September 24 – December 1
Seeking a space to present new political art, artists formed the Alternative Museum in New York in 1975. Like the museum, these prints by participating artists address social and humanitarian issues in their imagery that still resonate in today’s cultural landscape.
- Artist as Catalyst
Seeking a space to present new political art in a non-commercial context, artists formed the Alternative Museum in New York in 1975. Many of these artists were outspoken critics of government and social institutions. One way for the state to answer these critics was to reduce public funding for the arts in an exchange that became emblematic of the “culture wars” of the 1980s. To offset this reduced funding, in 1992 10 artists produced prints and bundled them into a portfolio that was sold to support the Alternative Museum. These prints – from the collection of the Samek Art Museum at Bucknell University – presented here bear witness to the ongoing role of artist as social critic and catalyst for social change.
From the portfolio cover sheet of 10. Artist as Catalyst:
“The Alternative Museum is dedicated to presenting exhibitions of humanitarian significance that explore issues of social and political concern. Our mission is to facilitate a forum in which artists and the public can together challenge traditions and explore new ideas toward a shared ideal of a more equitable society.
The Museum seeks to exhibit the work of those artists who have been disenfranchised because of ideology, race, gender, or economic inequality. Our goal is to redefine the notion of art by recognizing the contributions a diverse community can make given the true enfranchisement of all artists as equals.”