By VICTORIA D. ALEXANDER
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Extra resources for Art and the State: The Visual Arts in Comparative Perspective
As Rueschemeyer (1991) shows, while the German Democratic Republic (GDR) encouraged the ‘heroic and sentimental’ socialist realist style, it also provided secure employment and patronage for artists. It existed somewhere in between two extremes. The ‘Stalinist impositions and total state control of art patronage’ is one extreme. The ‘opposite is the model of the alienated artist without any formal patron or audience, producing for a market that neither directly sponsors nor values the creations’ (Rueschemeyer, 1993 : 209).
Our remarks focus on the complexities of cultural policy. States vary in their funding mechanisms, such as direct support from state budgets versus indirect support through tax relief, the use of governmental agencies, quangos, voluntary organizations, or business firms in disbursing funds, the involvement of artists, and the degree of representation of artists’ interests in policy or sponsorship decisions. These differences matter. We discuss state policies and the public place of art, the expression of ‘national culture’, control and censorship, the development of audiences for art, and the relationship between esoteric ‘high’ and popular art, and we consider the interrelationships among the state, the market, and the art world.
1 This is due in no small part to a healthy involvement of private funds in art matters, but as we shall see, the American state has encouraged this private involvement through a variety of means, especially tax laws. Indeed, though US direct support of the arts is one of the lowest, its level of indirect support of the arts is higher than in much of the developed world. The American state also affects the arts through its legislation on non-art matters and through its Constitution, especially the First Amendment which guarantees the freedom of speech.
Art and the State: The Visual Arts in Comparative Perspective by VICTORIA D. ALEXANDER