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On Display: Visual Politics, Material Culture, and Education

Cite this publication as

Karin Priem(Hg.), Kerstin te Heesen(Hg.), On Display: Visual Politics, Material Culture, and Education (2016), Waxmann Verlag, 48159 Münster, ISBN: 9783830984696

Tracked since 05/2018


Descripción / Abstract

This book focuses on one of the most successful photography exhibitions in history, The Family of Man. With The Family of Man as its reference point, this collection of essays takes a closer look at visual and material objects. It examines their relevance for educational issues and exhibition designs. We understand these issues in their broadest sense to encompass processes of citizenship and identity formation and the adoption and/or preservation of ethical and political values with effects that range from the micro to the macro, from the national to the international level. The overall hypothesis of this volume is that images, objects and designs were created and employed as performers and performances that interacted with and attracted mass audiences. This book not only looks at how the presentational, representational and social power of images, objects and designs was deliberately used by political and cultural stakeholders during the mid-1950s, but also how these technologies of display travelled through time and space and, as historical objects, interacted—and continue to interact—with new contexts and audiences.


“The Family of Man” (curated by Edward Steichen, Museum of Modern Art, New York 1955) was chosen as point of reference for identifying visual strategies in constructing and establishing (western oriented) human values as an act of public education. The purpose of this anthology is to take a closer look at visual and material objects, different modes of (re)presentation and their relevance for educational issues.


  • Book Cover
  • Acknowledgments
  • Contents
  • On Display: Visual Politics, Material Culture and Education (Karin Priem and Kerstin te Heesen)
  • Icon, Allegory, Catastrophe: Three Modes of Articulation within 21st Century Public Culture (Robert Hariman)
  • Displaying Things: Perspectives from Cultural Anthropology (Gudrun M. König)
  • Topographies of Meaning
  • Lessons of Power: The Objects
  • From Zone of Display to Zone of Signifi cation
  • The Circulation of Exhibits and Knowledge
  • Summary: Assemblies of Things
  • Bibliography
  • Facts for Babies: Visual Experiments at the Intersection of Art, Science, and Consumerism in Education (Karin Priem)
  • Introduction
  • The First Picture Book: Facts on Display?
  • Encounters of Art and Science: New Ways of Seeing in Progressive Education
  • Why Does Photography Matter? Normative Implications of Facts
  • Conclusion: The Invention of the Future at the Intersection of Consumerism, Art, Science and Education
  • Bibliography
  • On “Casseroles” and Cobblestones: Approaches to the Material Culture of Public Protest (Jan C. Watzlawik)
  • I. Consumption as Protest: A Practice of Everyday Life
  • II. Commerce as Protest: A Revolution of Everyday Life
  • Bibliography
  • The Family of Man on the Road to Clervaux: From Temporary American Installation to Permanent Site of World Memory (Eric J. Sandeen)
  • From the Madonna lactans to The Family of Man: Tracing a Visual Frame of Reference Through History (Kerstin te Heesen)
  • A Few Words on Methodology
  • The Depiction of Breastfeeding in The Family of Man
  • The Depiction of Breastfeeding as a Timeless Topic
  • Conclusion – An Enduring Cultural Frame of Reference
  • Bibliography
  • The Politics of Photography: The Family of Man and the Museum of Modern Art’s War Program (Kristen Gresh)
  • Hot Spots in the Cold War: Scripts, Visual Agendas, and Relocated Narratives in Cold War Photography (Æsa Sigurjónsdóttir)
  • Background
  • Relocated Narratives
  • Scripts and Visual Agendas
  • Werner Bischof in Sardinia and Iceland
  • Ernst Haas in Matera
  • Images in Their Own Time
  • List of Abbreviations and Acronyms
  • Bibliography
  • Work in Progress! Negotiating Visual Politics at the Centre national de l’audiovisuel in Luxembourg (Françoise Poos)
  • The CNA: A Short Historical Overview
  • Political Debates and Legal Frameworks
  • Reality Sets In: Early Developments
  • Bibliography
  • Dimensions of National Heritage in the USA (Brian I. Daniels)
  • Objects
  • Places
  • Routes
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Notes on Contributors

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