Modern Art in Your Life and in the Suburbs



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Modern Art in Your Life and Suburbia analyzes Life’s 1948 article “A Life Round Table on Modern Art.” My thesis specifically offers a new perspective of Life’s suburban utopia to previous art historical discussions about the relationship between Life magazine and its coverage of modern art. The article, as it appeared in Life, was a strange amalgam of Life’s ideals—tradition and stability on the one hand—that seemed oddly in conflict with the magazine’s discussion of avant-garde modern art. This thesis addresses how and why we see this discrepancy by paying close attention to the magazine’s advertisements that appealed to suburban life as well as readers’ negative responses to the article, a perspective that art historical scholarship has largely ignored.



Art history, Modern art