Sample Essay on:
National Enndowment for the Arts

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

This 9 page paper examines the past history of the NEA; controversial issues which have surrounded federal funding of the arts, including First Amendment issues and censorship; and makes suggestions for some calm resolution. Bibliography lists 7 sources.

Page Count:

9 pages (~225 words per page)

File: D0_BBnea.doc

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

senator, Jesse Helms (R- NC) took issue withfunding decisions made by the NEA. That was 1972 and the work in question was Erica Jongs Fear of Flying. Seventeen years later, Helms played a key role in the pornography/censorship controversy that began with an outcry over the NEA funding of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano. Despite his fairly constant criticisms, it wasnt until 1989 that Helms had any large-scale success. What took so long? Had something changed not only in the country at large but also in the art world itself that made it: finally vulnerable to Helms attacks? (Giuffre). Beginning in the late 1970s, art in general and photography in particular began using the image as a relevant element in making a socio-political statement. This photos pushed the imaginative envelope by examining the areas of homophobia, sexism, racism, and capitalist exploitation. Photographs as social statements blatantly pushed aesthetic boundaries. And people were even paying money - and big dollars at that - to see them.. The avant-garde artists of the 1970s and 80s courted controversy with works in which message often outweighed such traditional, or perceived concerns, as craftsmanship or beauty. Although artists from many different media contributed to the "culture wars", photography--perhaps because of its relationship to reality--played a pivotal role in touching off the most intensive of these debates (Dubin 31). By the mid-eighties, twenty-one-year-old art-history majors would be writing papers on twenty-six-year-old street artists, whose major tools of the trade were spray cans and fast tennis shoes. The philosophical discussion of what was art, modernist or post-modernist was no longer a side issue in art history - like Topsy in Uncle Toms Cabin, it "just growed" and then "growed" some ...

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