"Harry Smith - The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular" by . Perchuck

Harry Smith - The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular . Perchuck

Getty Publications -
Paperback / softback
Publication date:
04 Mar 2010
Getty Research Institute,U.S.
296 pages: 253 x 178 x 21mm


This title presents a superbly illustrated and insightful examination of the life and works of Harry Smith, one of America's most significant post-war creative talents. Filmmaker, musicologist, painter, ethnographer, graphic designer, mystic, and collector of string figures and other patterns, Harry Smith (1923-1991) was among the most original creative forces to emerge in post-war American art and culture, yet his life, work, and legacy remain poorly understood. Today he is remembered primarily for his "Anthology of American Folk Music" (1952) - an idiosyncratic collection of early recordings that educated and inspired a generation of musicians and roots music fans - and for a body of innovative abstract and non-narrative films. Featuring contributions from noted scholars, critics, and historians - including Paul Arthur, Robert Cantwell, Thomas Crow, Stephen Freidman, Greil Marcus, and P. Adams Sitney - as well as a selection of Smith's works, letters, and other primary sources, this volume offers an insightful exploration of Smith's entire oeuvre within the history of avant-garde art production in twentieth century America.

Andrew Perchuck is assistant director for Contemporary Programs and Research at the Getty Research Institute. Rani Singh is senior research associate in Contemporary Programs and Research at the Getty Research Institute and the director of the Harry Smith Archives.