historians, and laypersons. Providing a detailed, frank account of public art and viewer agency across the broadest spectrum, Public Art offers insight into works that might be beyond traditional conceptions. By bringing art that is often at the margins to the center, Knight offers fresh ideas on a subject ripe for further discussion. Recommended." (Choice, November 2008)
"Cher Krause Knight … focuses on the notion of populist involvement as the yardstick by which to measure public art projects. She touches on well-known moments in the history of public art to illustrate the ways that the public has been variously excluded, humored, harangued, or genuinely integrated into projects. Most interesting are her musings on commercial sites, like Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Las Vegas casinos. In their admittedly pandering capacity for spectacle, she argues, such places include the public in ways that snooty art commissions don't—whatever you say about their aesthetic values." (Public Art Review, Fall 2008)
- Takes a bold look at public art and its populist appeal, offering a more inclusive guide to our creative tastes and shared culture
- Examines the history of American public art – from the New Deal to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates
- Expands the definition of public art to include sites such as Boston’s Big Dig, Las Vegas’ Treasure Island, and Disney World
- Offers a refreshing alternative to the traditional rhetoric and criticism surrounding public art
- Includes insightful analysis of the museum and its role in relation to public art