(Fall 2013) MUS 295 Arts Patronage and Public Policy in America's Capital (Gaub) (other cross-listings tbd, 4 credits)
** can count for the "Institutional Context" requirement of the Policy Studies concentration
This course focuses on how the Arts are paid for in the United States. Unlike countries in Europe in which the visual and performing arts are heavily subsidized by the government, our system is a mosaic of public and private philanthropy. Public patronage in our country is synonymous with the National Endowment for the Arts. We will closely examine the NEA's controversial history and its impact on American culture, and consider questions like these: Should the government fund the arts at all and to what extent? If so, who and what are deemed worthy or appropriate to support? A highlight of the 2004 GIW program occurred when the Director of the NEA, poet Dana Gioia, invited our class to spend an entire day with him at the NEA. I hope to arrange a similar opportunity for our students with the current NEA director, Rocco Landesman.
We will study private patronage through four case studies of individual philanthropists from Washington: Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, who commissioned Aaron Copland to write Appalachian Spring; Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, whose Dumbarton Oaks estate is now a museum of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art; Duncan Phillips, whose collection of art became the first museum dedicated to modern art, the Phillips Collection; and music and art patrons Carmen and David Lloyd Kreeger. The course will make fieldtrips to sites around Washington relevant to these case studies.