Finding civic identity: a review of Sarah Schrank’s Art and the City: Civic Imagination and Cultural Authority in Los Angeles | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2045-5879
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5887


Los Angeles, once recognized solely for its orange groves and Hollywood glamour, has become a leading locale in the cultural art world. Author Sarah Schrank chronicles the events that shaped LA’s civic identity in her book, Art and the City: Civic Imagination and Cultural Authority in Los Angeles. Starting with the early twentieth century, Schrank illustrates how social unrest and political conflict dictated the city’s identity and art, even exposing how LA’s perception of minorities stipulated its freeway system. Oscillating between civic censorship and promotion, artists were often held captive by the current ethnic and political environment. From landmark schools to civic icons, Art and the City is a useful compendium for understanding the influences that gave Los Angeles its urban identity.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): art; censorship; city; civic identity; Los Angeles; Shrank; urban art; Watts Towers
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