Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Government slashes art spending, US says: “OK.”

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In the last year, governments in the United Kingdom and in the United States have made huge, job-killing cuts to arts spending. Quick quiz: Who has made the deeper cuts: The Conservatives-led coalition government in the UK, or Democrats in the US?

The answer may surprise you. My latest column in Modern Painters magazine takes a look at spending cuts in the UK and in the US and examines the way arts lovers in the two countries responded.

I posit that one reason that our federal and state governments cut art spending over and over again is because American art lovers don’t really object. Why not? Well, the biggest, most powerful players in America’s art world don’t organize in support of arts funding or in support of arts jobs. Who would that be? Click here to read the column and to find out.

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  1. I think the British see the arts as an integral part of their cultural heritage, part of what it means to be British. Americans don’t have that.

  2. For decades there has been an enormous lack of interest in arts in the U.S. to begin with, so it’s hardly surprising that no one is objecting to art funding being cut with the economy being the way it is…

  3. I personally feel that people in the US don’t care because political bias has been allowed to dominate funded arts programs for so long.

    You can’t expect people to support funding when museum exhibits and other public funded venues tend to be nothing more than liberal grand-standing. Think of the number of exhibits that offered visual criticism of President Bush’s policy compared to the number of exhibits– I don’t think there has been any– that offer visual criticism of President Obama and his policies. Think of the number of pro-choice exhibits compared to pro-life exhibits– as well as other themes that oppose each other. The bias is clear– and I think people are tired of it being supported on their dollar.

    When you have a country that is split practically down the middle on key political, social, and religious issues– yet only one side of the coin tends to shine in public funded venues– it should come as no surprise when the public, in general, does not support arts funding.

    I think many people feel that they should not have to support exhibit spaces, and other venues, that rarely if ever offer their point of view. There is a larger problem as well– because of this clear bias is art history of the US being documented as it should be? Is our culture being documented as it should be? The gatekeepers of the US art world, if you will, may have liberal tendencies– but that does not mean that conservative themes should be excluded for future generations to reflect on. In my eyes that is a form of censorship– and we need to get beyond it.

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