In the past, museum exhibitions in the USA glorified wealth and validated authority, but today they often represent new interests, and pressure groups mobilize either to force their own perspective upon museum walls or to prevent opposing opinions from being expressed. Examining some of the USA's most controversial museum exhibitions of the 1990s, this work encompasses topics such as ethnicity, slavery, Freud, the Old West, and the atomic bomb. Some of these exhibitions challenged standard perceptions, whilst others were faulted for failing to do so. In its analysis of these episodes of America struggling to redefine itself in the late-20th century, the book draws upon interviews with museum administrators, community activists, curators and scholars.
Steven C. Dubin's most recent book, Arresting Images, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992). He is the Director of the Media, Society, and the Arts Program at the State University of New York, Purchase.