A Matter of Class: John Cotton Dana, Progressive Reform and The Newark Museum
John Cotton Dana (1856-1929) started out as a reform-minded librarian intent on making libraries into engines of education, hence of opportunity, for women, workers and the business community. This book offers an account of Dana's founding of the Newark Museum and his radical exhibitions of items of mass manufacture.
Long fascinated with the value everyday goods, he was a pioneer in displaying such works in a museum over a century ago. Dana insisted that one could learn as much about beauty from the display of a glass of water as a piece of fine art.
Art historian Carol Duncan reveals the roots, explores the contexts, and assesses the influence of this democratic impulse in this finely researched review of Dana's life and work.
- 226 pages
- Illustrations: 20 color, 64 b/w